A Guide to Uphilling in the Aspen Area

On Jan 5, 2021
Listed in Recreation

It’s no secret Aspen is known for athletic prowess. Locals are known to rise with the sun to earn their turns and get in a solid workout before the lifts start spinning. As the years go by more visitors and locals are taking on the challenge of testing their endurance. Below, find information on uphilling routes on all four Aspen Snowmass mountains, Sunlight in Glenwood Springs ,and off-mountain options.

Fear a detailed list of what gear you will need, head here.

Where to rent?

Ute Mountainer 

Four Mountain Sports 


Aspen Mountain

Policies, regulations, hours

Route: America’s Uphill course, which starts up the Little Nell run to Bingo Slot, Spar Gulch, left into Deer Park and onto Silver Bell.

Starting on 1-3-2021  uphillers are now required to not only to abide by the designated uphill route rule but also the designated downhill route rule (Copper, Copper Bowl, and Little Nell).



Policies, regulations, hours


Main Buttermilk: follows the orange disks up Columbine from the base, snakes back in the woods and then crosses Midway Avenue to Ridge Trail to the top. The main route is closed during Winter X Games, January 26-31,2021.

Tiehack: up Eagle Hill to Ptarmigan. Stay right up the remainder of Ptarmigan.

West: up Teaser to the Bridge, under the bridge and up to Ridge Trail to the top.


Aspen Highlands

Policies, regulations, hours 

Route: Jerome Bowl to Park Avenue to Memory Lane all the way to the Merry-Go-Round Restaurant (MGR). If you arrive at MGR prior to 8:30am, you may continue up the route to the top of Loge if you wish. If you are not to MGR before 8:30, uphilling access is not allowed beyond MGR.



Policies, regulations, hours


Two Creeks: Cascade to top of Funnel around Causeway (bottom of L10) to EC restaurant.

High Alpine Restaurant: Fanny Hill to McNamara Ridge to Coffee Pot to HA Restaurant.

Sam’s Knob: Fanny Hill to TOV headwall/Dawdler to Lower Velvet Falls to Upper Velvet Falls to midstation of VX to Coney Glade Trail to Banzai Ridge to top of Knob. Continue up the right side of Sneaky’s to top of the Burn

Elk Camp: Base Village to Funnel up to Elk Camp Restaurant.


Sunlight Mountain

Policies, regulations, hours

Routes: Sunlight clearly marks two designated uphill routes. Check daily route Open/Closed status online: https://sunlightmtn.com/mountain/winter-fun/snow-report

Blue Route: From the base hike up Tercero lift line to hiker’s left of Loop, follow the signs past the top of Tercero to hiker’s left of Sunking. Continue to hiker’s right of Little Max continue to the top.

Green Route: From the base follow the signs up hiker’s left on Ute to the top.


Off-Mountain Options

Ashcroft/Castle Creek Road: An easier trek – drive up Castle Creek Road then park at Ashcroft. Head up the road for spectacular views of the surrounding Elk Mountain range.

Maroon Creek Road: Park at T-Lazy-7 Ranch then follow the road up to the Maroon Bells. This is an aggressive 12 mile round trip, but the views at the top are breathtaking!

Highway 82/Independence Pass: Just a few miles up the road from Difficult Campground there will be a parking area on your left. From here you can go as far up the road as you desire.

*Note: All four Aspen Snowmass mountains will be closed to uphilling December 26, 2020 – January 2, 2021 and February 13 & 14.