Hay Park Trail

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HAY PARK TRAIL #1957

Length: 7.4 miles one-way (11.9 km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Use: Moderate
Beginning Elevation: 8,460 feet (2579 m)
Ending Elevation: 8,500 feet (2591 m)
USGS Map(s): Capitol Peak

DAY/BACKPACKING OVERVIEW: This is a moderate trail. The trail is used by mountain bikers, hikers, and horseback riders.

ACCESS: This trail can be accessed from either the Thomas Lakes trailhead below Mount Sopris or from the BLM parking lot off of Capitol Creek Road. This narrative is from the BLM parking lot: Drive 14 miles west of Aspen on Highway 82 to Old Snowmass and turn left. Continue 2 miles to the “T” intersection. Take the right turn and continue 5 miles until the pavement ends. Follow the dirt road about 1.5 miles to the BLM parking area, which is off to the right. There are limited camping opportunities on this trail as it is primarily a day-use trail.

NARRATIVE: From the parking lot the trail climbs uphill through a wet pasture and travels along a fence line for approximately 1,000’ until you reach the bulletin board and trail sign. From here the trail winds steeply and crosses through private property for approximately 1.2 miles. It is important to stay on the trail and follow directional signing for the Hay Park Trail. Once on National Forest land, the trail drops and climbs and crosses several small streams such as Hardscrabble Creek and then East Sopris Creek (2.2 miles from start) where there is a small footbridge. The trail travels through many Aspen groves as well as a few stands of pine and spruce trees. The highest point on the trail is the subtle pass in Hay Park at 9,680’. This route is popular with horseback riders, mountain bikers, and hunters in the Fall.

ETHICS/REGULATIONS: The Hay Park Trail is non-wilderness. Please educate yourself about the following rules:

  • DOGS MUST BE LEASHED out of consideration for both other people and wildlife.
  • SANITATION – bury human waste 100 feet from water and 6 inches in the soil.
  • The trail is not open to motorized vehicles such as motorcycles or ATVs.
  • Camping is limited to 14 days.
  • Yield to horseback riders by stepping off the trail onto the downhill side.

Stats

  • Trail Measurement: 7.4 Miles One Way
  • Compass Latitude: 401435N
  • Compass Longitude: 1061422W
  • Numeric Latitude: 40.24304
  • Numeric Longitude: -106.2394718
  • Elevation in Meters: 2,579 to 2,591
  • Elevation in Feet: 8,460 to 8,500

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References

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