Aspen to Crested Butte Hike 2013

The Hike You Have Been Waiting For….

Hike, Learn, Laugh, and Enjoy the Wilderness with Adventure Rabbi Jamie Korngold and Friends

(This trip no longer runs because permits are difficult to get on this very popular trail.)

The two world-class towns of Aspen and Crested Butte are actually quite close, but no road directly connects them. Join us as we hike from Aspen to Crested Butte, relax for Shabbat in Crested Butte, and then hike back the third day. All you’ll need to carry is a daypack with rain gear, warm clothes, and lunch, as your overnight bag with your clothes for Crested Butte will be shuttled around by car.

This trip is a European-style trekking experience, right here in the mountains of Colorado. Join Rabbi Jamie Korngold, “The Adventure Rabbi”, and members of the Leadership Council for two days of hardcore hiking through some of the most spectacular and breathtaking scenery in North America. In between, we will experience Shabbat as a much needed day of rest, and a chance explore Crested Butte.

Trip Description:

The trip begins at the parking lot for the Maroon Bells Recreation Area, at 9,580 feet above sea level. We’ll pass by Maroon Bells Lake and the famous Crater Lake, where you can snap a photo of one of Colorado’s most photographed scenes: the Maroon Bells peaks (South Maroon Peak – 14,156′; North Maroon Peak – 14,014). The hike wanders around the east side of the two fourteen-thousand-foot peaks and goes from wooded trees to high-alpine meadows filled with expansive views and vibrant wildflowers. The well-worn trail tops out at the top of West Maroon Pass (12,500′), and then winds down a massive V-shaped valley.

The trail continues down to the Schofield Park, where in the summer, we’ll be able to see flowers like the purple Subalpine Larkspur, white Geranium, and pale Western Paintbrush. If it’s a nice day, we’ll be able to see many of the peaks in the Elk Mountain range, including the fourteen-thousand-foot Snowmass Mountain (14,092′). At the Schofield Park trailhead, we’ll be met by a shuttle to whisk the group into Crested Butte.

After reuniting with our ‘town clothes’ that have been shuttled by 2 support crew members (the shortest distance between Crested Butte and Aspen by car takes 3.5 hours and 105 miles over many winding mountain roads), we’ll go out to dinner and enjoy a hearty meal after the long 10.5-mile hike.

Enjoy Shabbat in the hot tub or exploring Crested Butte. We’ll gather again for dinner and Havdalah and to share stories of our days. On Sunday, the shuttle will pick us up early from the hotel, drive us to the trailhead, and we’ll hike from Schofield Park, over West Maroon Pass, and down into the Maroon Bells parking area.


Friday Morning: Meet at the Maroon Bells Recreation Area parking lot at 6:00 am. Strap on a day pack with rain gear, warm clothes, and lunch, and we’ll hike from Aspen – Crested Butte. The hike will take approximately 8- 10 hours, cover 10.5 miles and gain approximately 2,000 vertical feet in elevation gain.

Along the Way: Snack and stop at Crater Lake for a view and a photograph of the Maroon Bells peaks and a chance to learn why Rabbi Abraham Ben Maimonides wrote: “In order to serve God, one needs access to the enjoyment of the beauties of nature, such as the contemplation of flower-decorated meadows and majestic mountains… For all these are essential to the spiritual development of even the holiest of people.”

Cross the top of West Maroon Pass (12,500′), where you’ll be able to see the top of Belleview peak directly to the north (13,233′), South Maroon Peak (14,156′) and gaze across at Pyramid Peak (14,018′ – one of the most technically challenging of the fourteen thousand foot peaks in Colorado). You’ll also be able to see vast patchworks of wildflowers on both sides of the pass that shade the high alpine meadows hues of green, purple and yellow.

Late Friday Afternoon: Upon reaching Schofield Pass, we’ll be whisked into town by a shuttle, where we will be reunited with our overnight bag and we can shower and relax before dinner.


We will be staying at the Grand Lodge in Crested Butte, located in the heart of mountain village. The free Crested Butte town shuttles leave right from the front door, to drive us 3-miles to the historic town of Crested Butte.

Friday Night: The group will go out on the town for a hot, hearty Shabbat meal. Together we welcome Shabbat with song and prayer.


Take your pick! Rent a mountain bike. Sleep in. Read a book on the porch. Check out the cute town of CB. Book a


.Saturday Night:
We gather for dinner and havdallah, saying goodbye to this glorious and much needed day of rest. Then, we’ll retire to the outdoor hot tub, to soak our muscles and enjoy the peace of the evening.

Sunday Morning:

A shuttle will pick us up at the hotel, bring us to the trailhead, and we’ll hike the 10.5 miles back to Aspen. The trail begins in a wooded forest with a rushing, flowing mountain stream on your right. As the trail wanders uphill, you’ll hike on the left side of a giant valley filled with wondrous wildflowers. The valley (and the trail) turn to the right, and a few short switchbacks later, you’re back on top of West Maroon Pass.

Lunch will be on or before the West Maroon Pass (depending on the collective hunger of the group. After lunch, the trail will wind down the high alpine meadow, framed by the Maroon Bells high above on the left and the West Maroon Creek on the right.

Late Sunday Afternoon/ Early Evening:

Arrive back at the Maroon Bells Recreation Area parking lot, where we have parked our cars. Drive to Aspen where our overnight bags have arrived.

Trip Details

Length of Hike:

10.5 miles each way, starting at 10,580 feet above sea level and gaining approximately 2,000 feet in elevation.

Difficulty Level:

Strenuous. You must be in good physical condition and be able to hike for extended periods of time. If we have never hiked with you, you must join us on a day hike of Bear Peak June 14, 2009 at 7 a.m. to qualify for this hike.


$300/ person including shuttle drivers to bring gear to CB and back to Aspen, taxi pick-up and drop off on CB side, breakfast, snacks & lunch on Sunday.

Not included:

Hotel accommodations ($50/person/ night in 2 bedroom condos with 4 beds) other meals. Information about booking your hotel room will follow.