Start at the Hunter Creek Trailhead, (or for a simple albeit longer walk start at the the Smuggler Road at the east side of Aspen town). If going from Hunter Creek, follow the well used trail over the Benedict Footbridge and up the south side of Hunter Creek. After 1/2 mile, at 8,600 feet, leave the valley by climbing SE up a well marked trail that eventually climbs westerly up the mountainside. Beware of mine shafts in this area. You’ll intersect the Smuggler Mountain Warren Lakes Road at 9,200 feet. Follow the road for a long 2 1/2 mile wander through forest to an elongated open area (10,600 feet). Turn left off the road here and continue southeast for 1/2 mile up onto a small timbered ridge.
Locations of Observed or Reported Avalanche Activity: No avalanche activity has been reported along this suggested route.
To reach the Hunter Creek Trailhead, start in the town of Aspen. Follow Main Street in Aspen to Mill Street (the stoplight near the center of town, next to the Hotel Jerome). Turn N on Mill and drive a short distance down a hill, then across a bridge over the Roaring Fork River (.25 miles). Bear left after the bridge and follow the Red Mountain Road 1 mile to its second switchback. Just before the switchback, turn right and downhill on the Hunter Creek Road. Drive approximately .3 miles on Hunter Creek Road, then take a hard left on an unpaved driveway that leads up past a water tank 300 feet to a parking area. The actual trailhead is farther up the mountain, but this is the only parking.
You have several choices for foot travel to the actual trailhead. The simplest method is to walk back down the driveway to the Hunter Creek Road, turn left through two stone gate posts marked “Private,” and follow the paved Hunter Creek Road 1/3 mile around a hairpin switchback to the well-signed Hunter Creek Trailhead on the right side of the road. Your other choice for foot travel is to follow a foot trail that traverses up the mountain from the parking area to the trailhead.