July 18, 2016
Hasley Pass is a great hike that takes you off the beaten path and offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the Elk Mountains. But to get to the trail we first had to traverse the very popular West Maroon Trail for just under 2 miles. (West Maroon trail is a 12 mile hike to Aspen.)
Hasley Pass is rated as a moderate 5.5 mile loop with an elevation gain of 1,816 feet. Max elevation is 12,120 feet.
West Maroon trail had the prettiest display of wildflowers we have seen here.
The narrow trail was waist high on both sides with lupine, columbine, osha, sunflowers, and many others.
The Columbine were especially pretty.
At just under 2 miles, we went left at the fork. From here, the slope kicks in for a steep climb to the alpine basin.
The pass offers striking views.
Hasley Basin and the 14,000 foot peak of Snowmass Mt. in perfect harmony.
|Yikes...notice the dark clouds !|
Well, as you might have guessed, that didn't happen. We were lost with dark skies and thunder looming. Joe surveyed the area and we slowly made our way down heading in the right direction. In hindsight, we should have turned around and returned using the trail we had just hiked. But all along, we kept thinking we could see the trail and every time it turned out to be a dud.
We carefully trudged our way down steep sloping meadows, over/through fast running creeks, and the forest thick with downed trees all the while batting at the flies attacking us.
This is just one of the false alarms. In-between the meadow and forest is a fast running wide creek we had to cross. This trail went nowhere.
The forest was dark as we climbed over, under, and around the huge fallen dead trees.
This is the only picture I took before I got spooked. I realized we were in bear country !
Finally we saw a cabin hidden in the trees.
We followed the driveway to the main road, turned left and walked another 1.5 miles to the parking lot for the trailhead.
WHEW...what an adventure !
|Tall Chiming Bells|
HAPPY TRAILS !