Description: From the parking lot follow the trail to a gravel road which turns right toward the Roaring
Fork River. At the river the trail turns left. After crossing a wooden bridge over the river the trail turns
right and climbs the bank. The trail then crosses a broad sagebrush area and reaches Difficult Creek
about 1/2 of a mile from the trailhead. It continues through a pine and fir forest crossing a side stream at
about 2 miles. It then enters a rocky area and begins a steep ascent. Good views of Aspen and
Independence Pass can be seen from here. At 2-1/2 miles the trail levels, enters a forest, and follows
Difficult Creek for the rest of the hike. Soon the remains of four old cabins can be seen. The maintained
trail ends here. The unmaintained trail is covered with boulders and fallen trees. Beyond this point, the
wilderness is classified as pristine. Users are expected to use orienteering and map reading skills.
Directions: From Aspen Ranger District, drive 5 miles through Aspen on Hwy 82. Turn right into Difficult Campground, and travel .5 mile to park in picnic area on right. The trailhead is in the left corner of the lot.