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Trail: Difficult Creek #2196
Region: Independence Pass area
Difficulty: moderate
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.
Map: USGS Hayden Peak, Aspen


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