Difficult, sure, but really not that hard | AspenTimes.com
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Difficult, sure, but really not that hard

Ryan Slabaugh
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Ryan Slabaugh/The Aspen TimesDifficult Creek is running right now, providing a noisy soundtrack to the hike. There are plenty of places to stop and relax next to the waterfalls as you hike the first mile.
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ASPEN – It’s just right there, but for some reason, I always drive past the Difficult Creek Trail east of Aspen and its campgrounds in search of higher pursuits. But recently, with snow still lingering up high in spots and my interest piqued, my girlfriend and I took to the trail to explore, kill some time and enjoy a beautiful spring day.

The trail (at least last weekend) was dry and felt like summer. We climbed a couple of miles toward the ridgeline, and after a couple of fairly steep ascents, we took a break in a boulder field under some trees nearby. The views most of the way are fairly obstructed by dense pine trees, but the higher we climbed, the more diverse the trail became. Soon, anticipating a long downhill descent, we turned around, never quite reaching a clearing, despite the fact we were on the trail a couple hours.

The next day, I went up again on my own in the evening to explore and grab picture. A nearby rain was falling, and the trail got slick about 2 miles up. The creek’s roar was my ever-present guide, and despite ruining the bottom of a pair of hiking pants, I discovered a clearing to take a picture of the fog rolling into the nearby hills. It was why I went up there, at least the second time.



If you are looking for recommendations, the creek right now is worth checking out. It is flowing a unique, muddy-brown color (see photo). As the first mile of the trail parallels the creek as it tumbles down, there are plenty of places in the first mile to stop and explore, or just sit and enjoy the noise of a long waterfall.

rslabaugh@aspentimes.com


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