Government Trail – Aspen, CO


I explored Government Trail on another one of those days where I decided it would be a good idea to ask Max for a good trail run to check out. He guided me toward the base of Buttermilk Ski Resort and an access road leading up to the Government Trail, which runs from west to east along both the Snowmass and Buttermilk resort mountains. The trail actually starts in Snowmass Village, and is used in the summer for running and mountain biking (it is basically a single track trail) and in the winter for cross-country skiing. To access the trailhead, you have to take an access road from the village up to the trail. It is best to ask around town (try the Ute Mountaineer or the Hub) for exaclty where the trail starts, as I have not been able to find anything online that provides a good guide.

For our run, Max and I started at the base of Buttermilk Mountain and ran up an access road about a mile before we connected with the trail (actually we hiked a lot of it as “run” to Max is somehow equivicated to “easy mountain bike ride,” as in “it should be a good run, it is an easy mountain bike ride”). We then followed the trail east until it dumped us out near the Aspen Rec Center, near the base of Aspen Highlands. From there we hopped on the bike trail for a bit before the trail begins running through a long grass field, which again dumped us out onto a paved trail which we followed all the way into Aspen.

Overall, the trail is a net downhill, but runs at about an elevation of 9500 feet before it winds down into Aspen. The trail runs through some incredible scenery, but is a bit rocky so watch your footing.

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