A day hike to Capitol Lake or a backpack to link up with the Avalanche Creek Trail. This trail leads up a pretty valley of meadows and aspen stands, then climbs to a magnificent alpine lake at the base of 14,130-foot Capitol Peak. The trail then leads over the divide to connect with the Avalanche Creek Trail. Autumns are especially pretty here; the aspens reach their peak of color in early October. Summer visitors are likely to encounter cattle in the meadows in the lower and middle reaches of the valley. If you plan to camp at Capitol Lake, you will need to pitch your tent at one of the officially designated, well-marked camp spots. Fires are permitted only at some sites below the timberline. A climber’s trail departs from the vicinity of Capitol Lake for the summit of Capitol Peak; peak baggers should plan to camp overnight near Capitol Lake so that the ascent can be completed before afternoon thunderstorms become an issue.
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Directions to: Capitol Creekprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Elevation Gain||4,820 ft|
|Skill Level||Moderately strenuous|
|Season||Mid-June to mid-October (Capitol Lake); early July to mid-October (over pass)|
|Trailhead Elevation||9,500 ft|
|Top Elevation||12,070 ft|
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