LoJ: #607 (Pre-LiDAR #615) / 13,048' UN 13048 Formerly UN 13039

Range › Elks Range
Quadrangle › Maroon Bells
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 39° 05' 48.91", W 106° 59' 41.29" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

UN13,048 (formerly UN 13039) is a low-elevation, Class 2 walk-up summit a half mile south of Buckskin Pass in the Maroon-Snowmass Wilderness. Easily accessible from the Maroon Lake Trailhead, UN13,048 can be paired with Buckskin BM or Sleeping Sexton, or both for nice day-hike. The trailhead is passenger car accessible, though restrictions on driving to the TH may force you to use the local shuttle system.

UN13,048 North Ridge Route

Class 2
Long Day // Back for Dinner
Climbed with Buckskin Benchmark
RT From Maroon Lake TH: 8.4mi / 3,470'
  • Trailhead
    • Maroon Lake TH

      For quite a few years now, in order to regulate and reduce the vehicle traffic flow to Maroon Lake, the Forest Service has restricted vehicle traffic to Maroon Lake. Go to this link to search for detailed information: fs.usda.gov/whiteriver. At one time, generally speaking, you could drive a vehicle in before 9:00 AM or after 5:00 PM. Limited parking was available and you needed to arrive before 6:00 AM to obtain a spot. Nowadays, (2024), parking reservations must be obtained months in advance, which in our opinion is a great disadvantage for climbers. Without a reservation, you can only ride a shuttle from the Highlands parking lot. Check the White River NF website to confirm the most recent details and regulations for access. There is no camping at Maroon Lake.

      From State HWY 82 on the west side of Aspen, drive through the traffic circle south heading for the Aspen Highlands Ski area and Maroon Lake. This traffic circle is about 1 mile west of Aspen on HWY82 or 40 miles SE from Glenwood Springs, and after the airport and Aspen Business Center by the airport. The road number is CR13. The so-called "welcome station" is 4.7 miles south and that's where you must pay a vehicle use fee of $10. If attempting to drive in during restricted hours, you'll have to park at the Highlands Ski area and ride a free shuttle in. The trail to Crater Lake is what you need to locate at the SW end of the parking lot. The trail goes around Maroon Lake on the north and west side.


      Designated, fee campsites are available at the Silver Bar CG, the Silver Bell CG and the Silver Queen CG along CR13 as you drive in to Maroon Lake. These campgrounds are almost always occupied, especially on weekends. The White River National Forest website indicates that sites in these campgrounds can be reserved by calling 1-877-444-6777, but if that info is outdated, then the campsites will probably be available through ReserveAmerica. There is no at-large camping allowed anywhere else along the road to Maroon Lake. Technically, vehicle camping in the parking lot at Maroon Lake is also off limits, but still practiced discretely by many. Attempt at your own risk. The nearest other campground will be the Difficult Creek CG up HWY 82, about 4 miles east of town toward Independence Pass.

    Peak Icon Route Map Photos

    Route Info UN13,048 North Ridge

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 1999

    All of the five 13er summits that we have placed in the Buckskin Pass Group can be accessed as a day-hike from the Maroon Lake TH. It is possible to also backpack up Minnehaha Creek and set up a base camp from which all five summits could easily be done in about two days. UN13,048 we have sequenced with Buckskin BM for a fairly long day-hike from Maroon Lake.

    From the Maroon Lake parking area, head south on the Crater Lake trail #1975. Make sure you don't get diverted over onto the scenic Maroon Lake trail. Walk 1.5 miles to Crater Lake amid hordes of dayhikers, touroids, etc., unless you've gotten a good early start. View the "Deadly Bells" warning sign. If you're going to backpack in and camp overnight, you'll also need to self-register. At Crater Lake, turn west and head up Trail #1978 toward Buckskin Pass. This trail heads up Minnehaha Gulch and begins to gain some serious altitude shortly after Crater Lake. There are/were some backpacking campsites near the lake and the trail intersection. At about 11,100 ft., there are/were some excellent campsites on the ridge to the right above the trail if camping overnight. They are located a short distance before the trail crosses Minnehaha Creek at 11,060 ft. It's about 3 miles to this location. Be sure and check recent regulations regarding backcountry camping in this area in case a designated site system has been implemented.

    From where the trail crosses over Minnehahah Creek, continue a little farther toward Buckskin Pass. At a switchback on the trail at about 12,080 ft., you can break off the trail and head toward UN13,048 and its north ridge. (You can of course also continue to the summit of Buckskin Pass as well.)

    Follow a mostly tundra-covered slope more directly toward the summit of UN 13,048. This route will take you through something of an enclosed ramp and then on to the north ridge of the peak, just below the first cliff band. This first band requires one little rock climbing maneuver over an 8 ft. slab that we surmounted by jamming a foot in a crack. Near the summit, there is one other minor rock and cliff problem that required a little more scrambling, and then, you'll arrive at the summit.

    Additional BETA

    Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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