North of Crested Butte and southwest of Aspen, a breath-taking horseback riding loop can be formed with the West Maroon Trail and the East Marron Trail in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. This 32 mile loop can be started from either Gothic (north of Crested Butte) or Maroon Lake (southwest of Aspen). The triangle shaped route combines The West Maroon Trail, The East Fork Trail along the Crystal River, the 401 Trail Riders Trail, the Copper Lake Trail and the East Maroon Trail. It passes through aspen and pine forests up to alpine meadows near crystal clear lakes and rivers. Early July is optimal for amazing wildflowers. Expect snow until late June / early July at higher elevations. Snow will return in early September. Be prepared for snow/rain storms during any month. Note, the West Maroon Trail and East Fork Trail receive a lot of traffic, so plan for weekday or early day hiking.