Viewline Trail to Skyline Ridge Trail, Sky Mountain Park, Aspen - Snowmass, Colorado
Viewline Trail to Skyline Ridge Trail - 8.1 miles
Sky Mountain Park
|Round-Trip Length:||8.1 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||7905’ – 8,514’ (8,630’ max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+609’ net elevation gain (+1,520’ total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Viewline Trail to Skyline Ridge Trail - 8.1 Miles Round-Trip
Sky Mountain Park covers 2500 acres of newly designated open space between the Owl Creek and Brush Creek valleys in Snowmass. 30 miles of existing and in-development trails run through 5 natural vegetation types:
- Mountain Shrublands (57%)
- Sagebrush Shrublands (22%)
- Shale Barrens (9.5%)
- Riparian Corridors (2.7%)
- Aspen-Douglas Fir Forests (1.75%)
Several trailheads access Sky Mountain Park with many connection points for creating loops, out-and-backs and reaching Aspen.
The Viewline Trail joins the Skyline Ridge Trail to form an 8.1 mile and-and-back route along the Park’s high central ridge with big views that range from Mount Sopris to Aspen Highlands.
The following description accesses the Viewline Trail from Highline Trailhead on Highline Road, just steps up from the roundabout in Snowmass Village. There’s no parking at the trailhead – use free parking at Town Center and walk .1 mile to the trailhead:
The Highline Trail winds .23 miles up to a Map Board and 3-way fork. The Viewline Trail (middle fork) splits up and to the right of the Ditchline Trail and winds tightly through tall crowns of gambel oak and mountain mahogany.
Mount Daly (13,305’) and Capitol Peak (14,130’) stand prominently over Snowmass Village with expanding views across the valley and Elk Mountains. The Viewline Trail rises quickly on a sinuous path that gradually straightens to a crest and the Deadline Trail – Skyline Ridge Trail junction (1.95 miles : 8,595’).
The Skyline Ridge Trail continues straight and dips down across broad sage flats dotted with paintbrush, lupine, phlox and balsamroot. It rolls to the base of a steep knoll (3.0 miles : 8,565’) and wraps NE to a high thin ridge with great views over Owl Creek. Look for elk that gather in these pastoral meadows from April – late June.
It winds steeply down then undulates moderately along the ridge to the Airline – Cozyline Trail split (3.95 miles : 8,475’). The Skyline Ridge Trail continues to its terminus at Cozy Point on Radar Road above the Aspen Airport (4.05 miles : 8,514’).
Those seeking longer and more varied routes on the return can split off on the Cozyline-Cozy Point Loop or Daedline Trail, both of which will return you to the Viewline and Skyline Ridge Trails.
- N39 13.500 W106 55.215 — 0.0 miles : Highline Trailhead on Owl Creek Road
- N39 13.418 W106 55.195 — .23 miles : Map Board and 3-way split
- N39 13.363 W106 55.071 — .75 miles : Expanding views over Snowmass Village
- N39 13.385 W106 54.997 — 1.0 miles : Variously tight and long switchbacks
- N39 13.191 W106 54.818 — 1.5 miles : Travel straightens on SE heading
- N39 13.198 W106 54.602 — 1.93 miles : Skyline Ridge Trail - Deadline Trail split on crest
- N39 13.306 W106 54.345 — 2.25 miles : Dip and level across sage flats
- N39 13.305 W106 54.095 — 2.5 miles : Mild, rolling travel on high bench
- N39 13.521 W106 53.699 — 3.0 miles : Base of knoll on ridge; wrap to north
- N39 13.683 W106 53.443 — 3.5 miles : Undulating travel on high thin ridge
- N39 13.690 W106 53.558 — 3.25 miles : Short, steep descent to thin ridge
- N39 13.839 W106 53.213 — 3.8 miles : Cozy - Airline Trail split
- N39 13.914 W106 53.004 — 4.05 miles : Trail ends on Radar Road above Airport
- Shrublands of Sky Mountain Park require periodic, low intensity fires to maintain natural specie density and balance. Aging gambel oaks can form thick stands that crowd out other shrubs and produce fewer acorns and high fuel loads. Sky Mountain Park simulates natural fires through periodic cutting to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Camping is not permitted in Sky Mountain Park. Day use only.
Rules and Regulations
Dogs are not permitted on the Viewline or Skyline Ridge trails. Dogs are only permitted on-leash in Sky Mountain Park on the Highline, Lowline, Brush Creek and Aspen Mass trails.
Directions to Trailhead
The Highline Trailhead is located on Highline Road in Snowmass Village, just steps up from the roundabout. There’s no parking at the trailhead – use the free parking lot in Town Center and walk .1 mile to reach the trailhead.
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