Explore Aspen's 13ers

Hike a 13er: Tabor Peak

A dramatic knife-edge walk and a blazing blue high-alpine tarn

By James Dziezynski July 5, 2021 Published in the Summer/Fall 2021 issue of Aspen Sojourner

ELEVATION | 13,282 ft
DISTANCE | 6.7 miles out-and-back
Tabor Creek Trailhead. Stock SUVs and high-clearance vehicles can navigate the rutted, undulating road to the trailhead, but regular passenger cars won’t be able to make it. From Aspen, drive east on Highway 82 for roughly 11 miles to Lincoln Creek Road. Follow that dirt road for 4.1 miles to the marked turnoff on the right (south) that leads to a small parking area.

Tabor Peak has one of the most dramatic knife-edge walks in all of Colorado. Not only that, it also is home to scenic Tabor Lake, a spectacular high-alpine tarn set on a shelf that looks like it was engineered specifically to house the blazing blue pool.

The Tabor Lake Trail presents a difficulty early on with the required crossing of Lincoln Creek. Because of this, it is best to save this hike until the spring snowmelt has subsided a bit, usually by late June.

Once you’re past the creek, you can continue along the trail to the lake and scramble up to the peak’s north ridge from there, or simply leave the established route and make a scrappy off-trail push to gain the ridge earlier. Either way, the final Class 2 ridge walk to the summit is breathtaking. Upon return, it makes the most sense to drop to Tabor Lake and regain the trail.

Filed under
Show Comments