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Buttermilk Bowls Trail

Extremely Difficult


1.7 mile 2.7 kilometer point to point
Extremely Difficult


Ascent: 216' 66 m
Descent: -697' -213 m
High: 10,087' 3,075 m
Low: 9,402' 2,866 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)


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Trail shared by Mike Pritchard

Great views, beautiful forest and open meadows, but unsustainable trail quality. a.k.a. Sugar Bowls

Mike Pritchard

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Closed May 15 - June 20 for elk calving season.


Connects top of Buttermilk Mountain ski area to the Government Trail. Typically accessed by riding up Buttermilk's summer work road. Awesome views along the trail make it worth the ride, but unsustainable fall line portions keep this trail from being a true local's favorite.

This route is also known as the Sugar Bowls for the area's winter snow characteristics.

RFMBA has been working with the WRNF to have this unsustainable route rerouted as soon as possible. The trail's rating will hopefully increase from two stars to five stars upon completion! The trail is currently ridden from Buttermilk to Government Trail, but the re-route should allow for travel in both directions.

From the top of the West Buttermilk ski lift (at the very top of the ski area's dirt summer work road), find the trail just behind the warming cabin. Climb steeply until you meet the ridge, where the trail turns right. The trail rolls along the ridge with huge views and occasional cliff exposure on your left. Eventually, the ridge starts descending to the open Bowls meadows, requiring a steep hike a bike section before joining rutted fall line sections of trail.

Once in the Bowls, the trail drops to the right, through the middle of the meadow, where you'll pass an old stock pond before entering a beautiful aspen grove. The trail continues straight down until it terminates with the Government Trail. Left will take you to Snowmass, and right will take you back to Buttermilk and Aspen.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed


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Trail Ratings

  2.7 from 6 votes


in Aspen


  2.7 from 6 votes
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14 Views Last Month
642 Since Jul 19, 2013
Extremely Difficult



Taking a water break at the top of the climb. Absolutely incredible views after a hardy ride up.
Sep 17, 2019 near Aspen, CO
Panorama view of the Buttermilk Bowls (aka Sugar Bowls during the winter).
Jul 19, 2013 near Snowmas…, CO
Hundreds of thriving columbine flowers at the bottom of the Buttermilk Bowls trail
Jul 19, 2013 near Snowmas…, CO
Viewpoint from top of Buttermilk Mt.  Maroon Creek glacial formed valley is below, Pyramid Peak is overexposed in the distance.
Jul 19, 2013 near Aspen, CO


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