Guide to Hiking Conundrum Hot Springs


Bradee Felton

May 13, 2024

view from conundrum hot springs

Conundrum Hot Springs is a gorgeous and rewarding hike in the Aspen Wilderness area that is popular for a reason. The hot springs sit at 11,200 feet of elevation near the treeline below Castle Peak, surrounded by the Maroon Bells-SnowMass Wilderness. It is best visited during the summer, which is also the busiest time of year, so planning ahead is best. I have personally done this hike multiple times and have learned a lot in the process – so buckle up and get ready for all the deets!

First and foremost let’s dive into how to get to the trailhead. From Aspen, drive 1⁄2 mile west on highway 82 to the Roundabout. Go around the Roundabout and turn right onto Castle Creek Road. Drive approximately 5 miles up Castle Creek Road and then turn right onto Conundrum Road. Continue 1.1 miles to a parking lot at the trailhead. Be careful not to stray onto the numerous private driveways found along the road. Trailhead parking is limited. Parking is prohibited on Conundrum Road. This narrow road is on a county right-of-way over private property.

Alright, now let’s talk about the hike itself. It’s roughly 8.5 miles one way and for the motivated and physically prepared hiker, can be done as a day hike. However, it is more popular to backpack here and take the time to soak in the springs and soak in the views. Overnight camping permits are required for camping above Silver Dollar Pond and can be obtained through Bear canisters are required in the overnight permit zone. You will also need to bring something to dispose of your own waste. The hike itself is fairly gradual for the first few miles and then gains more elevation as you get closer to the springs. Keep in mind that it is located at a higher elevation and, especially with a heavy pack on, can be very strenuous. Start early and show up prepared. Even if you are only planning on day hiking, be sure to pack the 10 essentials. For full trail details and conditions check out AllTrails.

A few things to mention – due to it’s high elevation, the area still gets pretty cold at night no matter what time of the year so be sure to pack proper layering systems, sleeping gear, shoes, hats, gloves, etc so you don’t have a cold, sleepless night if you are backpacking. Another thing to keep in mind is getting dried off thoroughly after soaking in the hot springs is an important part of staying warm after the sun goes down as well so be prepared with the proper gear to stay dry and warm. I was surprised just how cold it got one the sun went down, even in the month of July – so come prepared!

If you are going to make the trek to Conundrum, conditioning and trail prep can be extremely helpful. This hike, years ago, was actually the experience that sparked my Fit For Hiking Guides. I showed up and felt unprepared physically doing this hike – so I did something about it! I weaved my expertise and knowledge as a certified personal trainer into a program specifically designed to help women feel strong on trail. After testing out my own methods, I redid the Conundrum hike and felt a night and day difference. This first hand experience is why I am so confident in hybrid-style strength training. If you want to feel confident showing up to your hikes, be sure to check out the guides, and if you’d like to take your training to the next level, check out my Mountain Metabolic 1:1 coaching program. Our team is extremely passionate about helping women show up as their best, strongest selves!

Happy + Healthy Trails,


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