Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
40.00 ft (12.19 m)
Trail type
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

One of the most popular destinations for outstanding hikes in the Aspen area, The Grottos is a wonderful playground for families and water lovers as well. The Grottos offers easy hiking for all ages, lots of picturesque waterfalls and cascades, marvelous carved rock formations, deep fissured ice caves (which may or may not have any ice depending on the season), and it is all within a short drive from Aspen.

This is an area where the crystal clear Roaring Fork River drops steeply through a boulder field and heavily eroded rock, forming green pools among the aspens. There is a network of trails, formal and social, that allows easy exploration of the small area. The official loop trail is about 0.6 miles, but most people will do more than that.

The infamous Independence Pass is just up the steep road to the east, and many trailheads are in the area for a variety of longer hiking adventures (Linkins Lake, Independence Lake, Lost Man Lake to name a few). Devil's Punchbowl is a very popular swimming hole during the summer months, and Weller Campground and Difficult Campground are both nearby.

If you are moving from The Grottos over Independence Pass, note that vehicles over 35 feet are not allowed.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Fun, accessible area. Beautiful creek. Interesting "ice caves."


Short hiking trails.

Trailhead Elevation

9,570.00 ft (2,916.94 m)




Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado


Fantastic little spot - I look forward to visiting it again in the winter
In the spring the ice can make an amazing photo op if your will in to do some extra exploring and don't mind getting a little wet.
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