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Smuggler Mountain is a beautiful, convenient Aspen hike for all skill levels

Posted: 2 May 2012

BLOG NOTE: This blog post is from a previous season. To view our most recent blog posts, click here.

Frias Properties extranet specialist Jenny Jacque has been taking advantage of the wonderful weather this spring to hike Smuggler Mountain during her lunch breaks. Smuggler Mountain is a well-known Aspen landmark and the one-and-a-half-mile trail is one of the most popular workouts for mountain bikers, runners and hikers. The hike provides great scenery all along the way, leading to a platform at the top which has an amazing view of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. From there, hikers can return down the mountain or continue on to the Hunter Creek loop for an added challenge. Below, Jenny sits down with our blog team to share her experiences.

Q: What's the attraction of hiking Smuggler? Why do people like it so much?

A: "Smuggler is a quick easy hike that most people can do on their lunch break or after work. You can easily make it up and down in under an hour. Once up, their the view is great and you can turn it into a much longer hike if you choose to by adding on the Hunter Creek loop."

Q: On a scale of 1-10, how hard of a hike is it?

A: "A 3 or 4."

Q: How long does it take?

A: "I average about 25 minutes up, 15 down."

Q: When do you like to go -- morning, noon, night?

A: "Lunch break or after work -- it depends on when someone can join me as I rarely go alone."

Q: What's your normal gear?

A: "Work out sweats, runners, and music."

Q: How often do you go?

A: "I haven't been keeping track. I go up Smuggler about three times during the week and try to do something longer on the weekends."

Q: What's the difference between going alone and with someone?

A: "I rarely go alone because I like to talk along the way. It makes the time go by faster to have someone with you. And sometimes when I want to get a really good workout from it I take someone with me that is really going to push me to go faster."

Q: Do you remember the first time?

A: "Yes, I made the front page of the Aspen Times on my first trip up. It was amusing because I had never been up and then there was a guy taking pictures. He asked my name and bam, the next day it was front-page news."

Q: What's your favorite part of the hike?

A: "Running into people I know. It happened just the other day. I had a friend that moved out of town and she just happened to be back in town for the weekend. We got the opportunity the catch up for a bit."

Q: Do you celebrate at the top a la Rocky Balboa?

A: "I have never celebrated like that, but it is a great idea. My goal is to run up by the end of the summer, if I accomplish this I'm sure I will celebrate Rocky Balboa style. I might even throw on a little 'Eye of the Tiger' while doing it."

Q: What other hikes do you enjoy besides Smuggler?

A: "I hike the Ute Trail sometimes during lunch in the summer, but think that it might be too muddy right now so haven't been up it yet. Sometimes on weekends I go all the way up Aspen Mountain. I have recently discovered the Arbaney-Kittle trail this spring and thought that was a great hike down valley. Excellent views of the Frying Pan from top."

Q: What other outdoor activities do you like?

A: "I like doing anything outside. I normally do a lot of jogging in the summer training for a marathon. I really want to do some 14ers. Been wanting to do that for a while and I have a few friends who said they would go with me this summer. I also enjoy rafting, biking, and going camping."

Frias Properties of Aspen has a number of units available for spring and summer rental, all within walking distance of Smuggler Mountain.