Top 6 Hikes Near Crested Butte

There is no shortage of amazing hikes surrounding the beautiful town of Crested Butte. Ranked from easiest to hardest, these are 6 of the best hikes you’ll find nearby that provide relatively quick access from our Crested Butte vacation rentals.

Judd Falls Trail

One of the more scenic easy trails near Crested Butte, the popular Judd Falls trail offers great views of Gothic Mountain, lush wildflowers, and of the course a stunning waterfall overlook. This hike is perfect for families and anyone who wants to enjoy nature without committing to a long and strenuous hike. We recommend parking at the lower Judd Fall/Copper Creek trailhead, but 4wd vehicles can drive about a half-mile up the rough road to the small upper parking lot.

Length: 2.2 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy
Trailhead: Judd Falls/Copper Creek
Local Tip: The free bus service to the trailhead has been suspended for 2020.

Snodgrass Mountain Trail

Offering direct views of Mt. Crested Butte and beautiful aspen groves the Snodgrass Mountain Trail is also a great place to catch the sunset. Located just a short distance up Gothic Road from the resort base area, this an excellent option if you want to stay close to town. The first mile of the trail has some of the most beautiful aspen groves, making this a great hike to shorten if you’re pressed for time.

Length: 6 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Trailhead: Snodgrass Trailhead
Local Tip: This trail is also used by bikers, so make sure to stay alert!

Rustler Gulch

Well known for its diverse landscape and wildflowers, Rustler Gulch is the perfect summer hike that offers stunning views of not only the surrounding mountains but also waterfalls cascading into the valley. The hike takes you through pristine meadows and even crosses a couple of streams as you ascend higher into the valley. Once you near the end of the valley, you’ll be treated to a view of 13,000 ft. Precarious Peak and the turnaround point near the waterfalls, which make for a great spot to relax before turning back. 
Length: 7 miles roundtrip     
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: Rustler Gulch
Local Tip: If you’re not quite done by the waterfall at 3.5 miles into the hike, you can continue hiking up past the waterfall.

Green Lake Trail

This mostly wooded hike takes you up to a pristine alpine lake located at the base of Mt. Axtell. As you ascend up to the lake, take in the quiet beauty of the dense, dark forest that offers a great alternative to the many meadows that the area is famous for. The trail is marked well and follows singletrack and old mining roads. Once you near the lake, stay straight on the Carbon Creek Trail, and you will arrive at Green Lake! The trailhead is located behind the Crested Butte Nordic Center, which makes for convenient and easy parking.
Length: 8.5 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: Crested Butte Nordic
Local Tip: Not to be confused with the other nearby Green Lake located off of Kebler Pass Road near Irwin.

Mt. Crested Butte

There are two options for the iconic hike to the summit of 12,162 ft. Crested Butte. The first, and most recommended, is taking the Silver Queen Express up the mountain and then beginning your hike to the summit. ($25 for adults, $22 for children 5-12, free for children 4 and under) The second option is hiking from the base area following the Lower Westside, Middle Westside, and Silver Queen Road to the top of the chairlift which increases the distance to over 7 miles. Whether you choose the first or second option, downhill rides on the Silver Queen Express are free!
Length: 2 miles roundtrip (from the top of the Silver Queen Express)
Difficulty: Hard
Trailhead: Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Local Tip: The final portion of the summit involves some scrambling and steep terrain, so be prepared for a challenge!

Crested Butte to Aspen

One of the area’s most famous hikes and a bucket list experience for many visitors to the area, hiking from Crested Butte to Aspen is a full day adventure that you will remember for a lifetime! Since this is a point to point hike, you can arrange for a shuttle to take you back to Crested Butte, spend the night in Aspen, or hike there and back on the same day. We recommend arranging for a shuttle with Dolly’s Mountain shuttle service which specializes in providing transportation for hikers- you can find more information on our transportation page.

Length: 10 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Hard
Trailhead: Schofield Pass (Crested Butte) or Maroon Lake (Aspen)
Local Tip: While the hike is only 10 miles in one direction, driving to Aspen from Crested Butte takes nearly 4 hours due to the roads taking you all the way around the mountains.

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