Hiking in Crested Butte, Colorado

Easy Hikes in Crested Butte

Beaver Ponds

Some of the best aspen trails can be experienced on this short, but rewarding hike up to the Beaver Ponds. The nearby Anthracite Range can be reflected in the ponds on a calm day. A scenic drive via Ohio Pass is also part of the great experience to get to this trailhead.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • RT Length: 1.1 miles
  • Approx. Time: 1 hour
  • Elevation Gain: 187 feet
  • Max Elevation: 9,613 feet
  • Trailhead Elevation: 9,418 feet
  • Travel Time to TH: 35 minutes

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is a short and sweet hike to one of the most picturesque high alpine lakes in the area. Just a short drive from town and you’ll get a treat of beautiful emerald colored waters in a basin of steep pine and wildflower covered hillsides.

  • Highlights: Wildflowers, Mountain Vistas
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • RT Length: .75 miles
  • Approx. Time: 30 minutes
  • Trailhead Elevation: 11,432 feet
  • Travel Time to TH: 40 minutes

Woods Walk

Despite being one of the easiest trails in the area, this trail offers great views of Mt. CB, Peanut Lake, Gothic Mountain, and the Slate River Valley. Enjoy some mixed wildflowers in the summer and aspen foliage in the fall.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • RT Length: 2.8 miles
  • Approx. Time: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 213 feet
  • Max Elevation: 9,045 feet
  • Trailhead Elevation: 9,042 feet
  • Travel Time to TH: 5 minutes

Lower Loop

This popular trail is perfect for a more extended walk/hike, townie ride, or mountain bike ride. Beautiful views of the Slate River Valley and Paradise Divide can be soaked in from a number of benches that are located throughout the early part of the trail.

  • Highlights: Mountain views, Wildflowers
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • RT Length: 6.4 miles
  • Approx. Time: 3 hours RT
  • Elevation Gain: 640 feet
  • Max Elevation: 9,096 feet
  • Trailhead Elevation: 8,904 feet
  • Travel Time to TH: 5 minutes

Brush Creek

Brush Creek is a quick drive from town and typically missed by visitors. Located on the east side of Mt. Crested Butte, this trail takes you through hillsides where wildflowers flourish in the summer. It’s hard to find a better wildflower trail this close to town.

  • Highlights: Wildflowers, 13er views: Teocalli, White Rock
  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • Bike Difficulty: Beginner
  • RT Length: 4.29 miles
  • Approx. Hike Time: 2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 315 feet
  • Max Elevation: 9,134 feet
  • Trailhead: West Brush Creek
  • Trailhead Elevation: 8,949 feet
  • Travel Time to TH: 10 minutes

Long Lake (Meridian Lake)

Care for a swim? This is your trail. In addition to offering refreshing fresh water lake swimming (perfect for triathletes wanting to get their miles in), Long Lake is home to a variety of wildflower species, which bloom along its perimeter.

  • Highlights: Aspen, Wildflowers, Swimming Aspen, Wildflowers, Swimming
  • RT Length: 2.4 miles .5 miles
  • Approx. Time: 1-2 hours RT 1-2 hours RT
  • Elevation Gain: 515 feet 280 feet
  • Max Elevation: 9,690 feet 9,683 feet
  • Trailhead Elevation: 9,432 feet 9,472 feet
  • Travel Time to TH: 10 minutes 11 minutes

Judd Falls

A short drive past Mt. Crested Butte into the East River Valley, and just past the old mining town of Gothic lies the Judd Falls trailhead. This is a pretty short, but rocky trail peppered with wildflowers in the summer and golden aspens in the falls. Views of Mt. Crested Butte and Gothic Mountain dominate the scenery.

  • Highlights: Aspen, Waterfalls, Wildflowers
  • Difficulty: Easy, Rocky Trail
  • Length: 1 mile
  • Approx. Time: 45 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 166 feet
  • Max Elevation: 9,882 feet
  • Trailhead Elevation: 9,824 feet
  • Travel Time to TH: 30 minutes

Moderate Hikes in Crested Butte


The toughest hike of this list offers the best views of Mt. Crested Butte. Wildflowers smother the surrounding hillsides in early/mid summer. Feel free to turn around at any point, since this is an out and back hike. We recommend the less busy Snodgrass Mountain trail (vs the Snodgrass Trail) to avoid mountain bike traffic and especially in the fall for aspen foliage.

  • Highlights: Mt. CB views, Wildflowers, Aspen
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Approx. Time: 3.5 hours RT
  • Elevation Gain: 1,421 feet
  • Max Elevation: 11,142 feet
  • RT Length: 6.09 miles
  • Trailhead Elevation: 9,612 feet
  • Trailhead: Snodgrass Trailhead
  • Travel Time to TH: 10 minutes
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