Crested Butte Hikes: Augusta Mountain

In Hiking guide by Eric Phillips

Looking for one of the best hikes in Crested Butte? This one has it all: dramatic mountain views, waterfalls,  and lush wildflowers. A difficult yet rewarding summit is a must for the avid hiker. Only a 15 minute drive from town gets you to the lower trailhead, where the long hike up Augusta Mountain awaits.


 Augusta MountainUnnamed Lake
Highlights:Views, Wildflowers, LakeViews, Wildflowers, Lake
Difficulty:Very HardVery Hard
RT Length:12 miles10 miles
Approx. Time:8-10 hours7-8 hours
Elevation Gain:3,411 feet2602 feet
Max Elevation:12,559 feet11,750 feet
Trailhead Elevation:9,148 feet9,148 feet
Travel Time to TH:15 minutes15 minutes

Click photos to view multi-season gallery

Directions

4x4 required to reach upper trailhead From the Town of Crested Butte: Take Gothic Road (135) north 0.8 miles to Slate River Road (734). Turn left and drive 7.2 miles up the valley to Poverty Gulch Road and a wide open gravel area next to the slate river, we suggest you park here. From this point a high clearance 4x4 vehicle is required. Turn left and cross the Slate River, but check the depth. Pass waterfalls just after the crossing. Drive 2 miles up a rocky and often deep puddle filled road [2]. There is a parking area just before where the road crosses the creek. Do not drive across the creek (boulders block the road).  Map

Route

Starting from the Slate River, cross it and follow the road up [2] passing waterfalls on your left. After 2 miles arrive at the crossing for Poverty Creek. Cross Poverty Creek over one of the many paths of logs or boulders [3]. Ascend the unmaintained mining road into Baxter Basin as the views begin to open up.. Continue up the road[4], which can be lined with a variety of wildflowers and even wild strawberries and raspberries later in the season[5]. 

Stay on the road as you pass the turnoff for Daisy Pass and follow the road as it climbs up through old mining areas[6] turning to singletrack [7] just before a saddle with views of Augusta and Mineral point [8]. From the saddle the trail to Augusta is easy to lose as it hangs left above a scree patch, and makes its way up to the ridge on the left side of Augusta[9][10].

Lake Route: To reach the lake continue straight from the saddle as the trail winds its way down across the basin to the lake. The trail can disappear, so best to keep a higher route or worst case head toward Angel Pass on trail and then descend toward it within clear view. 

Peak Route: Take in the stunning views of Kebler Pass, Marcellina Mountain, and Dark Canyon from Angel Pass [11]. From there, follow the ridge and well defined trail up to the summit with the steepest scramble happening on the summit push. Once at the top enjoy 360 degree views of Crested Butte and the Maroon Bells off in the distance [12].

Mineral Point: For those with experience you can make your way down the class 3 ridge and summit Mineral Point, a small offshoot of Augusta offering great views back down the valley. This is not recommended for inexperienced hikers as there is a lot of exposure.  Hike back down the same way you went up.


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For longer hikes its a good idea to carry a few extra things in your pack. Make sure to bring extra food and water, rain gear, a map or GPS, sun protection, and a flashlight in case your hike goes late. More information on what to pack can be found here.

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Weather in the mountains can change very fast. During the summer months it is common to have thunderstorms developing during the afternoon in the high country. Check the weather forecast before you go. Keep your eyes on the clouds and know when to turn back.

Trail Map & Profile




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Enjoying this trail? Help support the people who maintain it. Donate to the Crested Butte Conservation Corps.