Crested Butte Trails: Deer Creek Trail

In Biking Guide, Hiking guide, Trail by

With its expansive mountain views, lush wildflowers, and numerous aspen groves, Deer Creek Trail is a perfect choice for spring, summer, or fall. Some of the best views of Gothic Mountain and Crested Butte Mountain Resort can be seen from various points on this trail.

 Shuttle (whole trail)Out & Back
Highlights:Aspen, Wildflowers, Mountain VistasAspen, Wildflowers, Mountain Vistas
Difficulty:Moderate, but longModerate
RT Length:9.1 miles
6.9 miles
Approx. Hike Time:4.5 hours
3.5 hours
Elevation Gain:1,909 feet
1,394 feet
Max Elevation:10,581 feet
10,331 feet
Trailhead Elevation:9,376 feet9,376 feet
Travel Time to TH:30 minutes30 minutes

Click photos to view multi-season gallery


From the Town of Crested Butte, take Gothic Road (Route 135) north past the ski resort and over to the dirt portion of the road. Descend into the valley and drive over the East River Bridge. Less than a quarter mile past the bridge is a dirt road with the sign "Deer Creek Trail 3/4 miles". Turn right and follow this .75 miles to the trailhead (may be muddy in the spring).  There is a parking area just before the signed trailhead. Map


Start out on the winding, easy trail passing other cattle trails. Do not take the first cattle trail left.  Take the second left to remain on the correct trail. The main trail is established and more distinct than any other trails you'll pass along the way. The views start to open up with Gothic Mountain dominating the west [1]. Aspen forest is less than a mile away as you continue to ascend [2]. Enjoy views of the entire valley at the top of the hill with Crested Butte on your left, Snodgrass Mountain directly ahead, and Gothic to the right [3]. This is the point to turn around for the 'Out & Back' route at nearly 3.5 miles. 

The high point is close to 7 miles in and offers a dramatic drop-off into a drainage with ski runs of Crested Butte Mountain Resort in full view. The rest of the trail descends into a heavily forested area, where you'll soon pass a mountain bike fence[10]. The last 1/3 mile of the trail ascends slightly to a signed trailhead and parking area [13].



This is a popular bike trail, so watch out for bikers. If biking yield to horses, hikers, and uphill riders. Don't ride trails when muddy and bike to the trailhead if possible. Be considerate to other users, the land, and local landowners.


Please don’t pick, cut, or walk on wildflowers or other plants. Removing wildflowers from the wild can adversely affect pollinators and other animals that depend on that species for food and cover and affect the flowers long-term survival in that location.


If hiking or biking the entire trail, you can arrange to have another vehicle wait for you at the end (shuttle).

Click photos to view multi-season gallery

Trail Map & Profile


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

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