Crested Butte Trails: Meridian (Long Lake) High Point

In Hiking guide, Trail by

Trail Closed, Update 2015 from the Allen Family (property owners)

“Dear CB/Gunnison Community: We acknowledge that there has been confusion about access to Meridian Lake (aka Long Lake) so we have placed ‘No Trespassing’ signs where access ends. To be clear, the access is to the lake shore only. Please do not proceed beyond the new sign that was recently installed. We realize that this may not have been clear in the past but we appreciate your cooperation going forward. These lands are still utilized by our family ranch and their effective management is crucial to our business. Remember, access to the Lake and the Snodgrass Trail are a privilege granted to the community by the Allen Family. Don’t abuse those privileges or they may no longer be available. Thanks for your cooperation and please share.”

Highlights:Aspen, Wildflowers, Mountain Views
RT Length:1.4 miles RT (from the lake)
Approx. Time:1 hour RT
Elevation Gain:512 feet (from the lake)
Max Elevation:10,179 feet
Trailhead Elevation:9,683 feet (from the lake)
Travel Time to TH:10 minute drive, 30-45 hike to the lake


From the Town of Crested Butte, take Gothic Road (Route 135) north 1.75 miles. Turn left onto Washington Gulch Road and drive 1.5 miles. Easy Route: Park in front of the tennis courts on the right side for the easy route.  Strenuous Route: Drive another .90 miles farther to signed TH and the dirt parking lot on the left.  Map


Take one of two routes up to Meridian Lake. From the lake, continue past the north end and follow the trail as it ascends to higher ground and more wildflower patches.  Turn around for some unobstructed views of Mt. Crested Butte. The trail levels out as you continue north west through some spruce forest. Follow the route up the switchback and start the remainder your ascent in a southeast direction.

The wide views open up as you make your way through the trees and past more wildflower patches. Reach a fence at the high point (stay on the left side) and enjoy the entire Slate River Valley before you with Mt. Crested Butte and Meridian Lake on your left, Whetstone Mountain ahead and to the right, and Red Lady directly to your right.  Fantastic views of Gothic Mountain up Washington Gulch are enjoyed on the return trip.


Click here for the trail to Meridian Lake. This is one of the best places to catch a sunrise. This is also a great place to snowshoe in the winter.

More Hiking Guides:

 Head back to the Hiking Guide for more hikes like this
 Don’t forget your Mountain Manners!
 Looking for wildflowers on your hike? Check out our Wildflower Guide!