Crested Butte Trails: Mt. Crested Butte Summit

In Hiking guide, Trail by Kryptonite Creative

The town’s namesake begs to be summited. A short, steep, and rewarding hike starts by taking the Silver Queen lift from the Crested Butte Mountain Resort base area up to 11,340 feet. This peak can also be hiked all the way from the base area for free. From the summit you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views in the area: all of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and towns. You can also hike or run from the base area for a much longer and more challenging day.

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Highlights:Mountain top views of everything
Difficulty:Very Strenuous
RT Length:2 miles RT
Approx. Time:2 hours RT
Elevation Gain:1,248 feet
Max Elevation:12,162 feet
Trailhead Elevation:11,430 feet (top of lift)
Travel Time to TH:10 minutes

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From the Town of Crested Butte: Take Gothic Road (Route 135) north 2.4 miles up toward the ski base area. Free parking is available just past Treasury Road on your right. A second free parking lot is located just past The Plaza. Turn right on Snowmass Road and the lot is located past The Plaza covered parking lot on the right. Lift tickets are $20 for adults for a round trip (free ride down if you hike from the base area). Call (877) 547-5143 for lift times or more info.  Map


From the base area, hop on the Silver Queen lift [1]. From the top of the lift, head left and uphill into the trees where there is a sign. The trail starts climbing wooden steps through the forest [3]. Continue up until the trail levels out near some picnic tables [4]. Here you’ll see the remainder of the summit block and a highly visible trail up the saddle [5]. The path gets steeper as you head up past the tree line and top out with views of the town of Crested Butte south [6]. Follow the trail to the right and back down a few hundred feet before ascending a steep, slippery slope (which can be covered with snow) to a signed viewpoint [7].

Get ready for some more serious climbing and scrambling through the boulders that make up the summit. The trail gets faint further up, but shouldn’t get more difficult than basic scrambling [9]. When in doubt, keep going up. Some rocks will move under foot so be sure to use your hands for balance. You’ll notice a couple plaques, memorials, and flags once you reach the top [10].


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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Trail Map & Profile

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