Crested Butte Trails: West Maroon to Hasley Pass Loop

In Hiking guide by Josh Futterman

For a hike that literally takes you off the beaten path, Hasley Pass delivers some of the most beautiful scenery in the Elk Mountains. This is a great choice for wildflower season, when the hillsides are waist high in columbine, sunflower, paintbrush, and other colorful varieties. The pass itself reveals a spectacular view of Hasley Basin and the 14,000 foot peak of Snowmass in direct view.  The return leg is both on and off trails, making route finding a bit of a challenge.

Need a place to stay? The Nordic Inn has it all with free parking, an outdoor hot tub, and friendly staff. 

Update 7/4: The snow plug at Emerald Lake is melted and Schofield pass is open. 

Highlights:Wildflowers, Mountain Vistas
Difficulty:Moderate
RT Length:5.5 miles
Approx. Time:3.5 hours
Elevation Gain:1,816 feet
Max Elevation:12,120 feet
Trailhead Elevation:10,432 feet
Travel Time to TH:45 minutes


Click photos to view multi-season gallery


Directions

SUV recommended: From the Town of Crested Butte, take Gothic Road (Route 135) north 14 miles over Schofield Pass. Shortly after the pass the well established parking lot (view [1]) and trailhead [2] is on the right side.  Map (continue past the marker on the map on rte 317 toward the trailhead/parking lot)


Route

The popular West Maroon Pass also follows the first part of this trail. However, this hike is easier overall and much less crowded. The trail starts winding through forest next to Crystal River [3]. A decaying cabin [4] is near the end of the forest. Just past there is also where the trail forks. Bear right at the fork (left is where you’ll return from).  Enter the amazing fields of wildflowers [5] and stroll through at your own pace. The columbine [6] can be particularly dense here.

The next junction is just under 2 miles in and hard to spot. Look for a short wooden sign underneath the brush [8] and take the left fork. This is where the slope kicks up for a steep climb to an alpine basin [10]. The views looking back at West Maroon Pass are fantastic at this point [9].  At the next junction follow the more defined trail left [11]. The pass is a short climb up from there and will offer stunning views [13] in every direction.

Heading down, the easy (and recommended) option is to return the way you came. For those wanting to do a loop there is no obvious trail. Leave the trail you came up and traverse at the base of the peaks across the basin [16]. You should see a well defined trail when you reach the cliffs [15 on the map]

After a steep descent, the trail flattens out and eventually continues around the other side of the ridge to the north (to the right). You’ll want to turn south (left) before this, but there is no sign to indicate exactly where. Keep watch for a shallow gully on your left and follow it, staying high on its left side. The trail will emerge and connect back to the main one from there. If you’ve missed it and feel lost, it is not too difficult to bushwhack down some of the more moderate slopes until you reach the main trail.

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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.

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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.


Click photos to view multi-season gallery


Trail Map & Profile




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

Featured Lodging


Nordic Inn
  • Pet Friendly
  • Free Parking
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14 Treasury Road, Mt. CB • (970) 349-5542 • Map

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The Nordic Inn at Mt. Crested Butte is the perfect base camp for any hike. Whatever experience or time frame you’re working with, they can help assist in planning your adventure. Enjoy comfortable accommodations including breakfast, outdoor hot tub, and friendly staff.