Crested Butte Trails: Whetstone – Upper Upper Loop

In Biking Guide, Hiking guide, Trail by

Whetstone Vista and the Upper Upper Loop offer excellent fall aspen colors. They also stay drier into the fall and in the early spring due to being at a lower elevation with southern exposure. Parts of these trails see great summer wildflower blooms as well, especially toward the Upper Upper trailhead. Enjoy some views of Whetstone Mountain on the opposite side of the valley, along with southern valley views. 

Highlights:Wildflowers, Aspen
RT Length:2.7 miles
Approx. Time:1.5 hours
Elevation Gain:443 feet
Max Elevation:9,347 feet
Trailhead Elevation:8,904 feet
Travel Time to TH:10 minutes

Click photos to view multi-season gallery


From the Town of Crested Butte: Take route 135 south 2 miles and make a left onto County Road 738 (Brush Creek Road). Continue another mile to the trailhead on the left side of the road. The is parking on the right side of the road across from the trailhead: Map


This short hike is popular with local residents who live nearby.  The trail ascends steadily through a dense aspen grove from the start [1]. Follow the trail across the private road and continue for nearly a mile until you reach the junction [2] for the Upper and Upper Upper trails. Take a right at the junction and continue ascending on the dirt and rock trail. At the high point, you can venture off trail to the right for about 20 yards and get a nice overlook of Whetstone Mountain and the valley [4]. Continue back on the somewhat steep descent to Brushcreek road.  This is where the best wildflowers are seen in the summer [5]. Take a right at the road and follow it 0.8 miles back to the trailhead.


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.


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.

Trail Map & Profile


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