The Crested Butte Hiking Guide

In More Sweat, Popular, Summer & Fall, TAPPby Kryptonite Creative

Starting in May and going through October, the hiking season is a great time to explore the surrounding mountains of Crested Butte. Known as the wildflower capital of Colorado, CB is an incredible place to experience summer flowers in incredible mountain landscapes. Beyond summer, golden aspens shine in late September and October. The Gunnison National Forest, which includes five wilderness areas, ensures pristine conditions and memorable experiences.

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In this guide you will find important information on how to minimize your impact on trails and outdoor areas in Crested Butte. Here's what you'll see:

  • General trail etiquette, trail conditions, and warnings
  • Important gear information to be fully prepared for each hike
  • Safety information in regards to encountering wildlife and weather
  • Tips and guidelines for keeping trails and natural areas pristine

Filter the guide below by clicking on only one of the criteria (it’s exclusionary) in a category above the trail images: Difficulty, Features, and Time.

Legend   
E = EasyM = ModerateS = StrenuousVS = Very Strenuous


Interactive Google Map

Interactive Google Map

**Be careful out there and know your limits. Altitude, trail conditions, surrounding hikers, wildlife, and more all play a hand in hikes.**


Difficulty

Difficulty is subjective, however we incorporate a number of elements into the Crested Butte hiking guide to help distinguish how strenuous each trail will be for you. This includes: total milage, steepness, trail conditions, altitude, and elevation gain.


Hiking Times

Hiking times are even more subjective than assessing difficulty. Your fitness and pace will ultimately determine how long each trail will take. For our assessment, we estimated the times based on a leisurely pace of + or – 2 miles per hour depending on the gradient of the trial. These times don’t include stopping for rest or long meals, but with a short intermissions for snacks or photos.


Weather

It’s always recommended to check the weather forecast the night before your trip. Keep in mind, much of the hiking season here is also during the monsoon season, when afternoon thunderstorms occur like clockwork. Many trails take you above the tree line and  expose you to lightning. If dark storm clouds are brewing, it’s best to head down to lower elevation immediately. Temperatures can fluctuate dramatically, especially with rainfall, so be prepared with proper clothing and layers. A rule of thumb is to be at your highest place before noon.