Crested Butte Trails: Green Lake (Mt. Axtell)

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This close-to-town hike is a popular one with the locals for a quick getaway. The trail is moderate on foot, and the steady uphill gradient provides a great workout. Finish with a refreshing dip in the lake or just admire the abundance of trout who make their home there.

Highlights:Aspen, lake
RT Length:9 miles
Approx. Time:4-5 hours
Elevation Gain:1,957 feet
Max Elevation:10,598 feet
Trailhead Elevation:8,940 feet
Travel Time to TH:5 minutes

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Drive west on Elk Ave, turn left on Second Street and go to the Nordic Center parking lot. There are no signs indicating the trailhead, walk southwest on the gravel road on the south side of the Nordic Center, around the corner. There are trail signs from that point on.


Start at the Crested Butte Nordic Center in Town. Hike behind the building on a doubletrack heading Southeast [1]. This eventually leads to a road and the first trail sign directing you to take a right on this road. Just under a half mile later, another sign will direct you to the left and the start of the Green Lake trail singletracks [2]The climb starts here and doesn't relent much. Switchback your way up the mountain through the dark timber [3] steeply at times until getting dumped out to another road [4]. A sign directs you to take a right on this road. About 1/2 mile on the road, another sign directs you to get back onto singletrack to your left. Wind your way up through the dark timber and enjoy the rugged trail on the way. The trail eventually starts opening up, stay straight at the intersection for Carbon Creek trail [5]. Once at the lake [6] marvel in its beauty, enjoy a swim, and get ready to turn around and hike back the way you came.

Green Lake Crested Butte Colorado

Trail Map & Profile


This is a pet friendly trail, abide by the leash law at all times. Yield trail right of way to all others when hiking with your dog. Tread lightly on the trail to avoid damaging the ecosystem and remember to pack out all doggy doo.

This is a popular bike trail so watch out for bikers. When riding, yield to horses, hikers, and uphill riders. Don't ride trails when muddy and bike to the trailhead if possible. Be considerate to other users, the land, and local landowners.

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