Crested Butte Trails: Snodgrass Trail

In Hiking guide by Josh Futterman

Close to town lies another short, but rewarding hike through thick aspen groves and lush wildflower meadows. Snodgrass Trail also showcases mountain views including superb panoramas of Mt. Crested Butte.

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Highlights:Aspen, Wildflowers, Mt. CB views
Hike Difficulty:Easy to Moderate
Bike Difficulty:Intermediate
Length:3.6 miles (one-way)
Approx. Hike Time:2 hours
Elevation Gain:832 feet
Max Elevation:10,009 feet
Trailhead Elevation (Wash. Gulch):9,523 feet
Drive Time to TH:10 minutes

Click photos to view multi-season gallery

Directions

Starting from Washington Gulch (start low, end high): From the Town of Crested Butte, take Gothic Road (Route 135) north 1.75 miles to Washington Gulch Road. Turn left and drive for another 3 miles to a small parking area [1] just ahead of the signed trailhead [2].  Map

Starting from Gothic Road (start high, end low, preferred for MTB): From the Town of Crested Butte: Take Gothic Road (135) North toward the Mt. Crested Butte. Stay on this road for 4.3 miles as you ascend past the ski resort to its highest point, just before it turns off into Gothic Valley. Park on the left side of the road just past the portable toilet. The trailhead is at the fence line and well marked:  Map

Route

Starting from Washington Gulch: The sign at the trailhead [3] will let you know if it’s open. Begin by hiking a mellow grade through open meadows as you make your way to thick aspen forest [4]. Wildflowers grace the open meadows in between the aspen groves [5].

Further up the trail scenic panoramas of Mt.Crested Butte [6] and Whetstone Mountain [7] open up. The route gets a bit steeper here as you make your way east. Cross a log bridge over a small stream [9] and continue through wildflower covered hillsides [10]. Walk over the stairs [11] and head back down to the trailhead parking lot (if you parked another vehicle there).

Starting from Gothic Road: From the trailhead sign [A], walk the steps over the fence (if the gate is closed), that lead you to the left side of the road. Follow the steep dirt road (this is a pretty tough climb) as it quickly ascends the hillside, providing wide vistas every look back. Wildflowers flourish here in the summertime. Pass a dilapidated cabin on your right side [B] as you get closer to the aspens.

The trail eventually splits, just after you walk the steps over the next barb wire fence [11].  Stay to your left and follow the trail to where you’ll eventually run into a log bridge [9] and continue on undulating hillside where scenic panoramas of Mt.Crested Butte [6] and Whetstone Mountain [7] open up. The last half of Snodgrass trail in this direction is a windy descent in and out of thick aspen groves [4].

Notes

This trail closes seasonally in the fall and re-opens late spring. Turn around at any point for an out-and-back hike. This trail receives a fair amount of mountain bike traffic, mostly starting from Gothic. The start from Gothic is steep (some may have to hike-a-bike) with a long climb until the trail begins to level out a bit. Seasonal closure in the fall is marked at both trailheads.

Click photos to view multi-season gallery

Trail Map & Profile

More Hiking Guides:

 Head back to the Hiking Guide for more hikes like this
 Don’t forget your Mountain Manners!
 Looking for wildflowers on your hike? Check out our Wildflower Guide!

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