Crested Butte Hikes: Swampy Pass

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Just off of Ohio Pass Road, this hike offers some of the best aspens in the valley. Wildflowers blanket hillsides in the summer and views of the iconic Castles rock formations in the West Elk Wilderness are seen any time of year.

To Viewpoint
Highlights:Mountain Views, Aspens
RT Length:3.36 miles RT
Approx. Time:2 hours
Elevation Gain:965 feet
Max Elevation:9,483 feet
Trailhead Elevation:9,022 feet
Travel Time to TH:35 minutes

Click photos to view multi-season gallery


From the Town of Crested Butte: Take Whiterock Ave west out of town as it turns into Kebler Pass Road. Drive 6.5 miles to the sign for Ohio Pass on your left. Bear left and stay on the Ohio Pass Road [1] for 5.2 miles to a the trailhead, which is well marked on your left side along with a parking lot and outhouse. 


Starting from the parking lot  the trails starts with a short climb [2] that levels out to a wonderful view of the Ohio Valley[3]. From here enter beautiful aspen forest [4] and continue for .8 miles until reaching a sign for wilderness boundary. Take the right hand trail [5] and continue through the aspens until arriving at a  small meadow with great views of the Castles[6]


Most of this trail lies in the West Elk Wilderness. Practice 'leave no trace' principles. Trash and human waste can take decades to decompose in an alpine environment. Pack it in, pack it out with all trash. There is a restroom at the lower parking lot. Try and use it before your hike. More information on how to handle waste in the backcountry can be found here.

Trail Map & Profile


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