Looking to get away from the crowds this winter? About a 10 minute drive from town and a 3 minute drive from Mt. Crested Butte, the Gothic/Snodgrass trailhead offers a variety of recreational opportunities to be enjoyed by the whole family (including dogs). While bustling with activity in the summer, Gothic Valley is a quiet winter retreat in the winter. Head all the way down to the East River and enjoy the abandoned winter ghost town of Gothic.
|Highlights:||Deep snow, epic views, quiet|
|Activities:||Fat bike, nordic ski, snowshoe, backcountry ski|
|Difficulty:||Moderate to Hard|
|Length:||3 miles (one-way)|
|Approx. Time:||Depending on activity|
|Elevation Gain:||112 feet|
|Town Elevation:||9,500 feet|
|Trailhead Elevation:||9,612 feet|
|Travel Time to TH:||10 minutes from town, 3 minutes from Mt. CB|
|Snow Machine Traffic:||None|
|Groomed:||Fat Bike Grooming|
Click photos to view multi-season gallery
From Crested Butte take Gothic Road north from town for 4 miles until you reach the end of the road. Park at the Snodgrass trailhead where there is a bathroom, bustop, and signage.
This out and back trail starts from the parking area on the groomed track on the right hand side. The main road is typically packed down in the winter by nordic skiers, fat bikers, snowshoers, and hikers. Sometimes after a storm you may have to break trail. Backcountry skiers have to work hard to get back here, because the use of snowmobiles are forbidden. Follow the road as it descends two miles through aspen forest down to the valley floor. The last mile is flat as you cross the East River and arrive at the abandoned townsite of Gothic, now the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Once you reach Gothic, enjoy the quiet and stillness of the snow-covered town. Make sure to take some pictures and drink some water before following the road back the way you came up and out of the valley. Or continue beyond for a real challenge (just save enough time to make the walk back), or just go as far as you want and soak in the trail.
With the trail being mostly uphill on the way back, be sure to save some energy and bring plenty of snacks, layers, and water. This trail is very popular and sees many users of all kinds. Yield to other trail users on the road. If you bring your furry friend make sure to pick up after them. Avoid riding/hiking/skiing on the trail if warm temperatures or if you are sinking into the snow.