Crested Butte Winter Trails: Washington Gulch

In Fat Biking Guide, Nordic Guide, Snow Shoe Guide by

Less than a 10 minute drive from either downtown or Mt. Crested Butte, Washington Gulch offers a variety of recreational opportunities to be enjoyed by the whole family (including dogs). If you’re visiting from out of town, prefer non-ski activities, or just want to see a different side of the Butte in winter, this is your spot. Enjoy views of Gothic Mountain, Crested Butte, and Whetstone as you adventure through snow covered meadows.

Highlights:Deep snow, panoramic views
Activities:Fat bike, nordic ski, snowshoe, backcountry ski, hike
Length:As far as desired
Approx. Time:Depending on activity
Elevation Gain:Depending on route length
Trailhead Elevation:9,500 feet
Travel Time to TH:5 minutes from town, 5 minutes from Mt. CB
Snow Machine Traffic:Some
Dog Friendly:Yes
Groomed:User compacted

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From the Town of Crested Butte, take Gothic Road (Route 135) north 1.75 miles. Turn left onto Washington Gulch Road and drive 2.4 miles. to signed TH and the dirt (snow) parking lot on the left.  Map


This trail sees lots of use from snowmobilers, skiers, snowshoers, walkers, and dogs. This is a user compacted trail and conditions may vary. From the trailhead the road stays pretty mellow with a few climbs here and there as it makes it way towards the base of Gothic Mountain. Here it opens up to beautiful snow covered meadows with views of surrounded snow covered peaks. The road meanders through the meadow towards the base of Gothic Mountain. After the meadow it heads into aspen and pine forest along the West side of Gothic Mountain. Past here the road continues up to the Townsite of Elkton. Past Elkton the terrain steepens and goes into avalanche terrain, Enter at your own risk. We recommend turning around after the first 2.5 miles but turn around at any point to make your trip shorter. This is an out and back trail so be sure save energy for the way out and enjoy the snow!


Washington Gulch is an active motorized recreation corridor with many different users. Yield to other users and share the trail with everyone. Be aware other users especially snowmobiles.


The trail is pet friendly but make sure to 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.

Trail Map


Enjoying this trail? Help support the people who maintain it. Donate to the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association.