Washington Gulch: A Winter Playground

Less than a 10 minute drive from either town or Mt. Crested Butte, Washington Gulch offers a variety of recreational opportunities to be enjoyed by the whole family (including dogs). Skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort is one of the main draws here in the winter, but if you’re visiting from out of town, prefer other activities, or just want to see a different side of the Butte in winter, this is your spot.


Backcountry skiing • Nordic skiing • Snowshoeing • Fat biking • Hiking • Dog sledding • Vista viewing


To get there, take Gothic road (route 135) in between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte and turn onto Washington Gulch Road. Cross over a few cattle guards and follow it to a parking lot at the end. This happens to be the trailhead for Meridian Lake in the summer as well.

Packed Trails

The main road is typically packed down in the winter by snowmobiles ferrying backcountry skiers to pristine powder destinations. This makes it a perfect area to nordic ski, fat bike, or even go for a trail run when it hasn’t snowed in a few days.

Head up the valley as far as you choose, turn around for the return trip, and take in the beautiful scenery!


Powder Trails

For the more adventurous and when the snow is deeper, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, and other activities allow you to explore untracked terrain and beautiful valleys in the area. As one of the most popular areas in the CB backcountry and for good reason, add Washington Gulch to your list and get out there to enjoy the mountain views and experience!