Thursday, August 27, 2015

More Hikes Near Crested Butte


I was looking for a hike close to town in an area we hadn’t been and came across the Brush Creek trail. Just over two miles long, this fairly level out and back trail passes through the very scenic East River Valley.


At around 9,000’ the flowers were almost gone but it would be a nice walk earlier in the summer. The trail also passes through several aspen stands and would be a good hike when the leaves are changing.





This cow blocked the trail but Jim kept heading for her and she finally moved. They are so big they make me nervous, even though I assured her we don’t eat them.



The next day we took a drive up Gothic Road through the ski area and just past the former mining community of Gothic, which is home to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, founded in 1928 and still doing research on plants, animals, and climate change. Our destination was the Copper Creek trail to Judd Falls and beyond.


We parked just off Gothic Road, which added another half mile to the falls, but Chuck drove their Jeep to the upper trailhead, a very rocky, rutted road. We saw a Honda Accord parked about 3/4ths of the way up but Jim didn’t want to risk the Subaru driving up there. Maybe we’ll get skid plates put on one of these days, which would lessen the anxiety of a rock puncturing the oil pan.

It’s a couple hundred feet of climbing to the falls.



But after that the trail levels off and continues on another 4+ miles to Copper Lake, or you can keep going beyond the lake for another 9 miles or so and be in Aspen.






We turned back after 3.5 miles. I tried but just couldn’t talk anyone into going all the way to the lake. There were several stream crossings, and on this one Jim and Chris decided not to follow the masses (Chuck, Carla, Debbie and me) and both ended up with water over their hiking boots.


An unexplained giant cairn on the side of the trail that didn’t appear to be marking anything.


Carla, demonstrating her skill at walking backwards.


We got out of Crested Butte before a couple of rainy days, and are now back at Steven’s Creek near Gunnison for shopping, propane, and laundry. Not sure where we’re heading next.


  1. That sky looks fabulous for a hike. Y'all have been having some gorgeous weather for your adventures. Great photos! Enjoy.

  2. Just beautiful! I also have a hard time finding companions to do more than 2 miles when my husband has to work.

  3. Hi, this is Allison on Jim's account. Great photography and beautiful surroundings. I'll be looking back on these posts next year when we start planning the fall travel season. Colorado is just lovely.

  4. From you terrific pictures, it's clear to me that you will have to come back to hike Brush Creek again in both the spring and the fall. Maybe by then you can talk folks in walking all the way to Aspen on the Copper Creek Trail. I'll hang out at those lovely falls until you all come back for me. Guess that honda parked 3/4 of the way up means Ruby can't go and I'll have to hitch a ride with someone who was wiser when they bought a toad.

  5. Fun trails! I bet the Brush Creek Trail was nice for a change:) Such beautiful scenery:)

    I had to laugh when I read you didn't know where you were headed next. Sounds like us! We are in eastern Nebraska til Sunday but from here...we don't know yet! Isn't it great!

    1. We kind of screwed up our summer plans by spending almost 5 weeks in Ouray;-) Wanted to go north, then west to Utah but since it's almost Sept and the places we were planning to go like Leadville and Steamboat Springs are at such high elevation, it is going to be a lot colder than we like so now we can't decide. Such dilemmas!

  6. What do you mean, "go all the way to the lake??" You should have gone all the way to Aspen! ;-)

  7. Colorado has my vote for the most beautiful hikes anywhere. I continue to be stunned by how gorgeous it looks in your pictures. Everywhere we've been this summer is dry and smokey.

  8. I love it when a waterway snakes across a valley! I could so picture myself living in that house all by itself with the BIG views!

    I too am kind of afraid of cows. Hans always plows on through straight at them, I hang back until he gets them out of the way!

  9. I think I have seen the most beautiful photos of the area and then here comes another post. You two are seeing such breathtaking vistas.

  10. Another beautiful hike. I can see why you've spent the time there. Love the deep gorge and the velvet rolling hills. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Ah, to be spending time in one of my favorite places... so jealous. We've taken Gothic road up and around Emerald Lake to Shoffield Pass and back down Washington Gulch having to stop for cows - One of my most memorable back country road excursions. Can't wait to return next summer and take in some of the amazing hiking trails. I'm enjoying you're adventures!

  12. Love following your travels. Thank you for sharing. I think this post may explain the derivation of "COWard"? -- Anne P

  13. Seems like all seasons, except winter, would be great for hiking here. I hear ya' about summer winding down at elevation. But then in southern UT it still feels like summer.