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.