- Places to Explore
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Judd Falls. Nestled among three designated wilderness areas (Maroon Bells–Snowmass to the north, Raggeds to the west, and Collegiate Peaks to the east), Crested Butte is close to an extensive system of trails. One of the easiest hiking trails is the 2-miles round-trip to Judd Falls, located within the Gunnison National Forest near the former mining town of Gothic. The path slices through groves of aspen and, in summer, a crop of more than 70 local wildflower varieties. At the end, look over Judd Falls from a bench named after Garwood Judd, "the man who stayed" in the old mining town. In the wilderness areas you can find splendid trails far off the beaten path. Gunnison National Forest, off Gothic Rd., Delta, CO, 81416. 970/874–6600. www.fs.usda.gov/gmug.
Beckwith Pass. It's a 5-mile round trip up a gently sloping path to Beckwith Pass. The best time of the year for this hike is fall, when the walk back down gives you great views of the West Elk Range and the elaborate patchwork of aspen stretched out on the valleys below. Be careful at the top, where the trail is a bit confusing but the view sublime. The trail is off Kebler Pass Road, 14 miles from Crested Butte. Next to the trailhead is the start of Lost Lakes Trail, a gorgeous 3-mile loop past three lakes and a waterfall. Trailhead: Lost Lake Campground, Forest Rd. 706, Crested Butte, CO, 81224.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The maintenance roads at Crested Butte Mountain Resort make nice hiking trails in summer for moderate to serious hikers. Start at the base, and create your own path up the mountain, using well-signed roads and trails. For the path of least resistance to the peak, take the Silver Queen lift ($17) and then follow the Summit Trail for a steep half mile to the 12,162-foot summit, where you can take in the entire Crested Butte valley. Crested Butte, CO, 81224.
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