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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-mi round-trip to Judd Falls, located within the Gunnison National Forest near the ghost town of Gothic. The path slices through groves of aspen and, in spring, 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 now-deserted 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-mi 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, 18 mi from Crested Butte. Trailhead: Lost Lake Campground, Forest Rd. 706, Crested Butte, CO, 81224.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The maintenance roads at the 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, following well-signed roads and paths to the summit at 12,162 feet, where you can take in the entire Crested Butte valley. You can also take the Silver Queen or Red Lady lifts to the top and walk down. Crested Butte, CO, 81224.
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