You simply can’t go wrong hiking Judd Falls or any trail near Crested Butte.
Judd Falls is a hike for all levels and if new to hiking, you’ll soon be hooked!
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The drive from Crested Butte Mountain was so intensely beautiful with expansive views and wildflowers everywhere. And I mean wildflowers everywhere!
A photographer’s dream. We stopped often on our drive to the trailhead just to take it all in.
Judd Falls is just past the town of Gothic, about 6 miles north of Mount Crested Butte.
Park in the parking lot for Copper Creek Trail or if you have a high clearance vehicle you can drive the ½ mile up the dirt road to the upper trailhead. It’s a pretty hike up the road lined with Aspen Groves if you choose to add a bit more to your hike and park in the parking lot.
Honestly, Judd Falls and hiking towards Copper Lake is one of the easiest yet prettiest hikes we’ve done.
We came to a junction of several trailheads at the end of the road and my mind was full of “gotta come back” and do that trail and that trail and that trail!
Here’s where we discovered the trail sign for Copper Lake and added it to our hike.
We headed down the trail to Judd Falls, only a ½ mile more through fields of wildflowers and towering Aspens.
Views along the trail to Judd Falls were simply breathtaking. Here we are looking down on the historic ghost town of Gothic.
Note: The historic ghost town of Gothic is owned by Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Worth a stop at the Visitor Center which was fascinating and informative.
Pleasant easy hiking until we got closer to the Falls then the trail became quite rocky, but certainly doable for anyone.
Upon reaching Judd Falls, we came upon a small overlook, crowded with others, and took in this impressive waterfall cascading down a narrow slot canyon far below.
A small bench at the overlook dedicated to Garwood Hall Judd “the man who stayed”, is a colorful story.
Going to Judd Falls is the perfect hike if you desire a short easy trail to see one of Colorado’s most beautiful spots.
Fill your Daypack, have it ready and be prepared for outdoor adventures, click here, for a suggestion of hiking essentials to carry in your backpack at all times.
Leaving the crowds behind we headed up Copper Creek Trail and into the Maroon Bells Wilderness with the intent of going to Copper Lake.
Was so exciting! After a short uphill climb to begin the trail we stood stunned at the glorious panorama of Mountain Peaks that lay ahead.
And along the side of us fields of wildflowers…
It’s July, so I’m thinking July is a great time to hit the Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness.
Until we came upon this .. about 20 ft wide and thigh high water flowing pretty fast. We knew we were not going to see Copper Lake. It was a long debate. Should we cross?
We had only prepared for a short hike to Judd Falls. I’ve since read that there are up to 5 water crossings ahead on Copper Creek Trail.
Another trail near Crested Butte we loved that you will love too: Three Lakes Trail: 4.7 miles of gentle hiking around 3 lakes and a waterfall.
We took a side trail heading up the creek but found ourselves in a previous avalanche mess and lost the trail.
I wanted to share heading to Copper Lake as it looks to be an amazing trail and one worth mentioning. We will be back! Hopefully, you will too.
LOCATED: From the town of Crested Butte: take Gothic Rd (135) north past Mount Crested Butte. Pass the Snodgrass Trailhead Parking Lot and continue to just past the town of Gothic. Approx: 9 miles total. Park at the Copper Creek parking lot or head up the road to an upper parking area if in a high clearance vehicle or weather permitting.
Rated: easy to moderate
2.2 miles out and back from parking lot
Start Elevation: 9,600 ft. Gain 300 ft.
June – October: Best months
Gunnison National Forest
Nearest Towns: Crested Butte, Gunnison
Popular Event: Crested Butte’s Annual Wildflower Festival
Copper Creek Trail to Copper Lake
12 miles out and back
Gunnison National Forest
Trails we loved and want to share with you!
Browns Lake Trail: an adventurous day hike
Bridgeport Trail: in the Dominguez Escalante Wilderness
Ptarmigan Lake Trail: one of our all time favorites!
Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).