Washington Gulch trail is an alpine treat with wildflowers galore and peak views that leave you in awe and often stopping to take it all in. Hiking near Crested Butte, CO never disappoints.

Crested Butte, CO is known as the “wildflower capital of Colorado”.

Trail stats and map located at the bottom

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We started on the Washington Gulch Road Trailhead and arrived at 7 am found ourselves the first to arrive, but not for long.

The hike starts on a moderate climb switchbacking up the mountainside through the forest with astonishing views appearing beyond the trees. 

Sensational vistas as we got higher of Ruby Range with lush green terrain mixed with wildflowers along the trail. Peaceful and beautiful. The air is full of birdsong and the buzz of bees. 

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Reaching a rocky ridgeline, we arrived at the summit littered with Colorado Columbines and stunning views of the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness. It takes your breath away, stunning.

Name that wildflower with this guide > Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountain Region

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All the surrounding trails near Crested Butte never disappoint with a variety of wildflowers; it’s no wonder it’s called the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado.”

There are two trailheads for Washington Gulch. From the summit, the trail begins a steep downhill leading to FSR 317 near Gothic, CO, and the other trailhead to Washington Gulch trail. 

My Favorite Hiking Essentials

Washington Gulch Trail is now a new favorite of mine; I highly recommend it if visiting Crested Butte!

Note: One item we were happy we had with us was insect repellent. See the ad below for our favorite brand!


7.5 miles out & back

Rated: Moderate/Strenuous

Trail #403

No Restroom 

Two Trailheads: Washington Gulch Road (FSR 811) and a quarter mile past > Gothic Campground on (FSR 317)

Nearest Town: > Crested Butte, CO

> Gunnison National Forest

Note: Washington Gulch Road is closed in the winter to vehicles but open to winter outdoor enthusiasts on snowshoes and XC skis.

Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).


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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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