Crested Butte and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

After exploring Hartman Rocks, we found a neat area in Gunnison National Forest to camp in. This spot wins the award for most picturesque campsite to date. We were surrounded by beautiful wildflowers, lush green mountains and rustling Aspen and Birch trees.

The next day, we woke up early and went into Crested Butte for some fresh bagels at Butte Bagels before our hike. We devoured the bagels and even purchased two more for lunch on the trail. Carbs don’t count when you are hiking, am I right? Just trying to make us feel better for eating 4 bagels in one day.  

Copper Creek Trail to Copper Lake

Copper Creek Trail is a 12.4 mile in and out with 2431 ft elevation gain. This hike wins the award for most fun and challenging hike to date. We knew this hike would take us about 5 hours so we had to move quick to beat the bad weather that was headed our way. Early in the hike we came across a fast-flowing stream that had a rocky bottom and was about two to three feet deep in some areas. There were two people putting their shoes back on after trying to cross the stream unsuccessfully. Alan and I decided to give it a shot, we took our shoes off and stuffed them into our daypacks and then charged through the 45-degree water using our hiking poles to help us maintain our balance through the stream. The rocks were slippery, and the water was so cold it numbed our feet! After successfully crossing the stream, we had to wait a few minutes to let our feet defrost before putting our boots back on. Encouraged by our successful crossing, the other couple decided to make a second attempt and succeeded. Little did we know, this was the first of five stream crossings on the trail. Luckily, we only had to take our shoes off for two of them.

Alan crossing stream on Copper Creek Trail

The trail continued through a valley with mountain views on both sides. The wildflower scene was amazing so of course I had to stop to take a photo of each unique flower that I saw.

As we got closer to the lake, the skies began to darken, and we could hear thunder in the distance. We began to pick up our pace to try and beat the weather. On the last mile, we encountered snow and much steeper terrain. As soon as we reached the lake it began to sprinkle and hail. We quickly soaked in the views, snapped some photos and began our descent. Fortunately, the weather was moving in the opposite direction and skies quickly cleared up as we hiked back down.

Copper Lake

Takeaways

We had a lovely time exploring this area and are excited to return in the future. The scenery was awe inspiring and we couldn’t get enough of it. It was after this visit that we even talked about moving to Colorado. Too bad we love Texas too much!

Note to future selves: Conundrum Hot Springs and Peak trail would be the perfect backpacking trip.

Click here for more photos of this adventure!

Thanks for reading!

-Ashby

2 thoughts on “Crested Butte and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

  1. Stephanie July 5, 2020 / 2:32 PM

    Copper is our snowboarding area of choice! We would also love to live in Colorado but TEXAS 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    • oncloudcombs July 5, 2020 / 3:49 PM

      That’s awesome, Steph! I would totally love to ski here in the winter but our van doesn’t have a heater so we would probably freeze! lol We will definitely come back here in the future even if it isn’t in the van. Thanks for reading! – Ashby

      Like

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