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Hiking Colorado’s Elk Range: Crested Butte

Program Number: 18924RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/10/2014 - 8/15/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Crested Butte, Colorado
Price starting at: $1,049.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: n (see description)
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners    

Between the glamorous resort of Aspen and the old coal mining town of Crested Butte lies the rugged Elk Mountain Range. Experience the power and beauty of these peaks on expert-led hikes, learning how the land has been used by Native Americans, miners and, today, skiers. Walk among majestic forests with changing fall colors and look for Rocky Mountain wildlife.




Highlights

• Hike on old mining trails, through open meadows, over mountain passes and to some of the Rockies’ most interesting geological features on daily excursions.
• Crested Butte' already spectacular scenery will be even more beautiful framed by shimmering seasonal Aspen trees
• A trek over the West Maroon Pass trail to Hasley Pass at 12,000 feet offers spectacular views of the Maroon Bells..



Activity Particulars

Hiking 5-12 miles a day with elevations gains of 800-2,500 feet. Hiking elevations of 8,000-12,000 feet.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Crested Butte

Born during the Colorado silver mining boom, Crested Butte survived the end of the silver rush thanks to its ranching and supply industries, unlike many similar municipalities destined to become ghost towns. Today it combines the history of buildings from its Wild West days with the thrill of a spectacular modern ski resort on its snowy peaks.



Accommodations
Cozy mountain lodge reminiscent of the ski lodges of Europe.
Meals and Lodgings
   Cristiana Guesthaus
  Crested Butte, CO 5 nights
 Cristiana Guesthaus
Type: Bed and Breakfast
  Description: Cristiana Guesthaus, a cozy bed and breakfast lodge, is the perfect lodging choice for your Crested Butte vacation both for summer and winter. Conveniently located just one block north of Elk Avenue and the main business district, the lodge is a short walk to shops and restaurants and about 50 yards from the free shuttle to Crested Butte Mountain and to the Nordic ski center. Hiking and mountain biking trails are also easily accessible.
  Contact info: 621 Maroon Avenue
Crested Butte, CO 81224 USA
phone: 970-349-5326
web: www.cristianaguesthaus.com
  Room amenities: 21 comfortable rooms, phones wireless, Internet access, private bathrooms with hair dryers. Pillowtop beds are furnished with triple sheeted duvets and down pillows. The rooms do not have televisions although there is a TV in the upstairs sitting area.
  Facility amenities: The lodge also has a sauna and bike/ski storage and a guest computer with high speed Internet access is available. For the comfort of our guests smoking is not permitted in the lodge or the guest rooms and we do not accept pets. On the north side of the lodge our outdoor hot tub offers a great spot to unwind with its beautiful views of Crested Butte Mountain and the Elk Mountain Range, whilst the south facing sundeck is an ideal place to watch the sun set over town. Each morning we serve a generous continental breakfast featuring our homemade granola and muesli, fresh fruit with yogurt, and a delicious selection of freshly baked pastries such as cinnamon rolls, croissants, homemade scones and muffins, along with juices, freshly ground coffee, a selection of Celestial Seasonings teas, hot chocolate and spiced cider. Guests may also help themselves to complimentary hot beverages throughout the day. During ski season we set out freshly baked cookies for a tempting apres ski treat.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call lodge for information Call lodge for reservations
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call lodge for information Call lodge for reservations
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lodge check-in 3-5 pm. 5 pm meeting in lobby for introductions and plans for dinner. You will be staying at Cristiana Guesthaus that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast; check-out 10 am You will be staying at Cristiana Guesthaus the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk-Liability Waiver Form to be mailed back to Mountains and Plains Institute office.
  Parking availability:
No charge
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Crested Butte, CO
  Nearest city or town:  Gunnison, CO
  Nearest highway: US. Hwy 50
  Nearest airport:  Gunnison, CO
  From End of Program
  Location: Crested Butte, CO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Crested Butte

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Alpine Express
phone: 800-822-4844

   

Gateway Airport: Gunnison (GUC) via Denver (DEN) Alpine Express shuttles meet every flight and provide door-to-door service between Gunnison Airport and Crested Butte. Reservations required.

 
Driving Directions
  Denver to Crested Butte From Denver International Airport, take interstate 70 west, exit to highway 470 west, highway 285 south to Fairplay then Poncha Springs, highway 50 west to Gunnison, then highway 135 north into Crested Butte.
Elevation Note: 8,000-12,000 feet

Equipment Requirements: Daypack, water bottles, broken in hiking shoes or boots
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Greetings and orientation
(Sunday, August 10)

Note: Daily hike schedule may change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances.



   
 Arrive To: Lodge check-in 3-5 pm. 5 pm meeting in lobby for introductions and plans for dinner
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant
 Evening: Orientation and safety lecture
   
Accommodations: Cristiana Guesthaus
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Two hikes in the spectacular West Elk Mountains from Kebler Pass
(Monday, August 11)

Note: The road through Colorado's West Elk Mountains over Kebler Pass crosses some of Colorado's most scenic country. Referred to as the ‘Golden Highway’, it is a gorgeous drive. The road was initially a horse route, a wagon route, and then in the late 1800s the railroad came in and put in tracks. Today, it exists as a link for ranchers, hunters, recreationists and those just looking to take in the view of incredible towering mountains, forests, wildflowers and more!



   
 Breakfast: Each morning enjoy a generous continental breakfast featuring homemade granola and muesli fresh fruit with yogurt, and a delicious selection of freshly baked pastries such as cinnamon rolls, croissants, homemade scones and muffins, along with juices, freshly ground coffee, a selection of teas, hot chocolate and spiced cider.
 Morning: Hike the Beckwith Pass Trail off the Kebler Pass Road; easy round trip hike of 3 miles, gain, loss altitude 300', maximum altitude 10,000'
 Lunch: Box lunch
 Afternoon: Hike the Lost Lake Loop from Kebler Pass; moderate round trip hike of 5 miles, gain, loss altitude 1,000', maximum altitude 11,200'
 Dinner: On own to sample cuisine of Crested Butte and discover the historic downtown.
 Evening: Evening free for rest and reflection, preparation for next day's activities
   
Accommodations: Cristiana Guesthaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Day long hike on the "Oh Be Joyful" Trail
(Tuesday, August 12)

Note: Oh Be Joyful Valley is a spectacular wildflower strewn valley outside Crested Butte. The Oh-Be-Joyful Pass trail ascends up a picturesque glacial valley on the east side of the Ruby Range. The upper portion of the valley is well watered with lush greenery and an excellent wildflower display. With the Ruby Range as a backdrop, this hike is very popular with all.



   
 Breakfast: Each morning enjoy a generous continental breakfast featuring homemade granola and muesli fresh fruit with yogurt, and a delicious selection of freshly baked pastries such as cinnamon rolls, croissants, homemade scones and muffins, along with juices, freshly ground coffee, a selection of teas, hot chocolate and spiced cider.
 Morning: Daylong hike on the very scenic "Oh Be Joyful" Trail along Slate Creek. Wildflowers will be at their peak along this hike. moderately difficult round trip hike of 8 miles, gain, loss altitude 800', maximum altitude 12,000'. The trail encompasses wildflowers, streams and waterfalls. This is the best time of the year to take this hike, after all the water melt in the mountains.
 Lunch: Box lunch
 Afternoon: Continuation of morning hike (alternate trail Copper Lake Trail)
 Dinner: We dine this evening at a local restaurant
 Evening: Evening free in Crested Butte historic district
   
Accommodations: Cristiana Guesthaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Day long hike in Washington Gulch and the historic mining town of Gothic
(Wednesday, August 13)

Note: Once a mining boom town, Gothic has faded into ghost town status like many early mining communities. In 1879, two prospector brothers discovered silver high above Copper Creek and the rush was on. Gothic grew to more than 1,000 residents and was a major supply point for mining camps to the north. It was not uncommon to see 400 - 500 donkeys packing supplies from the "City of Silver Wires" to Aspen over East Maroon Pass. By 1893, the year of the Silver Crash, the town was mostly deserted.



   
 Breakfast: Each morning enjoy a generous continental breakfast featuring homemade granola and muesli fresh fruit with yogurt, and a delicious selection of freshly baked pastries such as cinnamon rolls, croissants, homemade scones and muffins, along with juices, freshly ground coffee, a selection of teas, hot chocolate and spiced cider.
 Morning: Hike from the mining district of Elkton to the revived historic mining town of Gothic along the old miners' route of Washington Gulch. Wetland wildflowers highlight this hike. Easy one way hike of 3 miles, gain, loss altitude 500', maximum altitude 11,400'
 Lunch: Box Lunch
 Afternoon: Explore the historic townsite of Gothic. Return to Crested Butte with a stop at the Arts Center.
 Dinner: Dinner tonight is on own to sample cuisine of Crested Butte.
 Evening: Evening geology lecture to prepare for last day's hike.
   
Accommodations: Cristiana Guesthaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Daylong hike in beautiful Hasley Basin
(Thursday, August 14)

Note: Hasley Basin has outstanding views of the Maroon Bells near Aspen as well as other jagged peaks of the Elk Range. The trail like others has its roots in the mining days, but now is popular with hikers for the outstanding views and magnificent wildflowers.



   
 Breakfast: Each morning enjoy a generous continental breakfast featuring homemade granola and muesli fresh fruit with yogurt, and a delicious selection of freshly baked pastries such as cinnamon rolls, croissants, homemade scones and muffins, along with juices, freshly ground coffee, a selection of teas, hot chocolate and spiced cider.
 Morning: Day long hike to the beautiful setting of Hasley Basin off of Schofield Park. Geologic features and wildflower meadows punctuate this hike. Moderately difficult round trip hike of 7-10 miles, gain, loss altitude 1,400', maximum altitude 12,000'
 Lunch: Box lunch
 Afternoon: Continue morning hike
 Dinner: We dine this evening at a local restaurant for our farewell dinner.
   
Accommodations: Cristiana Guesthaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Departure after Breakfast
(Friday, August 15)
   
 Depart From: Hotel checkout is 10 am
 Breakfast: Last chance to enjoy a generous continental breakfast featuring homemade granola and muesli fresh fruit with yogurt, and a delicious selection of freshly baked pastries such as cinnamon rolls, croissants, homemade scones and muffins, along with juices, freshly ground coffee, a selection of teas, hot chocolate and spiced cider.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Aspen & Central Colorado Trails: A Hiking Guide


Author: Warren Ohlrich


Description: This hiking trail guide contains detailed route descriptions and maps for 36 hikes in the high country and Wilderness in the Central Colorado area around Aspen, including Leadville, Redstone and Marble, Crested Butte, and the Fryingpan River Valley. Features include a foldout map, a trail selection guide, and a section on Wilderness and Wilderness ethics.



Crested Butte: From Coal Camp to Ski Town


Author: Duane Smith


Description: Like many old mountain mining communities, Crested Butte began life in the feverous excitement of a Colorado gold and silver mining camp, only to see the rich discoveries quickly disappear. However, unlike so many communities that became ghost towns, Crested Butte switched to mining the huge local deposits of top-quality coal. Through both good times and bad, the coal mining was carried on until the 1950s. Then Crested Butte slid quickly into "ghost town" status, only to be revived by the ski industry in the 1960s and 1970s. Certainly the coal mining industry is an unusual partner for a Colorado ski town, but for Crested Butte, coal and skiing are inseparably intertwined. Crested Butte is the story of poor immigrants, labor strife, dirty and extremely dangerous coal mining, the D&RG Railroad, and two rich and greedy companies called the Durango Trust and Colorado Fuel and Iron. Duane Smith illustrates how such a mixture can make for an amazing tale of intrigue, joy, and sorrow. As Smith puts it: "Americans tend to make legends out of things they want to believe. We have tended to glorify gold and silver camps, while ignoring the immigrant and company-dominated coal community." Unlike many coal towns, Crested Butte is a true Cinderella story. She was not left to die unrecognized in her squalor. She has become a premier ski town – the queen of the ball.



Crested Butte Colorado: 65 Scenic Day Hikes


Author: Mike and Anne Poe


Description: Detailed description, maps, and photos of 60 scenic day hikes all within a 20 mile radius of Crested Butte, Colorado. Hikes for all ability levels. Many hikes never before published. A relatively undiscovered area of magnificent hiking trails. Happy Hiking!



Maps


Author: Crested Butte


Description: Trails illustrated Maps: For Crested Butte Hiking: #133, 134, 128, 131





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