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    Green Lake Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    13.7 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    553 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Hiking the Green Lake Trail is an exceptional outdoor activity in Crested Butte, Colorado that will see you climb uphill through the forest to reach a charming lake. While out on the trail, you will leave the town behind and traverse the serene woodlands, working through several tough climbs to reach the shores of Green Lake beneath Mount Axtell. This is a beautifully scenic route that can only be done in the summer months due to dangerous avalanche conditions in the area.

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    Route Description for Green Lake Trail

    Featuring a moderate incline throughout the route and some rugged woodland terrain, the Green Lake Trail will certainly require some sturdy hiking boots to safely traverse. Additionally, the route is a popular track for mountain bike enthusiasts, so be sure to keep an eye out and remember to share the trail. Lastly, due to dangerous avalanche conditions throughout the area, this trail is not suitable for use in the winter months.

    Although you will undoubtedly be sharing the trail with adventurous mountain bikers, this is still an exceptional hike that will take you through a serene forest and offer beautifully scenic views.

    Spending some time around the calm shores of Green Lake is a true delight, and the views of nearby Mount Axtell looming overhead make for an unforgettable day on the trails near Crested Butte.

    Setting out from the car park at the Crested Butte Nordic Centre, you will make your way to the south side of the building, where you will pick up the Green Lake Trail. Following it to the southeast, you will make your way along the Halazon Ditch as it cuts through Crested Butte Town Park, before heading south to meet up with Journey’s End Road.

    Turning right along the road, you will follow it west for 0.29mi and pick up the Green Lake Trail as it continues on the left. Here, you will enter into the dense cover of the forest and begin climbing uphill through some steep terrain to the southwest. After meeting up with Wildcat Trail Road, head right and follow it for 0.7 km, before turning left to once again get back on the trail.

    Here, you will quickly cross over Wildcat Creek and continue along the trail as it runs parallel to the water, climbing uphill through the beautiful forest for the next 2.5 km to eventually break free of the tree cover and arrive at a junction in the trail. Passing straight through, you will enjoy some amazing views of the Elk mountains before you, as you hike the trail for a further 0.6 km and arrive at the edge of Green Lake.

    Take some time here to explore the area surrounding the tranquil shores of the lake, while admiring the breathtaking views of the rugged peaks and dense forests surrounding you. After pausing for some rest, simply head back down along the same route to return to the trailhead, having completed the beautiful scenic Green Lake Trail.

    Trail Highlights

    Green Lake

    Green Lake is a small alpine body of water to the southwest of Crested Butte, Colorado. Situated just below the imposing rock formation of Mount Axtell in the Elk Mountains, Green Lake is the perfect palace for a mid-hike swim or to spread out for a scenic picnic surrounded by mountains and forests.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you swim in Green Lake, Crested Butte?

    The chilly waters of Green Lake are perfectly suitable for a quick swim after having trekked your way uphill on this hike.

    Are dogs allowed on the Green Lake Trail?

    While dogs are permitted on the Green Lake Trail, you should always keep them on a leash, as other hikers and mountain bikers will be encountered along the route.

    Insider Hints for Green Lake Trail

    • This trail is not suitable in the winter months, as the risk of avalanches is too high.
    • This route is also popular with mountain bike enthusiasts, so remember to share the trail.
    • Proper hiking boots are needed for this adventure.

    Getting to the Green Lake Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Green Lake Trail can be found at the Nordic Centre in Crested Butte.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Green Lake Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Green Lake Trail Reviews

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