TR: Copley Lake Hike (13 July 2012)

(Last Updated On: July 11, 2017)

I’ve been hiking a lot this summer and exploring areas that are new for me. One of my hikes took me to Copley Lake, a trail not far out of the town of Crested Butte, but one that I’d still never been on before. I was pleasantly surprised.

My partner for the day was Eddy – thanks to Pete and Dara for letting him come out and play with me for a few hours.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

The trail is largely double track, as it follows an old road just above Elk Creek.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

The day was a bit hot. Eddy agreed.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

With the beginning of summer starting out hot and dry, our wild flowers have been less plentiful than usual. But, the trail to Copley Lake had some of the best wild flowers I’ve seen all season.

Larkspur.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Chiming Bells.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Rosy Paintbrush.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Scarlett Paintbrush.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Anyone know what the yellow or white flowers in this photo are? I’m still learning my wild flowers! I suspect the yellow-colored flower is some sort of Groundsel, but I’m unsure of the the white flowers. The purple one is fireweed.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

A little less than two miles up, the road opens up into a field. At the field, there is a cairn on the left, with a small trail leading beside it. That trail will take you to Copley Lake.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

The lake was beautiful, with fantastic views of Ruby, Owen, and Purple in the background.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Eddy was tired.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Everything surrounding the lake was lush and green – a nice site, especially in a drought year.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

We walked along the lake for a ways, veering off the beaten path for a bit. Eventually the trail trickles out.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

The sky was also fantastically beautiful.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

After spending some time enjoying the lake, it was time for Eddie and I to head back down.
Copley Lake Hike near Crested Butte, CO.

Elevation profile and stats for the hike.

Copley Lake elevation profile and statistics.
Copley Lake elevation profile and statistics.

Google map and track.

View Copley Lake 7/13/12 in a larger map

My stats say the hike is a little over 4.5 miles round trip. But, for those not walking along the lake for a bit, the round trip distance is 4 miles. All in all, I highly recommend this hike – it’s close to town, has fantastic wildflowers, the scenery is excellent near the lake, and the distance is relatively short.

For more information on how to get here, check out my Crested Butte hiking guide.

Summary
Copley Lake Hike
Article Name
Copley Lake Hike
Description
Explore a lesser traveled area in Crested Butte. Copley Lake is a fairly short hike with fine views of the Ruby Range and fun wildflowers along the way!
Author

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Latest posts by Brittany Walker Konsella (see all)

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

11 thoughts on “TR: Copley Lake Hike (13 July 2012)

  • July 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm
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    Purple flowers are Fireweed. At least that is what we call them in England 🙂

  • July 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm
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    That’s what I just said, Ann. Now, what are the white ones?

  • July 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm
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    Hah! Silly me! I completely forgot that fire weed can be purple. I’m so used to it being pink/fuscia! Thanks Ann!

  • February 10, 2014 at 3:47 pm
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    Can you camp up there?

  • February 11, 2014 at 7:28 pm
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    We’re not sure. There is some private property in that area.

  • July 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm
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    Can you hike to Copley Lake from Lake Irwin?

  • July 5, 2014 at 5:32 pm
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    There may be a trail that I don’t know about, and I have been that way in winter, but I also believe that that route may have private property. So the best route is probably the one described…

  • July 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm
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    I do not currently know of a way to hike to Copley Lake from Lake Irwin – at least one that is easy. I have tried to find a way to go from Copley Lake to Irwin twice before and have ended up bushwhacking or blocked by private property. It seems like there should be a way. But, I haven’t found one.

  • July 6, 2014 at 7:25 am
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    Thanks Brittany. My topo map shows a trail there but was not sure. So, the trailhead you use is on Kebler Pass Rd and is there parking and a trailhead sign there for Copley Lake?

  • July 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm
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    There is parking, but there is not a trailhead sign. At least, there hasn’t been one in past years…..

  • July 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm
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    Thank you!

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