(Last Updated On: July 11, 2017)
In mid-September I headed up to yet another area I have explored in winter, but never in summer – Rustler Gulch. Rustler is probably known more as an access trail for some of the larger and hard-to-reach peaks in the area. But, the trail makes a great hike too! I began at the road that turns off from Schofield Pass road and parked near the 401 trail crossing. From there, I ascended the road until it reached the Rustler Gulch trail.
It was a beautiful fall day. Mount Bellview.
Rustler’s Gulch passes through the West Maroon Wilderness.
The area is not so much of a gulch as much as it is a magnificent and scenic valley.
First glimpse of some higher peaks, including Precarious.
The high peaks tower beautifully over the valley.
Precarious, Cassi, and Golden Tops.
Close up of Golden Tops.
Within the last half mile, the trail passes through some old mining ruins.
The trail seems to end rather abruptly, at a somewhat unlikely spot. But, climber’s trails lead many places from there for those wanting to explore the upper basin or higher peaks. With some time constraints, I opted to turn around and enjoyed the fall scenery as I descended.
A grove of aspens with Baldy behind.
More beautiful fall colors.
Rustler Gulch is a fantastic area to explore in all seasons and with it’s low to moderate grade, it’s a fast traveling trail that leads directly to a haven of some of Crested Butte’s best peaks! Find out how to do it yourself on my Crested Butte Hiking Guide.