TR: Beckwith Bench Trail (8 Aug 2014)

(Last Updated On: August 19, 2014)

The Beckwith Bench Trail is one of those that goes easily unnoticed on the map. It doesn’t go anywhere else or lead to the top of a peak or a giant waterfall. It just kind of goes until it doesn’t go anymore. With the flowers changing, but still colorful, I decided I had to go check it out. Of course, Eddy the wonder dog had to come along too.

I started out at the Cliff Creek trail and headed toward Beckwith Pass. The meadows had transformed since my time there a month ago. The wildflowers were still bountiful!
showy fleabane and scarlet gilia on Cliff Creek trail near Crested Butte

Fields of sunflowers and flax had been replaced by showy fleabane and showy goldeneye.
showy fleabane and showy goldeneye on Cliff Creek trail near Crested Butte

Scarlet gilia had been prolific here a month ago. In places, it was still growing strong beside the showy fleabane and showy goldeneye.
scarlet gilia and asters near crested butte

The mountains always are more beautiful with a colorful foreground 🙂
wildflowers on Cliff Creek trail

Like earlier in the summer, still fields and fields of flowers – Just different flowers than earlier in July.
wildflowers on the Cliff Creek trail near Crested Butte

Quite a show.
colorful wildflowers on Cliff Creek trail near Crested Butte

Beckwith Pass is also the location of the wilderness boundary. I continued onward into the wilderness, taking a right onto the Beckwith Bench trail.
West Elk Wilderness sign near Crested Butte

As the trail traversed westward, amazing views revealed – like this one of Storm Ridge and the Castles.
Storm Ridge and the Castles near Crested Butte

The Beckwith Bench Trail is named as such because it follows along a bench-like feature that hugs the south side of East Beckwith Mountain. Larkspur in the foreground.
Larkspur on the Beckwith Bench Trail near Crested Butte

The wildflowers kept raging on.
Wildflowers on the Beckwith Bench trail

Beckwith Bench trail near Crested Butte

Another view of Storm Ridge.
Storm Ridge seen from the Beckwith Bench Trail near Crested Butte

After stunning vistas were unfolded, the trail enters a drainage that is lined with lush foliage.
stream on the Beckwith Bench Trail

Eventually, the trail descends toward a group of swamps.
Swamp on the Beckwith Bench trail

swamps on the Beckwith Bench trail near Crested Butte

If you’ve followed the trail all the way to the swamps, then you probably missed a right turn which is shown in this picture. The turn is obscured by plants when going downhill. If you miss it, just head back uphill again and you will find it veering to the left this time.
Right turn that's easy to miss on the Beckwith Bench trail

The trail continues onward. But, on this day, time constraints kept me from going further. The Beckwith Bench Trail continues for another .5 to .75 miles before fading out.
Beckwith Bench trail near Crested Butte

I turned around and followed by steps back. The scenery was just as good the second time.
Wildflowers with East Beckwith near Crested Butte

North, there was a rainstorm passing through.
Rainstorm on Beckwith Bench Trail near Crested Butte

The Raggeds.
The Raggeds seen from Beckwith Bench Trail near Crested Butte

Eddy enjoyed the hike too 🙂
Eddy hiking near Crested Butte

Many thanks to Dara Bouchelle-Collins, the wildflower super woman, for helping me distinguish the difference between fleabane and asters. It’s kind of difficult for a wildflower newbie!

Want to do this hike yourself?

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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!

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