TR: Carbon Trail Hike (18 Sept 2014)

(Last Updated On: September 28, 2014)

Thursday was a September-summer day. As hot as it ever gets here in Crested Butte, there were hardly any clouds in the sky. The leaves were changing, and I decided to go for a hike. But, deciding where to go was a bit difficult. The leaves had really not turned around Kebler Pass and were just barely starting to turn off of Ohio Pass. Yet, on Whetstone, as seen from town, the leaves were at their best. Since Carbon Creek accesses the backside of Whetstone, I figured I’d give it a whirl.

The turn off for Carbon Trail is an unmarked road off of Ohio Pass Road. Most people don’t even notice it. I drove about 1/2 mile up this road decided to park and walk the remaining 1/2 mile to the start of the trailhead. The views of the Castles were amazing from the road.
Castles seen from Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

The trees on the road were already golden and beautiful.
fall hiking Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

Carbon Trail is not as popular with hikers as some of the other nearby hiking trails. But, it is popular with hunters. I walked through a few different hunting camps on my travels. Keep this in mind, especially if you have a dog – like Eddy the Wonder Dog, who stayed close to my side through the hike.
Carbon Creek trail sign near Crested Butte

Though not all the aspens had turned, many of them were in their prime.
hiking Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

Views back toward the Anthracites were also scenic.
views of Anthracites while hiking Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

Yellow trees capped rocky hillsides.
fall trees while hiking Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

Golden highlights brightened the forest.
fall trees while hiking Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

Some trees had an tangerine hue.
tangerine aspens on Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

There is something magical about walking through a golden aspen forest.
golden aspens on Carbon Creek near Crested Butte.

The backside of Whetstone in the distance.
Whetstone from Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

Eddy and I followed the trail quite a ways – for about 4 miles up. At that point, the trail takes a pretty hard left and begins to veer away from Whetstone in order to meet up with the Para Me Para Te trail, whose intersection was close by. Having gotten a late start on the day’s hike, it was best to turn around there.

Carbon in the distance.
Carbon seen from Carbon Creek near Crested Butte.

The Anthracites stood tall behind the glowing trees.
Anthracites seen from Carbon Creek in fall near Crested Butte

Sometimes the gold highlighted the pine forest.
fall hiking on Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

Colors were brilliant with the setting sun.
fall hiking on Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

tall trees while fall hiking on Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

hiking Carbon Creek in fall near Crested Butte

hiking in fall on Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

The sun cast its last shadows over the Castles as I was nearing the end of my hike.
Castles seen from Carbon Creek near Crested Butte

Many great fall hikes exist in the Crested Butte area. Carbon Trail is a good hike to see trees a little earlier than many of the other hikes in the Kebler/Ohio Pass areas. The leaves are peaking now! So, get out and enjoy the colors of fall!

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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