(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.
The trees on the road were already golden and beautiful.
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.
Though not all the aspens had turned, many of them were in their prime.
Views back toward the Anthracites were also scenic.
Yellow trees capped rocky hillsides.
Golden highlights brightened the forest.
Some trees had an tangerine hue.
There is something magical about walking through a golden aspen forest.
The backside of Whetstone in the distance.
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.
The Anthracites stood tall behind the glowing trees.
Sometimes the gold highlighted the pine forest.
Colors were brilliant with the setting sun.
The sun cast its last shadows over the Castles as I was nearing the end of my hike.
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?