Crested Buttes Golden Leaves Of Autumn

Dated: 09/04/2018

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September is the perfect time in Crested Butte where the leaves will have started to turn golden which is a spectacle to see. Many tourists come from across the country to get a chance to take great photographs. People usually go hiking and biking at this time to enjoy the wonderful natural adventure that awaits them on whatever trail they choose. For every step, tourist can savor the images of the golden autumn colors around here.
These beautiful colors only last for about a week in most places. It is also difficult to predict when exactly the leaves will turn in any given location but I can tell you that they have already started to turn here in the Gunnison Valley. In order to witness this amazing transformation, it would be best to select travel dates to these places in advance (or ask a local like me!), then go wherever the color changes are. Most drive around from location to location to see these golden beauties.

Hiking and Biking Trail

One the best biking and hiking trail is called the Lower Loop and is also a personal favorite of mine. The trail is relatively easy and provides an amazing view of Paradise Divide and the Slate River. This trail, unlike the other trails, has benches along the way for you to sit down, relax and soak up the views. Do note that this trail is 1 mile from town which is about 5 minutes away if you plant to travel there by car and would take about 10 minutes if you plan to get there by bike.
Besides this, other trails include the West Maroon Creek trail that connects to the West Maroon Pass Trail which would allow hikers to travel to Aspen to Crested Butte and back. This trail is one of the most popular ones but is a little more challenging than the rest. Hikers must be aware that the trail is about 10.2 miles long and at least 6 to 11 hours of their day would be spent on accomplishing the hike over. It isn't an out and back in one day unless you are a really avid runner. Most book hotels over in Aspen for the night, hike back the next day or arrange a shuttle service to return them to Crested Buttes.

Scenic Drives

Scenic drives are for people who want to enjoy the stunning vistas from the comfort of their own car. Taking a drive would allow travelers to catch more of the stunning colors of autumn and see more scenery in a day.
To enjoy a wonderful afternoon of basking in the great scenic beauty of what Crested Butte and its surrounding area have to offer, try taking the time to pass the enchanting 'Kebler Pass'. This gorgeous trip takes motorists on a climb to over 10,000 feet between Crested Buttes and Highway 133.  The 30-mile long drive (one way) takes just under two hours under normal driving conditions. Going along this path will allow travelers to witness the beautiful aspen trees and their amazing colors.


If you are really lucky, you might even be able to see some of our local animals like deer, foxes and moose grazing about. Just a reminder though, never feed the animals as it is illegal to do so and it also serves as a precaution for travelers to stay safe in case there are accidents.
The weather can change quite a bit this time of year as well. Be prepared for all four seasons in one day. We do occasionally get snow this time of year. It doesn't hurt to throw a few extra supplies in your car too.
There is no gas service once you leave Crested Buttes until you get to Carbondale or Paonia off of highway 133. Be sure to fuel up prior to leaving.


Crested Buttes and the Gunnison valley offers horseback riding opportunities.  If you want to fulfill your inner cowboy or cowgirl dream, this activity is for you! Come and enjoy autumn in a different perspective, this activity would be absolutely worth as you have a given path to follow filled with mountain wilderness which is inaccessible to motorized vehicles.
You can book your trip with one of the local outfitters like Fantasy Ranch.

Film Festival

A great activity this autumn would be to watch movies at the Film Festival which is always held on the last weekend of September. The Film Festival is Crested Buttes premier cultural event in the fall and it will showcase a variety of films from all over the world.
Related Article: Five Autumn Drives from the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association
If you’re looking for lodging in Crested Buttes, book your stay with the Nordic Inn, and they’ll help you coordinate your hike, including lodging in Aspen and shuttles if you need!
If I can help you with a real estate purchase or if you are ready to sell, let me buy you a cup of coffee and let's discuss Crested Butte's potential. Who do you know that wants to buy or sell a property? Let the Heather Woodward Team help. You can contact me on my cell phone (970)596-1394 or send me an email at

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