Rustler Gulch

MODERATE 21 reviews
#3 of 63 trails in

Rustler Gulch is a 9 mile out and back trail located near Crested Butte, Colorado and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1916 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

I'll plan to go in July next year when the wild flowers are more ample, though they were still decent today. The mile steep uphill from the river to the trailhead is no joke, but definitely the only difficult part of the hike. Lots of water to cross.

I found these directions good: Take Gothic Road (135) north past Mt. Crested Butte for 4.3 miles. Bear right past the Snodgrass Trailhead parking lot and descend into the East River Valley for another 6.5 miles past the town of Gothic until you reach the signed Rustler Gulch road. Turn right and drive this rocky road 0.2 miles to the East River (check the depth). Cross the river [0] and park on the right side, or continue driving on a steep narrow road for another mile to the TH sign. There is limited parking for 5 to 6 SUVs. Cars can make it to the East River (although the road is rough the last 0.2 miles). A high clearance SUV is recommended to cross the river and go up the steep road to the TH.

I would add that the road to the trailhead is on the right, after you pass the Washington Gulch trailhead (on the left) and soon after you go over a bridge of sorts. It's hidden by the tall grass but there is a brown sign that says "Rustler's Gulch ->" There's not much parking on the rough 0.2 mile road before the East River for cars who can't make it over but there is ample parking just before that road on Gothic Rd.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Beautiful! I definitely recommend having a four wheel drive vehicle to take you up the steep road to the trail head. If you start further down at the parking lot then the first mile is a strenuous uphill climb. There are several large streams to cross along this hike so be prepared to take off your shoes and wade through the water. We went in July. The views and wildflowers were like none other.

2 months ago

Amazing wildflowers and views!!! Lots of creek crossings!

hiking
3 months ago

We started out around 8 am, choosing to hike up the mile or so road to the trailhead. The hike was amazing despite the ample water and mud everywhere. We ended up taking off our shoes two times to cross water/rivers. We thought the end of the trail was the old miner's building. Turns out we should have gone further to see the falls. Only negative was the flies everywhere. Wish we had brought bug spray.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

mid-july this Trail has more wildflowers than any place in Crested Butte. even without the wildflowers the hike is stunning and I must do when in the area

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
Wednesday, October 05, 2016

We hiked this trail in early October so all the wild flowers were gone, but the views are still spectacular.

A few take aways:

- There is a parking area past the first stream just off Gothic road. If you park below this stream, you can pass across if you head westward and look for areas to cross. The water was about 18" deep.

- The actual trailhead sign is a bit of a hike up a low maintained gravel road.

- The initial trail northward is mostly shallow creek crossings, muddy paths possibly, and some steep inclines.

- As the inward trail heads east, the hiking is actually easier but the trail turns to a single track thats pretty rocky. Regardless, the entire trail is easily Class 1 with occasional Class 2 for some hikers.

- When the waterfall comes into view in the distance, there eventually is an "unofficial" grass path that heads down to the bottom of the waterfall as a sort of shortcut from the main dirt path. Although, that also meant we missed out on seeing the old mine items.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Amazing panoramic views for a somewhat easy hike. A lot of beauty here!

hiking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Beautiful!!!!!!! The most beautiful hike I have been on for wildflowers. We bushwhacked up to the snow fields and the view was amazing. Nature at its finest !!!

hiking
Sunday, July 17, 2016

Beautiful! Flowers were at their peak. There were a few water crossings. Beautiful panoramic vistas - breath taking scenery. This hike was recommended by a local and what a gem it is!

hiking
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

trail running
Thursday, August 13, 2015