Rustler's Gulch

MODERATE 121 reviews
#2 of 96 trails in

Rustler's Gulch is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Crested Butte, Colorado and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and nature trips 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: 1,791 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

trail running

hiking
1 day ago

Gorgeous hike with the wildflowers just past peak. We turned around due to weather about a mile or less from the end but the views were spectacular. One note: the map shows the trail starting on Gothic / Schofield road, but the first .5 mile (feels like way more) is a grunt of a 4wd road to the gate where the proper trail begins and is easily the toughest part of the hike. If you have anything with the clearance of a stock truck (my Tacoma would’ve been fine) and you’re going on a low-traffic day, I’d suggest parking as close to the gate as you can.

hiking
3 days ago

We parked near Gothic road... bit of a burner trek up the access road to the trailhead. Glad we ran into a nice couple who encouraged us that it was the most difficult portion. Absolutely breathtaking views from the trail!

hiking
bugs
muddy
4 days ago

This was the best hike! The wildflowers and views of the Maroon Bells are gorgeous. We parked at the road and walked to the trailhead, and that adds about a mile as other people have said. The road is dirt with a lot of deep ruts and parking is limited, so I think that’s the best option. The hike is on the easier side of moderate as long as one’s acclimated to elevation. During the river crossing, we just took our boots off. Some bugs so bug spray would’ve been nice, but they weren’t too bothersome. The scenery made everything worth it. Definitely stop at the RMBL welcome center to learn more about the area!

recorded Rustler's Gulch

hiking
9 days ago

My new favorite hike of Colorado!!!! Wildflowers are poppin! Plan on bringing an extra pair of socks— your feet will get wet crossing creeks/waterfalls even with hiking boots on.

hiking
bugs
12 days ago

Such a gorgeous, wild flower filled trail! Had to forge some creeks and our feet definitely got wet but otherwise a PERFECT hike!

hiking
17 days ago

The flowers are still beautiful. Just spectacular colors and mountain views abound. All the creeks are passable over strategically placed rocks or logs. A few muddy or rocky spots but mostly a great smooth trail. Get to at least the first snowfield for the Snow Lillies. Parking on the main road adds a mile each way to your hike. If you don’t have a very high 4 wheel drive you may cross the river but not the massive potholes after. Our GPS read 9.4 miles from the road to the waterfall at the end (which is under the snow still) and back.

hiking
19 days ago

Easily one of my favorite hikes here in Colorado. Completed on 7/29 and the wildflowers were poppin’! One major stream crossing where I had to take my boots off. Still some snowfields to cross near the top but it’s pretty packed down so no post-holing (yet.) The green against the red mountains is perfect! Would do this 10000 more times

We started from the main road, although we saw several cars that had driven across, including a Subaru Forester similar to ours. Amazing flowers out over the entire hike, from fields of waist-high larkspur and sunflowers, to areas where glacier lilies and spring beauties are still blooming. Lots of columbine up high. All streams have logs and/or rocks to keep your feet dry (one crossing we had to go downstream quite a ways to find the obvious log - look for the social trail going to the right). The trail crosses several snow fields towards the end.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
snow
28 days ago

Beautiful wildflower trail and excellent for dogs. The trailhead starts a little further up the road. Definitely can make it up there with a 4x4 car easily. There were wildflowers throughout the entire hike with gorgeous green Mountain Views. As others have stated, there’s about 7-8 river crossings. All doable without getting your feet wet. Although, we did have to carry our 10 year old golden across one crossing. There also are about 4 snow patches towards the end. I’d highly recommend this hike to anyone visiting the area. Around mile 3 or 4 there are unreal wildflower colors.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. We parked right off Gothic. We didn’t cross East River with the car. From Gothic, you’re on a 4WD road for the first mile until you reach the actual trailhead.. There are about 7-8 river crossings. There’s a way around all of them - logs or a slight detour path. There are a couple of snow fields at the end. A little slippery, but totally doable without micro-spikes or poles. The best wildflowers are at the last part near the snowfields. Glacier lilies are still out.

hiking
1 month ago

The wildflowers are unreal!

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Drove to the trailhead with AWD SUV, ~12-14 inch deep crossing. 6-7 other water crossings on the hike, each with log bridge. Awesome flowers at a few different locations. With the best being between the 3 and 4 mile marks. Last mile required some wide snowfield crossings far sides of trail at snow fields were not easily identified.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on 7/22. Beautiful flowers -many are at their peak especially towards the end of the trail. Several water crossings -very doable but water shoes needed for one of the crossings. Yaktraxs would be helpful for the snow fields - there are at least three. Poles work too but the snow is slippery. You can’t quite get to the end of the trail. You can drive to the TH in a high clearance vehicle but there is one spot that is a little challenging. Just a beautiful hike -one of the best in CB.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike today 8 or 9 river crossings totally doable. Look for strewn logs to help across. Possible to drive to trailhead with high clearance vehicle no problem. Only one snowfield and amazing flowers at Mile 3.5. Waterfall was mostly under snow at end of trail. Mountains with gorgeous snow every way you looked. Did 8 miles total with extra mile before trailhead.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Still lots of snowat the top and have to cross a few fast moving rivers. Other than that really pretty trail and very worth it!!

hiking
1 month ago

Driving the water crossing on the road was easier than normal thanks to some beaver dams. We had no trouble driving up to the trailhead and parking. Still too early for flowers on this trail. Didn’t go over the last water crossing since it looked too dangerous. Still a nice hike with beautiful views.

hiking
1 month ago

Be prepared to walk through the creek 2 miles in. No way around it.

hiking
muddy
snow
washed out
1 month ago

Hiked this trail 4th of July. Muddy is spots and have to hike over snow and fallen trees so the trail gets a little hard to follow but it won’t stop you from finishing. Parts where you have to cross fast rushing rivers where the snow makes it hard to know where the best place to cross is. Overall a really beautiful hike. The first 1mile part on the road to the trailhead is NOT FUN and long. Take an off roading car if possible!

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

An amazing hike. We made it to the falls today but there were a few sketchy water crossings and several snow fields to navigate. That said, totally worth it. In two weeks the wild flowers are going to be out of control.

camping
1 month ago

Love Crested Butte and surrounding area. Got last camping spot at Gothic Campground. We parked on Gothic Road parking lot for this hike and should have driven 4x4 to upper trailhead (we had the means). Wouldn't do that without a Subaru or 4x4 with high clearance - large bumps but not rocky. Hike itself is gorgeous and relatively flat. Some semi-serious water crossing and had to take shoes/socks off at one point. Great views all along of wildflowers and nearby mountains. Camp 4 Coffee on the way in and out is a must. There is a good looking coffee spot near RMBL that I've yet to try.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Great trail with gorgeous views. River is still high and the couple crossings varied between chance of getting your boots wet and downright risky. That said you can make it almost all the way to the top, and it’s quite rewarding if you do. After the final river crossing (and riskiest) about a mile and a half or two from the top there are quite a few snow fields left to navigate, but nothing too scary. Happy hiking!

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