Scarp Ridge Trail to 421 Trail Loop

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Gunnison National Forest

Scarp Ridge Trail to 421 Trail Loop is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Crested Butte, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,630 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Note: Users report that an AWD or high clearance vehicle is preferred.

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

AmazIng wildflowers and a view at the top, Strenuous, with multiple separate uphill sections. There’s also somewhat of a false summit, the true one requiring an out and back portion. Get up there before the rain hits!

hiking
7 months ago

One of the best views in CO. The clockwise loop is steep but the views are amazing.

hiking
8 months ago

Would do again. The 360 at top is amazing

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike, nice views almost the entire hike. Views are the top are fabulous! It was very windy at the top and we needed gloves to stay warm. We did the counter-clockwise loop, but think the clockwise loop would be equally good; maybe a little steeper going up.

Great short trail! The time flew by! Gradual incline. I had many short stops to catch my breath but it’s not steep. Beautiful views at the top! One of the more scenic hikes imo. Colors were starting to change. Trail conditions and temps were great. Started at trailhead at noon.

hiking
8 months ago

Went counterclockwise and was rewarded the best views after a big incline! loved walking through this valley being surrounded my mountainous views. Loved the long trail at the summit before going back down. Beautiful!!!

hiking
8 months ago

+1 to the other reviews regarding needing an AWD or high clearance vehicle to reach the trailhead. You can get around Lake Irwin without too much difficulty, but it starts to get a bit more tricky once you reach a cabin where the first private property signs start showing up and the road splits. We parked there and hiked up the extra mile to the trailhead. It’s all paved so it’s easy terrain, but just be prepared for a decent amount of elevation gain before you reach the trail. There are beautiful views all over this trail though even if you don’t make it to the ridge.

hiking
8 months ago

We drove up the road as far as we could and parked close to trailhead. We also took the trail loop in a counter clockwise direction upon advice. It was good advice because the trail elevation climb is a bit gentler. When you reach the ridge, the views are incredible! Be sure to keep walking on the ridge (there is another little climb) to look down onto Blue Lake. Beautiful views everywhere - Lake Irwin, Blue Lake, Mt. Crested Butte and ski resort, Maroon Bell peak...

hiking
no shade
private property
rocky
8 months ago

360° views at the top! Was 90% uphill the whole way up and I would rate this more on the side of hard moderate. We did the trail counter clockwise and I think that had the best views. About 95% of the wildflowers were all dead as of September 8, 2018. Would highly recommend this trail but be mindful of the high altitude and step incline. Lastly, you do need a four-wheel-drive or high clearance vehicle to get to the trail head. I did see some sedans parked at the trail head but I would not recommend it

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. Had two kids with us (5 yo on foot, other carried), and it was fine. Still some wildflowers, outstanding views.

hiking
9 months ago

One of the best trails, if not the best, I’ve ever done. The views have to been seen to be believed. Go right at the first fork, slightly less steep throughout. We went semi-early on a Saturday morning around 9:30 and trail was pretty empty going up but we passed several dozen going back down. Moderate hike. Altitude is fairly high, we got up to 12,500 by scrambling up a little ridge-line, so beware if you are a flatlander! Absolutely majestic, if you don’t do this while you are in Crested Butte you are a fool. Still great wildflowers Aug 31, but peak hike time likely early-mid August. Great for our two dogs, bring water for everyone, lots! Recommend SUVs only (no sedans) to the trailhead, road can be rough in places.

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing views and beautiful wildflowers. The other reviews are right: head left at the fork on 12E because Google Maps is still wrong (as of Aug 21, 2019) and definitely do counter-clockwise. Enjoy!

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike with amazing views. Second the recommendations about going counter clockwise. Note that the directions to the trailhead from Google are incorrect. After turning off of CO road 12, stay to the LEFT at the fork and head up to Lake Irwin, and then follow road around the left side of the lake.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked 8/7/19. Great trail! No snow on the trail but there was a bit adjacent to it for a impromptu snowball fight. There are amazing views of Oh-Be-Joyful, Mt Crested Butte, and Lake Irwin from the summit. Make sure you go counterclockwise in the loop; it is much less steep going up. We passed some people going the other way on our our way down. They looked like they were having a rough time.

hiking
10 months ago

Wonderful hike. Wasn't any water on the trail to speak of 8/5/19 FYI. Got to the th at 7:30a. Just one other car. When I got back down there were cars all over. Get there early. The views were fantastic. This does have a good deal of "up" obviously, so plan accordingly. Kids can do this hike if they are so inclined. Good for dogs. NOT a rocky/bouldery foot killer trail. Very pleasant for the most part. Really enjoyed this hike today.

Very steep! But beautiful hike and worth it

Beautiful hike with amazing views along the ridge and back down towards Lake Irwin. Lots of flowers out, too, although mostly short ones - not the waist-high fields along Gothic Road. We came near one stream along the southwest section of the loop, but otherwise there was no water. We were able to make it all the way up to the "parking area" (which is below the Lodge, and below the USFS 'no parking' sign), although the road was VERY bumpy in several places on the last stretch up.

hiking
10 months ago

6+ hike! Phenomenal views in all directions throughout the loop and plenty of small water falls both near and far. I highly recommend this hike. Ignore the signs on the dirt road to the trailhead that say private property. Once you get in a little ways the county signs say private property on both sides of the road. The land owners are just trying to discourage you from driving on the road. You may need four wheel drive to get up the dirt road pending weather conditions. Parking is limited so get up there early. If you're planning on backpacking this trail and want the least amount of miles (1-2) go counterclockwise - you'll find water, plenty of trees and level spots. If you go clockwise around the loop, you'll have to cross over the the top - about 12,000 ft then you'll drop back down into the flatter areas. Also near the top is low scrub brush - above tree line - however there are some nice areas that you can setup that are fairly level. Note - there is no water this high up. This is a beautiful hike. And I agree that it would be considered moderate. Keep an eye on weather conditions because you are in Colorado!

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Started at the Lodge (take a right at the solar panel shed/garage, not left! There is a legal battle over land up that way and it sounds heated), trailhead basically at the lodge. Pretty good incline until you hit the ridge, but views are incredible! never seen the backside of the Maroon Bells like that.

hiking
10 months ago

Did the loop counter clockwise on 7/23. Amazing views. A lot of flowers at their prime.. One of the best 360 views you will find anywhere at the top. A couple of snowfields to cross over on the way down but very doable. Parking is limited so best to get to the TH as early as possible.

hiking
10 months ago

We did the loop counterclockwise ( less steep because of more switchbacks) left side has long snowfield doable without spikes. Trail in great shape. No avy damage. Little tricky getting to trailhead. Road in good shape but rough.

hiking
private property
scramble
snow
10 months ago

Favorite trail!!!! Snow has almost melted completely 7/17/19

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
10 months ago

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