Backpack to Copper Lake

Rate this Adventure Colorado Copper Lake

Added by Leigh Wilson

Copper Lake offers amazing mountain scenery and a chance to set up camp with some solitude. Although this is a stop for folks heading to Conundrum Hot Springs, you can still find a quiet spot to yourself.

Looking for a wildflower hike, we decided on Copper Lake in the Maroon Bells Wilderness as a place to base camp for 4 nights. It is 5 miles from the Trailhead, which is off Gothic Road above Crested Butte (2WD Accessible).

Copper Lake is this beautiful alpine lake, situated right at treeline, with several established campsites. This is apparently a popular stop on the way to Conundrum Hot Springs, so we did have hikers at the other campsites as well, but it was far from crowded. The hike itself is fairly easy, aside from about the last mile, which gets pretty steep!

Copper Lake is also situated near several trails, so we had some great options for dayhikes. Now, many “hardcore” backpackers will do a loop where you pack up your tent every day and move sites, but I have to say, I’m a big fan of the basecamp trip, and this was the perfect location to come home to each night!

On your first day, hike over East Maroon Pass, to East Maroon Creek. Start off on a ledge trail up above Copper Lake and immediately you'll enter into fields of gorgeous wildflowers.

The next day, hike back the way you came in, just a bit, to the Triangle Pass Trail. This is the longest hike of the trip, and features the most breathtaking scenery as well.

For more details, see my longer blog post.

Pack List

  • The usual backpacking supplies
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag / Sleeping Pad
  • Rain Gear
  • Stove and Fuel
  • Water Treatment
  • Bear Vault (check as this may now be required in Maroon Bells Wilderness)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Toilet Kit - Trowel, TP, Ziploc Bags
  • Warm Clothes for evening - fleece pants/jacket, hat, gloves
  • Sunscreen/SPF Chapstick
  • Bug Spray (seasonal)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

10 Miles

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Leigh Wilson

I love the outdoors and adventure travel, but love to end a rugged dirty trip at a nice hotel, preferably with a spa and some room service! 
 http://campfiresandconcierges.com/

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Three Sisters

Colorado / Alderfer/Three Sisters Park Parking Lot

The short 1.2 mile long trail, is a family-friendly, dog-friendly trail near Evergreen. The parking lot is incredibly easy to find and there is great signage to make sure you're going the right way.

Korey Taylor
9 Saves

Summit Coffeepot & Teakettle Peaks

Colorado / Yankee Boy Basin Road: Directly Below Teakettle/Coffeepot Peaks

Drive up to Yankee Boy Basin and park at the switchback marked on the map. This location has space for a couple cars and sits directly below the peaks you will be climbing.

Piper Wolters
7 Saves

Hike to West Fork Pass

Colorado / Owl Creek Pass Road

Drive up Owl Creek Pass as far as your vehicle will take you. If you do not have 4WD and high clearance, you will get as far as the Courthouse Peak trailhead. In this case, your hike begins here.

Piper Wolters
6 Saves