Backpack to Copper Lake

Rate this Adventure 10 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

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.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Maroon Creek Road

East Maroon Portal Picnic Site

Overview East Maroon Portal Picnic Site is situated next to Maroon Creek, offering spectacular views of towering red stone cliffs, lush wetlands and evergreen forests. The area is an excellent gath...

Carbondale, Colorado

Bogan Flats Campground Grp S

Overview Bogan Flats Campground stretches along the Crystal River in a valley of aspen groves, towering Ponderosa Pine, spruce, and willow. The setting is ideal for larger groups seeking recreatio...

Marble, Colorado

Thompson Creek Campground

The Thompson Creek Recreation Management Area is located just a few miles southwest of Carbondale and provides beautiful, remote recreational opportunities. On the North end of the RMA is the Lorax...

Gunnison County, Colorado

Lodgepole (Taylor River)

Overview Lodgepole Campground is located 22 miles from Gunnison, COLORADO in the Taylor River Canyon. Visitors enjoy the area for its rafting, fishing and trail opportunities. Recreation The Taylor...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Rustler's Gulch

    From Crested Butte, continue 6 miles past the town of Gothic to Rustler's Gulch Road. Turn right on the road, cross the East River to get to a small parking area near the river. If you don't have 4WD, park here and hike another 1/2 mile to the tra...

    9 miles 1748 ft gain

  • Backpack Copper Creek to Conundrum Hot Springs

    Please Note: Conundrum Springs camping requires an overnight permit. You must get a permit in order to camp at the springs.  If you're looking for an incredibly challenging hike, Copper Creek to Triangle Pass to Conundrum Springs is the hike for y...

    22.5 miles 4000 ft gain

  • Crested Butte: Ride the Iconic 401 Trail

    There are many reasons Crested Butte is famous for its single track and the 401 trail tops that list with its endless views of Colorado's spectacular Maroon Bells and Elk Range and its fast and flowy downhill that winds you through majestic backdr...

  • Hike to Judd Falls

    Starting at 9600 feet, just outside the small town of Gothic is the trail head for Judd Falls. The parking lot is on the side of the road and getting to this area is completely possible with a passenger car. The trailhead includes bathrooms and is...

    2.5 miles 220 ft gain

  • Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

    "I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town. The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Aspen is a place to explore and a place to recharge. Breathe in the crisp mountain air while you discover our wide-open spaces by footbike, or horse. Restore your mind, body and spirit as you reconnect with nature and loved ones in Aspen’s great outdoors. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

    Learn More