This short day hike is easy and surrounded by beautiful scenery for the whole trip.

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 particularly uncrowded on weekdays and in the later months of the year. To start the hike, follow the four wheel drive road for almost a mile and you will arrive at another parking area (You can drive to this point if you want, but the road is significantly harder to manage). From here, you will see another trail sign indicating the direction to take for Judd Falls. From here, you will have amazing views of the surrounding mountains including Gothic Mountain, Mt. Baldy, and Mt. Crested Butte. You will pass the Judd Falls weather station and see a variety of vegetation in the area including wildflowers in the summer months. The trail is well defined and it is necessary not to stray from this path because all the surrounding land is under study by the Rocky Mountain Biological Research Laboratory. As you continue to hike on the gently sloping trail, you will come to a smooth, black dirt path that leads directly to the waterfall. The viewing area from the side of the trail offers a great vantage point for photography, as well as a quiet place to enjoy picnics and the surrounding scenery. This hike is especially good to do with small children, as it is short and relatively easy.

Pack List

Hiking shoesCameraWater bottle

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RT Distance 2.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 220 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

about 2 years ago

Easy Hike

Great warm-up hike with great views of Mt. Crested Butte and Mt. Gothic. The waterfall itself is pretty but you can’t easily get too close to it. The scramble down to the base of the falls was too sketchy to attempt without rappel gear. From the falls you can continue on the Copper Trail for miles and miles, if you wished to. There are also many areas off these trails great for camping.


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