Saturday, May 26, 2012
Judd Falls, Gunnison National Forest
Gunnison National Forest
Date Hiked: May 26, 2012
Distance: 2.3 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 300ft
Elevation Min/Max: 9,600 to 9,903ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 38.966829º N; 106.993188º W
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service
Judd Falls Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: From Crested Butte, head north on Gothic Road through Mt. Crested Butte. Head north for a few miles, cross a bridge, and before the town of Gothic, look for a turn off to the right. The lower parking area will be obvious but if need landmarks there is a port-a-potty in the parking area...oh, yeah, and the parking area is just to the east of and in the shadow the imposing hulk of Gothic Mountain, but look for the port-a-potty. This is the lower parking area, this is a very popular area and you will most likely have to park here, but the Cooper Creek trailhead is .5 mi up the dirt road from here. If you park at the upper lot you shave 1 mi RT off of this hike.
From the Cooper Creek trailhead, the hike is a pleasant .5 mi jaunt through Aspen forest. There are great views of Gothic Mountain and Mt. Crested Butte, and a few small ponds along the way. When you reach the trail junction with the dirt road leading into the wilderness and up cooper creek, you have arrived at the falls overlook. The falls are located in a narrow slot canyon and you look down on them. They are impressive, especially in the early season when Cooper Creek is full of snow melt. There is a nice bench to enjoy the view until you are ready to head back...or further up the trail into the wonders of the Elk Mountains.