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Green Lake Trail



9.4 mile 15.2 kilometer loop
86% Runnable


Ascent: 1,718' 524 m
Descent: -1,718' -524 m
High: 10,618' 3,236 m
Low: 8,938' 2,724 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 22% (13°)


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Trail shared by Scott Krankkala

A steep out and back to Green Lake.

Scott Krankkala

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers


A steep but rewarding journey to a high alpine lake starting in downtown Crested Butte. For a crowded area to recreate, this is a relatively less-frequented trail in the area. Enjoy the solitude and the incredible views it affords you at the top.

Need to Know

It's usually a good idea to bring some bug spray just in case the mosquitoes are bad in the dark timber.

Runner Notes

This trail is used annually for the Grin and Bear It race which is a fundraiser for the Crested Butte Nordic Center. This trail takes you through the trees to the picturesque Green Lake.


Start by heading over to the Crested Butte Nordic Center near 2nd Avenue in Town. Run behind the building on a doubletrack heading Southeast. This eventually leads to a road and the first trail sign directing you to take a right on this road. Just under a half mile later, another sign will direct you to the left and the start of the Green Lake trail singletrack.

The climb starts here and doesn't relent much. Switchback your way up the mountain through the dark timber steeply at times until getting dumped out to another road. A sign directs you to take a right on this road. About 1/2 mile on the road, another sign directs you to get back onto singletrack to your left.

Wind your way up through the dark timber and enjoy the rugged trail on the way. The trail eventually starts opening up, stay straight at the intersection for Trail 436. Once at the lake, marvel in its beauty and get ready to turn around an run back the way you came.

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Sep 4, 2016
Herb Morreale
Well marked. Beautiful lake full of fish. Tons of mushrooms. 9.2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 9 votes


  4.4 from 9 votes
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in Colorado


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July Aspen Sunflowers in meadow along Wild Cat Creek, during the annual Grin & Bear It trail run.
May 19, 2016 near Crested…, CO
Grin & Bear It racers make their return descent after having arrived at the Green Lake turn around below the Mt. Axtel massif.
May 19, 2016 near Crested…, CO
Descending Green Lake Trail with Mt Axtel in background.
May 19, 2016 near Crested…, CO
Green Lake
Sep 15, 2015 near Crested…, CO


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