Gothic Mountain

Crested Butte

Difficult hike to the summit of one of the most iconic mountains in the region.

Hiking Severe

Distance
11 km
Ascent
1 km
Descent
1 km
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
2.9 km
High Point
3.8 km
Gradient
24˚
VIEW ON MAP
Gothic Mountain Map

Description

Gothic Mountain towers over the small town of Gothic and stands as a monument on the Crested Butte horizon. Rising to an elevation of 12,625 feet, 14er climbers tend to pass this peak over… but it’s prominence above the surrounding valleys and its visually-impressive slopes make it an appealing objective for summit-hungry hikers visiting Crested Butte.

The hike up Gothic begins on the 403 Trail. You can take the easy way by driving up Washington Gulch road and doing a short leg of 403 before your push to the summit. Or, you can do it the hard way, as mapped here, and climb all the way up from Schofield Pass Road.

The initial climb up the 403 Trail is, in and of itself, an excellent hike, with beautiful wildflower meadows, rushing mountain streams, and deep forests. The climb is steep in places, with loose dirt and rolling rocks adding an extra layer of difficulty.

The climb only gets more difficult after taking the left turn toward Gothic Mountain. Early on, the trail may disappear where it crosses a marshy area, but then it "will reappear within a hundred feet,” according to Travel Crested Butte.

The trail mostly follows the ridgeline to the summit of Gothic Mountain. Along the way, it crests two false summits before dropping down into a saddle and making the final push to the true summit.

The trail tread along the ridgeline is rocky and narrow and is exposed in places. However, while using a hand on a rock or two for stability may be useful, there’s little true scrambling required on this climb—despite how intimidating the mountain looks from a distance.

The overall lack of scrambling doesn’t mean this climb is easy. The final push to the summit is steep and challenging, gaining 1,300 feet in the last 0.9 miles. Take your time, and you’ll make it!

Be sure to summit and get back down below treeline by noon, before the afternoon thunderstorms build.

Sources: https://travelcrestedbutte.com/crested-butte-hikes-gothic-mountain/ https://www.summitpost.org/gothic-mountain/1003082 https://www.theoutbound.com/colorado/hiking/hike-gothic-mountain

Difficulty

Severe

Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area