Trail 403 from Schofield Pass

Crested Butte

Climb to the Trail 403 overlook the hard way.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
8.4 km
Ascent
549 m
Descent
549 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
2.9 km
High Point
3.5 km
Gradient
11˚
Trail 403 from Schofield Pass Map

While the rocky outcropping at the highpoint on Trail 403 can be accessed via a shorter and easier hike than the one mapped here, this route actually requires much less driving to access. It also presents the benefit of being a steep, challenging route—and consequently is much more rewarding.

Description

From the trailhead on Schofield Pass Road in Gothic Valley, Trail 403 climbs constantly all the way to the rocky viewpoint high on the ridge. Gaining 1,800 feet in just 2.5 miles, this steep climb is a real workout.

Thankfully, the views along the way more than make up for the pain. The trail passes through stunning alpine meadows filled with wildflowers, crosses rushing mountain streams, and traverses deep, dark stands of pine trees.

The trail tread is a mixed bag. In some spots, the singletrack is smooth and hard packed. In some spots, it traverses embedded root webs and hard rocks. But in others, you’ll have to negotiate loose, rolling rocks and some rock ledges. These sections can be a bit challenging, but should be passable by most people in good physical condition.

The higher you climb, the better the views get, culminating in the viewpoint at the top of the trail. Prepare to be amazed! The mountain views from this outcrop are surreal, with jagged peaks and ridgelines filling your field of view. This is the perfect stop to stop for a snack and a bit of reflection.

To complete this route as mapped, return from whence you came.

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

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
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area