10 routes · Trail Running
Scarp Ridge -> Mount Emmons
Traverse a stunning alpine ridge to reach the summit of 12,401-foot Mount Emmons, the Red Lady.
Trail Running Difficult
- 17 km
- 1 km
- 1 km
- 2-3 hrs
- Low Point
- 3.2 km
- High Point
- 3.8 km
The route begins at Lake Irwin, climbing steeply up a switchbacked trail to gain the top of Scarp Ridge. If in doubt, bear right at any junctions, as you’ll be traversing the ridge to climber’s right.
Once you gain the top of Scarp Ridge, the trail follows the ridge all the way to Gunsight Pass. In a few places, the trail may disappear briefly, but as long as you follow the top of the ridge, you’ll stay on course. Enjoy the views from this stunning traverse trail—it doesn’t get much better than this!
The highpoint of the ridge is marked by a post. If you’re tired by this point, this is a great spot to turn around.
From here, the trail drops steeply down to Gunsight Pass before the final push to the summit of Mount Emmons. Once on top of Emmons, soak in the stunning views of the Elk Range and Crested Butte below you—you’ve earned it!
Return the way you came to get back to your car. Alternatively, you could choose to stage a second vehicle at Oh-Be-Joyful and turn this route into a traverse by dropping down the north side of the ridge. Only choose this option if you’ve prepared for it, though!
Sources: https://travelcrestedbutte.com/crested-butte-hiking-5-bucket-list-trails/ https://travelcrestedbutte.com/crested-butte-trails-red-lady-mt-emmons-via-scarp-ridge/ https://www.summitpost.org/scarp-ridge/1004075