Copper Lake offers amazing mountain scenery and a chance to set up camp with some solitude. Although this is a stop for folks heading to Conundrum Hot Springs, you can still find a quiet spot to yourself.

Looking for a wildflower hike, we decided on Copper Lake in the Maroon Bells Wilderness as a place to base camp for 4 nights. It is 5 miles from the Trailhead, which is off Gothic Road above Crested Butte (2WD Accessible).

Copper Lake is this beautiful alpine lake, situated right at treeline, with several established campsites. This is apparently a popular stop on the way to Conundrum Hot Springs, so we did have hikers at the other campsites as well, but it was far from crowded. The hike itself is fairly easy, aside from about the last mile, which gets pretty steep!

Copper Lake is also situated near several trails, so we had some great options for dayhikes. Now, many “hardcore” backpackers will do a loop where you pack up your tent every day and move sites, but I have to say, I’m a big fan of the basecamp trip, and this was the perfect location to come home to each night!

On your first day, hike over East Maroon Pass, to East Maroon Creek. Start off on a ledge trail up above Copper Lake and immediately you'll enter into fields of gorgeous wildflowers.

The next day, hike back the way you came in, just a bit, to the Triangle Pass Trail. This is the longest hike of the trip, and features the most breathtaking scenery as well.

For more details, see my longer blog post.

Pack List

  • The usual backpacking supplies
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag / Sleeping Pad
  • Rain Gear
  • Stove and Fuel
  • Water Treatment
  • Bear Vault (check as this may now be required in Maroon Bells Wilderness)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Toilet Kit - Trowel, TP, Ziploc Bags
  • Warm Clothes for evening - fleece pants/jacket, hat, gloves
  • Sunscreen/SPF Chapstick
  • Bug Spray (seasonal)
Show More
RT Distance 10 Miles
Activities Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

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