Beautiful 16-mile day hike by the Wildflower Capital of Colorado.

From Crested Butte, drive north on Gothic Road and turn left on Slate River Road. Drive 4.5 miles on the dirt road and look for the Oh-Be-Joyful Campground which will be on your left.  Drive about 0.5 miles to the campground at the bottom of the hill, by a wide river.

This trail begins by a quick, steep elevation gain follows an old mining road up above the side of Oh Be Joyful Creek. After about 2 miles of hiking, you will round the bend of the valley and can start to see Democrat Basin a few miles ahead; after this point, the valley opened up considerably and the views were astonishing. On the left side of the valley, Peeler Peak and Garfield Peak stand tall while the Schulykill Mountain dominates the right side of the basin. At this point, the trail flattens out and becomes narrower. You will then travel through a long valley with little elevation gain until you reach the base of the ridge, where you will begin switch-backing up another fairly steep elevation gain. 

This trail continues up and around Oh-Be-Joyful Peak and Hancock Peak, over the pass and down to its intersection with the Silver Basin Trail. 

Pack List

  • Plenty of water 
  • Sunscreen (not much tree coverage in the basin) 
  • Clothing layers
  • Hat
  • Snacks
  • Hiking poles
  • Hiking shoes 
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RT Distance 16 Miles
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
River
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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