Washington Gulch to Elkton Cabins

OutAndBack • 11 mi • 0 ft

Surrounded by the majestic vistas of the Elk Mountains and the Ruby–Anthracite Range, Crested Butte is a haven for nordic skiers and is thought by many to be the birthplace of the modern American telemark turn. Over the same routes used by mountain bikers during the summer, winter outdoor enthusiasts can explore the vast backcountry famous for its beauty, accessibility, and ruggedness. There are also a number of huts in the area that can serve as excellent base camps for backcountry adventure. The three huts in the old mining townsite of Elkton—Elkton Cabin, Miner’s Delight, and Mosquito Hut—are examples. The trail to the abandoned mining camp of Elkton is a well-established, popular route shared by snowmobilers, snowshoers, and backcountry skiers. The best time to go is after a fresh snow when you can break trail yourself and enjoy the calm and peace of the gently rolling terrain. Surface quality: Ungroomed but usually well tracked by skiers, snowshoers, and snowmobilers. Avalanche danger: Low.
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Activity Type: Cross-Country Skiing
Nearby City: Crested Butte
Length: 11 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Novice to intermediate
Duration: 3 to 5 hours
Trailhead Elevation: 9,450 feet
Top Elevation: 10,700 feet
Other Uses: Medium snowmobile use
Local Contacts: Gunnison National Forest
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