Rustler Gulch Road

Gunnison National Forest, Colorado

Elevation Gain511ft
Trailhead Elevation9,721ft
Elevation Min/Max9685/10144ft
Elevation Start/End9721/9721ft

Rustler Gulch Road

Rustler Gulch Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in , Colorado. It is within Gunnison National Forest and Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness Area. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 9,721 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 511 feet. This trail connects with the following: Bellview Road and 401.

Rustler Gulch Road Professional Reviews and Guides

"Prepare to be dazzled. Filled with floods of wildflowers from start to finish, Rustler Gulch at peak bloom is a prize winner. At least 114 different kinds of flowers may be seen during prime-time bloom, making this an extraordinary floral trek. Maroon rock formations, talus-sloped peaks, pretty creeks, inspiring views, and mining relics add to the hike’s allure.

If you choose not to drive up the steep and sometimes-slippery access road, the first mile utilizing the road itself is the toughest part of the hike, but even this segment is awash in waist-high flowers. When you reach a locked, yellow metal gate, the trail inclines steadily but gently. One, perhaps two, challenging creek crossings must be negotiated to reach the high country’s floral glories of Rustler Gulch. Wildflower Alert: It’s no exaggeration to say that Rustler Gulch is the premier place to wade through endless wildflowers."

"A day hike along an alpine valley. This old mining road follows a valley filled with tall forb meadows that unleash a stunning display of blossoms in midsummer.

Birdwatchers will find an abundance of songbirds and hummingbirds along the way. The old road leads to a high basin flanked by impressive summits, where the ruins of long-abandoned mines await exploration. The hike is described from the road closure, where parking is limited."

Rustler Gulch Road Reviews

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This is the best time to do this hike it is a waist deep carpet of wildflowers with views of mountain valleys, passes and peaks. Best hike we did this week. Great scenery, views and photos. We started late and turned around at 2 hours in sight of the waterfall but still a mile from the end of trail. There is space for 2 cars to park at the gate and very little turn around space. When we got there a Subaru and a Jeep were already there. Our Suburban might still be there if we had attempted to go to the gate. We parked at the campground below and walked the mile to the gate. This is the most strenuous part of the hike, take it slow, past the gate gentle uphills and flats. If you don't have a high clearance vehicle add another 3/4 mile rtrp to hike from the turn off. You have to cross a narrow stream with banks to get to the campground. There was no turnaround point here so you'll have to back out if you can't make it. Bring bug spray, this time of the year there was a bad infestation of flies, some bite most just annoying. A local in Gothic said they hatch first of July and stay 2-3 weeks. Great, just at the peak of the wildflowers. Bring sunscreen and hat the trail is mostly exposed. Start early, while no afternood thunderstorms today 3 days later on the otherside of the mountain near Marble 4 hikers hit by lightening at 2pm.

Rustler Gulch Road Photos

Trail Information

Gunnison National Forest
Nearby City
Gunnison National Forest
Skill Level
Gunnison District, Gunnison National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Snowmass Mountain, Oh-Be-Joyful, Maroon Bells
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018