South of the famous Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is the southern extension of the Elk Mountains with far fewer visitors than the Wilderness area. East of Crested Butte, CO and west of Taylor Reservoir is a large expanse of the Gunnison National forest with 12er and 13er peaks an plenty of alpine terrain to explore. Many trailheads in this area are off of County Road 740 - about 2/3 of the way from Gunnison, CO to Crested Butte, CO - that leads deep into the mountains, turning into a 4x4 road that dead ends in a box canyon over 11,000ft. County Road 742 just north of Gunnison (turning off at the small town of Almont) also winds its way deep into the high country with a number of trailheads into this area on the north and access to the Fossil Ridge Wilderness to the south.
Year-round; 24 hours a day
US Forest Service: Gunnison Ranger District
Miles of Trail
Max/Min Elev (ft)
Dogs allowed - must be on leash in developed areas
8,420ft - 13,530ft
Elk Mountains South Area Hiking Trail and Map Finder