5 Great Hikes in Crested Butte for Kids

If you’re looking for a beautiful trip, Crested Butte makes a great family getaway. This mountain town is full of charm, scenery, adventure, and of course, hiking. Check out these best hikes in Crested Butte for kids. Check out waterfalls, lakes, wildflower and more. These easy hikes in Crested Butte are for all ages!

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Crested Butte Kids Hikes pin 1

Hiking Gear for families

These hikes are great for kids! I’ve noted the difficulty levels, as some may be more suited for younger ones than others.

If you are hiking with a baby in Crested Butte, make sure you have a baby carrier as this will make it so much easier and enjoyable for everyone. We loved using our Kelty carrier when our kids were babies, as it was sturdy and comfortable.

Here are a few others that are also rated highly for comfort and convenience:

If you don’t need a baby carrier, then make sure to still carry a hiking pack (<— our favorite one that doesn’t break the bank). This is necessary to carry sunscreen, waters, and snacks and other necessary hiking essentials.

Here are the best Crested Butte hikes for kids…

Judd Falls Trail – great hikes in Crested Butte for Kids

Distance: 2.2 miles Round Trip, out-and-back

Difficulty: Easy (incline but not too strenuous)

This is one of the easy hikes in Crested Butte for kids that is popular with families.

Judd Falls begins north of Mt Crested Butte, the mountain village just a mile or two from downtown Crested Butte. Stay on County Road 317 heading north. You’ll pass the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and continue on just under a mile. The parking area will be on your right.

The main parking for Judd Falls is at the bottom, right off County Road 317. If you have a 4×4, you can drive up farther and see if there is a parking spot in one of the small lots. Spots are limited up here and it only saves you about 1/2 mile.

At the main parking lot are a couple bathrooms (vault toilets).

Judd Falls Trail Crested Butte

The hike to Judd Falls from the main parking lot is about 1.1-1.2 miles, making it a nice and easy distance for kids. The first part of the hike is along a dirt road (where other cars may try to make their way up.) The trail will go past a couple small dirt lots.

Judd Falls Trail Flowers Crested Butte

If you are there in wildflower season, (mid-June to mid-July is the peak), you will really enjoy all the colors and varieties of flowers that cover the mountainside.

Kids and adults will enjoy the interpretive signs along the way, teaching about the history of the area and importance of research in the wildflower-infested habitat.

You’ll walk through some trees and eventually hike along the side of the mountain in open air with open views. And the views are spectacular!

Judd Falls easy hike for kids in Crested Butte
Judd Falls easy hike for kids in Crested Butte

As you near Judd Falls, you’ll see a sign pointing to the overlook. This is the only way to see the falls. It is basically on the edge of a cliff, so use caution and obey the signs with safety measures.

At the overlook there is a bench to sit on and enjoy the view.

Tip: Go earlier than later as the parking lot fills quickly and people end up parking all along the road! We had the view at the overlook to ourselves, but on our hike back down we passed so many people heading up.

Snodgrass Trail – more great hikes in Crested Butte for Kids

Distance: 5.8 miles total out and back (suggestion: hike and turn around when it’s time!)

Difficulty: Moderate (easy trail but inclines a bit!)

The Snodgrass Trail is also north of Mt Crested Butte village, but not quite as far as Judd Falls. In fact, you can hop on the free town shuttle (the condo shuttle) and hitch a ride to the trailhead.

Snodgrass-Trailhead-best-hikes-for-kids-in-Crested-Butte

Parking for Snodgrass Trail is right off County Road 317. You’ll see parking spots marked along the sides/shoulder, along with some porta-potties. You can tell you are there because it’s right where the road turns from pavement to dirt. If you hit dirt road, you’ve just barely gone too far.

Snodgrass trailhead is right across the street from the porta-potties, right where you see a sidewalk end.

This Crested Butte hiking trail is heavily used by mountain bikers, hikers, runners, and horses.

The trail ascends quite a bit. It will split off into different directions shortly on, so go where your heart takes you. The splits join back together eventually, so it doesn’t matter which fork you take.

Snodgrass-kids-hike-in-Crested-Butte

Snodgrass Trail offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains and hillsides. Plus, it’s very picturesque looking down at the horse stables below.

If you visit during wildflower season, you will be overwhelmed with color and flowers on Snodgrass Trail. This was a real treat and it was hard to put our cameras away on this trail.

This is one of the great hikes in Crested Butte for kids, but ascending up the trail is a little tough as it is quite an incline. We took lots of water breaks even just on the first 1/2 mile. Take it nice and slow and just enjoy the views!

Snodgrass-Aspens-hikes-for-kids-Crested-Butte

But at just under a mile the scenery changes a little (and the incline is less intense) and you end up walking through a grove of Aspens.

This trail was so beautiful. It’s also quite long, so just hike as far as you would like and turn around to come back. It’s a great trail for kids (despite gaining elevation.) It’s not technical and it’s full of fun scenery.

Snodgrass Trail will take you up Snodgrass Mountain. So if the kids are up for 6 miles round-trip (maybe older or experienced hikers), it’s a great accomplishment.

Snodgrass-flowers-kid-hikes-Crested-Butte

We were just there to hike and see the beautiful wildflowers, so we only did about 3 miles. We saw many other families doing the same. And every step was gorgeous!


Check out my video of these Great 5 Hikes in Crested Butte with Kids


Story Walk Trail – Easy Hikes in Crested Butte for Kids

Distance: .5 miles one way

Difficulty: Easy

Story Walk start Crested Butte

Beginning of Story Walk Trail

I love finding unique attractions that my kids will love. This Crested Butte hike got my kids very motivated!

At the start of Lower Loop Trail you’ll find the Story Walk. This is the BEST hike for kids in Crested Butte.

Story Walk Crested Butte

The trail tells a story as you hike. Each year, a new book is featured on the trail. As you walk, you’ll encounter a page at a time displayed in a case. Then the kids will run ahead to find the next page in the book.

The story loop trail is about 1/2 mile one-way. When you finish this easy hike, you can turn around and head back.

This makes the list of great hikes in Crested Butte for kids because, well, it’s actually made specifically for kids!

How to Find Story Walk Trail

For some reason, I had the hardest time figuring out how to find this trail and where to park; Everything I found said something different. So here are some directions.

Head to 4th street. There is a parking lot as you continue on a dirt road not too long. This is meant for the majority of hikers and bikers that come through.

However, if you have small children (or someone needing handicap parking), KEEP DRIVING past that lot. You’ll drive what feels like kind of a long distance and feel grateful you don’t have to make the kids hike up that long, barren dirt road in the heat.

You’ll eventually come to another parking lot after you pass Peanut Lake. On the right will be an abandoned building covered in graffiti. Just past that and to the left is a parking lot. It is just about to the end of the road.

This lot is meant for accessible parking or families with little kids. And it will land you right at the trailhead!

Tip: if you don’t qualify for that parking lot, but don’t want the long extra walk from the lower lot, there were others parking on the dirt road next to the parking lot.

Story Walk Crested Butte directions

Walk down this dirt road to get to Story Walk. It’s not far!

Right ahead is the trailhead for lower loop, upper loop, and Woods Walk. Story Walk can be accessed by staying to the right of the sign/map on the wide dirt road. Walk to the end of the dirt road a short distance and it eventually turns into a trail.

Budd Trail– continuation of Story Walk

Distance: 2.2 miles loop (including Story Walk)

Difficulty: easy-to-moderate (gentle inclines)

We wanted to hike more than 1 mile r/t, so after the Story Walk was over, we continued on, eventually crossing over to the left.

Story Walk Budd Trailheads

To get to Budd Trail:

Complete the Story Walk (or begin Budd Trail as pictured above if you don’t want to do the Story Walk).

At the end of Story Walk, keep going and stay to the left when the trail forks (with the KB trail as the other option. Don’t take that one.) Eventually you will fork left again and the trail will make a U-turn. This is the start of Budd Trail. Signs will lead you from Story Walk, to “Upper-Lower Loop”, to Budd Trail.

Once on Budd Trail, you will walk through lower fields and meadows and eventually up the mountain side to the left.

The climb is gradual and the kids all had no problems ascending.

Budd Trail Meadow Crested Butte hikes with kids
Budd Trail Aspens Crested butte hikes

Once you are ascended into the mountain side, you’ll find great relief from the heat as you walk through groves of Aspen trees.

And again, if you are visiting during peak wildflower season, you will not be disappointed on this trail! There were flowers everywhere. We saw plenty of colors and even lots of Columbines up in the shade of the Aspen trees.

Once you are Budd Trail, it is about 1.3 miles back to the parking lot (you do not need to stop and turn around; the trail will loop you back). The trail will overshoot the parking lot just a little bit, and then come back.

Budd Trail views Crested Butte hikes

And it is 1.3 beautiful miles of trail. At the peak of the trail, you will be blessed not only with wildflowers, but with incredible views of the mountain and Peanut Lake below.

Budd Trail Peanut Mine (1)

Budd Trail goes through the old Peanut Mine. Once a contaminated area, it was cleaned up a decade ago and made into a great hiking area. You’ll be able to go past some old, rusted equipment and abandoned structures.

Why is this one of the great hikes in Crested Butte for kids? Well, it’s not too difficult, it’s not too long, and the kids love seeing old mining stuff. The adults will love all that too, but really it’s the incredible views and abundance of wildflowers that make this incredible!

Woods Walk in Crested Butte

Distance: 2.9 miles out and back

Difficulty: Easy

Woods-walk-entrance-kids-hikes-Crested-Butte
Woods-Walk-trees-Crested-Butte-hikes

Woods walk is one of the best, easy hikes in Crested Butte for Kids.

You can access it from a couple places.

First, you can head to the parking lot that you would for Story Walk (noted above). This is the main way to access Woods Walk.

Second, you can access it off Treasury Hill Rd.

I would suggest the first access because there is better parking. We found this out later. Google Maps led us to Treasury Hill Rd. There is an official trailhead here, but it is in a little neighborhood that only had street parking. It seemed like this wasn’t an official place to park, but maybe just a way for local residents to access the trail.

While it may not be the main parking, it does take you more through the woods at this trailhead. So it’s a great place to start.

Either way, Woods Walk lives up to its name.

Access from Treasury Hill Rd (since this is where Google will take you: ) The trail takes you through the trees on an easy path, making this one of the perfect hikes for kids in Crested Butte.

After a short walk through the trees, you end up on an open field trail. There are a lot of trail options here, as Woods Walk connects in with the Lower Loop trail. You can pick where you’d like to hike and determine the distance you’d like to go.

The official Woods Walk trail kind of parallels county-road. It is an out and back trail of around 3 miles.

Best Hikes in Crested Butte for Kids

These are some of the best hikes in Crested Butte for kids. There are so many hikes to choose from, but we loved the variety these trails provided. We loved seeing waterfalls, wildflowers, Aspen groves, and getting great views of lakes. I hope you enjoy hiking with kids in Crested Butte on your next family trip!


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Crested Butte Kids Hikes pin 1