Judd Falls Trail
The reward comes easy and early in this short walk through an aspen forest. The sight of Copper Creek crashing through a dark and twisted rocky chasm delights hikers of all ages. Along the way, day hikers and backpackers en route to the Elk Mountains can’t resist stopping to examine the wildflowers that splash the terrain with color. The trail to Judd Falls stays in a friendly, flower-studded forest accompanied by a quietly babbling brook. This constant moisture enables such towering beauties as cow parsnip, a leafy, stout plant topped by an umbrella of tiny white flowers, to thrive. Elk eat the succulent stems of this member of the parsley family and, although Native Americans and Eskimos used the plant’s young shoots as food, children should not sample it. Show children the “hairs” from the plant stem. These can cause blisters around the mouth if the plant is put in the mouth. Also shading the trail is another tall plant, especially attractive to elk and deer, called the “monument plant.” Its cone-shaped columns of green and white flowers lure summer visitors of all sizes. Your children may remember the plant by its other name, “deer’s ears,” when you show them its leaves, shaped just like the animal’s ears. Look to the trail’s right where aspen branches frame grand views of Gothic Peak cradled in the very lush East River Valley.
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Directions to: Judd Falls Trailprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Nearby City||Crested Butte|
|Skill Level||Easy to moderate for children|
|Duration||Day hike or backpack|
|Season||Best June to October|
|Trailhead Elevation||9,700 ft|
|Top Elevation||11,321 ft|
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