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Exploring the Elk Mountains in Colorado


One of the reasons why the area around Crystal Mountain Ranch is so beautiful is because of the Elk Mountains. This offshoot of the Rocky Mountains provides towering mountains and gorgeous scenery. These mountains are also the site for many different outdoor activities including hiking, rock climbing and many others. Venture out of Marble, Colorado to experience these idyllic mountains with our travel guide.
Where are the Elk Mountains in Colorado?

The Elk Mountains are in west-central Colorado on the western side of the Continental Divide. They primarily occupy southern Pitkin County and northern Gunnison County. Furthermore, they are typically south of the Roaring Fork River valley and east of the Crystal River. Portions of the Elk Mountains sit within the White River and Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests.
Where are the Elk Mountains in Colorado?

The Elk Mountains are in west-central Colorado on the western side of the Continental Divide. They primarily occupy southern Pitkin County and northern Gunnison County. Furthermore, they are typically south of the Roaring Fork River valley and east of the Crystal River. Portions of the Elk Mountains sit within the White River and Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests.
Mountains near Marble, Colorado

Marble, Colorado sits among the Elk Mountains in a dead-end canyon. That means there are several majestic mountains surrounding the town, adding to its look and character. Some of those mountains include Chair, Ragged, Whitehouse, Sheep and Snowmass mountains. Other ones to look for are Ragged Peak, Crystal Peak and Mt. Daly.
Elk Mountains Hiking and Trails

One of the most popular activities to do in the Elk Mountains is hiking. The range includes several mountains that rocket above 14,000 feet in elevation while many others tower above 12,000 feet. The Anthracite Pass Trail (7.5 miles), Judd Falls (2.3 miles), Crater Lake (3.8 miles) and Upper Maroon Lake Scenic Trail (2 miles) are all within a short distance from Marble. Some other trails to try near Marble include Carbonate Creek Trail (11.2 miles), Mount Daly Loop (11.3 miles), Lost Trail Road (15.8 miles), Little Gem and Snowfield Lake (6.6 miles) and Schofield Pass Road to Crystal Mill (6.3 miles). Many of the Elk Mountain trails rank in difficulty from moderate to hard so please take proper precautions.
Elk Mountains Hiking and Trails

One of the most popular activities to do in the Elk Mountains is hiking. The range includes several mountains that rocket above 14,000 feet in elevation while many others tower above 12,000 feet. The Anthracite Pass Trail (7.5 miles), Judd Falls (2.3 miles), Crater Lake (3.8 miles) and Upper Maroon Lake Scenic Trail (2 miles) are all within a short distance from Marble. Some other trails to try near Marble include Carbonate Creek Trail (11.2 miles), Mount Daly Loop (11.3 miles), Lost Trail Road (15.8 miles), Little Gem and Snowfield Lake (6.6 miles) and Schofield Pass Road to Crystal Mill (6.3 miles). Many of the Elk Mountain trails rank in difficulty from moderate to hard so please take proper precautions.
Elk Mountains Climbing

The shape and size of the Elk Mountains make them an ideal spot to go rock climbing in Colorado. Some of the more popular climbs in the area include Rifle Mountain Park, Independence Pass, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Redstone boulders, the Narrows and the Frying Pan crags. Many of the iconic mountains around Marble also feature plenty of routes to try including Capitol Peak and the Maroon Bells. Each route features various rocky types such as limestone, sandstone, granite and quartzite. It is important to note that the Elk Mountains do have a reputation for loose and crumbling rock so take precautions and consult professionals before venturing out. Climbers should be in top physical condition and have good climbing skills.
National Forests

There are two prominent national forests that encompass the Elk Mountains: Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison Nationals Forests and the White River National Forest. Both forests offer a plethora of fun outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, cycling, horseback riding and off-roading. Furthermore, both add to the beauty of the Elk Mountains. 
National Forests

There are two prominent national forests that encompass the Elk Mountains: Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison Nationals Forests and the White River National Forest. Both forests offer a plethora of fun outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, cycling, horseback riding and off-roading. Furthermore, both add to the beauty of the Elk Mountains. 
Snowmass Mountain

Snowmass Mountain is one of the more iconic mountains in the Elk range. It sits over 10 miles to the east of Marble and lives within the White River National Forest. Snowmass features over 80 miles of hiking trails for visitors of all skill levels. Visitors also participate in both mountain and road biking during the summer months. If you're looking to take it easy, there are many sightseeing opportunities on Snowmass Mountain including Maroon Bells, Independence Pass, Ashcroft Ghost Town and opportunities for hot air ballooning. Snowmass Mountain is definitely worth your time when you visit the Elk Mountains.