Thursday, July 7, 2016

Judd Falls Hike

Gunnison KOA
Gunnison, CO
July 6 & 7, 2016

Yesterday, Joe and I joined Ronnie, Carol and Shannon on a Scenic River Tour.  This was my first time rafting and what an awesome time I had.  

Our tour was a Class II, 3 hour water trip down the Gunnison River. 

 The five of us plus Ariel, our energetic and informative guide, navigated easy rapids and clear channels with some maneuvering.  Cameras were not allowed which is a good thing as I don't think I could have managed a paddle and a camera.  Plus I was really wet. 

Today we (all 5 of us) were up and out by 9:00 to meet friends from Moab...Scott, Chris and their pup Zuni...for a hike to Judd Falls.  
The trail head is about 8.5 miles north of Crested Butte on Gothic Road just beyond Gothic.  

Swallow's Nest...1880
Since 1928, scientists from all over converge on Gothic during the months of June - August to study plants, wildlife, weather, and wetlands. 

 There is a Visitor Center and a small stand that sells coffees, lattes etc. 

Youth programs, talk series and tours are offered as well as opportunities to volunteer. 

Judd Falls Trail is an easy/moderate 1 or 2 mile round trip, in-out hike (depending on which parking lot you choose) that traverses through a wide dirt road through an aspen forest then changes to a narrow and rocky path surrounded by wildflowers and views of Gothic Mountain.  

Scott, Shannon, Chris, Zuni and Joe

Monument plants filled the forest.  They are a unique plant in that they live for many years, but produce flowers, fruits and seeds only once then die.  Some years the forest is full of blooms and other years you might have a hard time finding any. 

Carol and I noticed that two blooms looked a lot alike, but the leaves were quite different.  After a bit of research, I learned that this one is a tall herb...Cow Parsnip.  It has leaves made of 3 leaflets that grow up to 16 inches across.  The entire plant can be as tall as 7 feet.  

The other plant is Osha, also a herb.  It has fern shaped leaves. 

Beautiful views of Gothic Mountain 

Sulphur Buckwheat has bright yellow flowers which age to blazing orange or red.  These are only a few inches tall. 

 And then, Judd just don't show how magnificent it is.

 It was another great day.  And oh my, the weather is fantastic !  Until next time, happy days...



  1. Not much to say except absolutely gorgeous !!!

  2. Replies
    1. Yes it has been...almost seems like a real vacation!

  3. If the winters weren't so vicious I think Colorado would be on our list of places to land! Beautiful!

    1. We think sure is nice in the summer!

  4. Thanks for the information on the similar white clusters! Beautiful falls - so nice on a warm afternoon hike.

  5. I've only been rafting once and it was a blast! Glad you had fun:)

    What a beautiful hike with a great reward. That is a lot of water coming over that pretty:)

  6. Gorgeous! Colorado and Wyoming are just beautiful!.
    So now you just identified a flower I can't seem to find, the Sulphur Buckwheat. We saw a lot of those in Utah, thanks Gay.