Access to Conundrum Trail lies immediately outside of the Gothic town site at the Judd Falls Trailhead. The trail enters the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness at Judd Falls and follows Copper Creek Trail, 1983, passed Copper Pass to Triangle Pass (13,057 feet). This is a truly amazing valley. The trail from the Copper Lake turnoff to Triangle Pass leads along a steep scree field at the head of the valley.
The trail splits immediately before reaching Copper Lake. Copper Creek Trail, 938, leads to the left and Conundrum Trail, 1981, leads to the right and on to Triangle Pass. After crossing Triangle Pass the trail descends into the Conundrum Basin. This is a steep two and a half mile descent to the hot springs. This valley is absolutely beautiful when the wildflowers are in bloom.
Camping in the area of the hot springs is not recommended. If you must camp, please limit your stay to one night. The area immediately surrounding the hot springs is very highly impacted. When I saw how the natural beauty of this site has been trampled by so many well intentioned feet, I felt badly that I was contributing to the problem. No permits are needed for this area, but the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area is moving in that direction, due to the tremendous amount of visitors each year.
Directions from Crested Butte: Take Gothic Road north for 6 miles to the Gothic. Continue passed Gothic to the parking lot for Judd Falls. Follow a closed four-wheel drive road to Judd Falls then continue into the wilderness on Copper Creek Trail.
Directions from Aspen: The Conundrum Creek Trailhead is accessible from Castle Creek Road. Take Forest Road 128 to reach the parking lot. Hike south on the Conundrum Creek Trail, 1981. (See White River National Forest, Aspen Ranger District)