Crested Butte, CO


Crested Butte is on my top 5 places to ride simply because most of the rides have phenomenal views of 12-14,000 ft peaks. Since it's located quite far from metropolitan cities such as Denver and Grand Junction, even on weekends, it's not over run with people. Most trails are usually dry by late June/early July but there is low elevation riding had in nearby Gunnison before this. I've ridden here once in fall and once over the July 4th weekend. If you ride early in the season beautiful
purple larskpur cowers over the trail. In fall, you get to see the aspen trees changing from green to yellow and gold. Remember to start your riding as early as possible as afternoon thunderstorms are the norm throughout the summer. Also, carrry a light parka for rain and sudden drop in temps.

List of Other Killer Rides

How to get there: 3 hr drive from
Grand Junction, CO , 5 hr drive from Denver's Airport. If coming from Denver, there are tons of other areas (including ski resorts) to ride on your way to and from Crested Butte

Camping: Plenty of it.  We camped in free "primitive" camping on Gothic road 3 miles west of the town of Gothic (on the left hand side of road a mile or so past the "pay" campsite. The views are amazing AND this is a great place to start the epic 401 trail loop as riding up Gothic road to Schofield pass is part of the ride.

Bike Box(supplies&maps): (2 locations) Located at the
Crested Butte South General Store which is right on the way out to the must do Reno Flag Bear Deadman's ride. 2nd Bike Box location is at Harmel's Resort which is right at the start/parking of the sweet Doctor's Park ride.

Bike Shops (click here)

Maps: Latitude 40 Crested Butte/Taylor Park or Latitude 40 Aspen/Crested Butte/Gunnison


Rides: After researching which rides to do, the consensus usually points you towards riding "401", Reno Flag Bear Deadman's Gulch, Doctor's Park as the must do's with the Reno ride edging out Doctor's Park for having more single track.


401

This trail is to die for. You get some of the best views in the world with fast single track. The picture shown here is the view you get the entire way down. It's not that technical but why should getting beat up be a prerequisite for a great ride. The ride takes anywhere from 3-4hrs. If you want to make an EPIC EPIC ride link up the 401 with another trail like the 403. I started in Crested Butte and rode the Upper Lower Loop-Slate Rd-403-401-Gothic Rd-Mt. Crested Butte (paved road)-Crested Butte. This was around 40 miles with around 5,000 ft of climbing. If you only have 1 day in Crested Butte, do something like this to make it memorable.







Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman's Gulch



Another awesome ride. This ride is involved with a lot of climbing and great single track. To get to the start of this ride, you take a dirt road 7 or so miles into a  canyon. Because of this you really get a nice feeling of remoteness on the ride. You get a couple views of the jagged 12-14teeners but most of the views involve big rolling meadows and forests(see picture above). Start the ride at the Deadman's Gulch Trailhead located up Cement Creek rd. ( several miles south of town) so you finish the ride with a downhill and make a clockwise loop. Don't forget to pick up an extra tube/supplies from the Bike Box at the
Crested Butte South General Store (adjacent side street to Cement Creek rd.) on the way out to the trailhead. The General Store also has food and beers on tap for after your ride. 








Doctor's Park


Yet another great CB ride. Going into this ride I was under the impression that it would be very similar to Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman's. However, Doctor's Park has several rocky/technical section whereas Reno-Flag-Bear... is essentially one big flowy/fast singletrack. Doctor's Park provides some different scenery. The end of the ride drops you down into what I call "high desert" terrain where the trail gets a bit sandy (but not bad) and the rock formations along the trail are definitely unique. Additionally, the start of Doctor's Park has you ride up a Spring Creek Rd 9.5 miles. You'll have a beautiful river right next to you the whole way so the fire road ride is actually pretty pleasant.

Ride Start: From Crested Butte drive south and take Jack's Cabin Cutoff to Taylor Park rd. Hang a left. A mile or so up the road you'll see Harmel Ranch Resort (Bike Box inside general store) on the right and Spring Creek rd. on the left. Travel up the road a 1/4 mile or so and park on the left hand side across from the Granite Campground. Ride on your bike back down the road and hang a right and ride 9.5 miles on Spring Creek rd. where you'll see a double track off to the right that goes down to and crosses the creek and which then climbs steeply for around 3 miles bringing you to the top of your climb.

Option: for a more scenic route that involves just a bit more of rolly climbing take a left at the top of the climb  (see picture below). The trail rides you through forests and open meadows. A couple miles into this section you'll come to an open meadow where there's an intersection giving you an option to continue going straight (down) or right (traverse). Turn right and this will lead you back to the formal Doctors Park trail where you hang a left. Besides a couple pieces of rolling single track, it's all down from here. Have fun!

(to ride the option described above, follow the double track to the left shown here. The standard ride continues right.)










Dyke Trail
I loved this ride simply because if you camp at Horse Ranch Park (ride start/end point), you have phenomenal views of the Dyke which is the butte looking section of the Ruby Mtns. The downhill doesn't have much bang for it's buck considering all the time spent climbing (2400ft)



The ride starts by riding up Kebler Pass rd to the pass (about 5 miles/1100ft climb). The ride up is on a smooth fire road. At the top of the pass stop and visit the Irwin Cemetary. Just past the cemetary on the left is a single track (Kebler Pass Wagon trail) that traverses and climbs a bit connecting a mile or so later with road 826 that leads to Irwin Lake. Continue on the road past Lake Irwin. Take the fire road to the left that bypasses the entrance to the campground. In about 5 minutes you'll reach the Dyke Trail (6 miles long). You start out with some nice single track providing sweeping views of the mountains. The single track spits you into the Aspens where you traverse and climb a bit for the next 3 miles. At around mile 12 you come to a junction. Follow the sign pointing towards "Horse Ranch Park". It's now all downhill from here.





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