Crested Butte Mountain Biking: 7 Bucket List Trails

In Popular by Josh Futterman

Crested Butte offers over 700 miles of singletrack with some trails significantly more memorable than others. Most likely, you won’t have the time or the legs to tackle them all and find out which ones you need to hit. Luckily, you don’t have to waste any time. We’ve narrowed down the choices with list below and included trails for beginners, experts, and everyone in between. If you’re looking for something that’s truly unique in Crested Butte, don’t miss Singletrack Sessions with Irwin Guides, a 5-Day MTB trip with deluxe camping. Get 20% off with code: RIDEWITHIG.

1. Trail 401

Alpine vistas, sweet singletrack, amazing flowers, tough climb, one gripping descent
(Photo/Zach Dischner)

Advanced ● If there’s ever talk of Crested Butte mountain bike trails, 401 is likely to be on the list – and for good reason. The trail brings you up above tree line, showcasing the East River Valley’s gorgeous surrounding mountains and landscapes. 401 serves up some pretty epic singletrack as well, with wildflowers that can brush your handlebars or even your helmet. The 1,500 foot descent will have you motoring down the side of Mt. Belleview, weaving through tight aspen trees, and whipping around a hand full of switchbacks before you reach Rustler Gulch. For a fully detailed trail guide of 401: Click Here

2. Dyke Trail (in the fall)

Tough climb, stunning autumn aspens, one gripping descent

Advanced ● One of the more difficult trails on this list is host to some extreme power climbs, stream crossings, and one tough descent that all comes together to make it difficult to clear the entire trail. This local favorite takes you up to Lake Irwin with stunning views of Ruby Peak and Mt. Owen before dropping into the aspen-rich trail. If you are in Crested Butte for only one ride during the fall color change, it would be a smart idea to take a ride on the Dyke. For a fully detailed trail guide of the Dyke Trail: Click Here

3. Doctor Park

Technical descent, smooth descent, smiles for miles

Intermediate/Advanced ● Known mostly for it’s downhill, Doctor Park can be ridden as a loop or shuttle and starts at Harmels before making its way up Spring Creek Road. A handful of forest roads will link up to the top of the Doctor Park Trail. You will eventually break out of the alpine forest and start the extremely fun descent to the Taylor River. The trail weaves through aspens starting with a number of technical rock features before a smooth section that will have you grinning from ear to ear. After a brief uphill the trail tightens up with a number of switchbacks down to the trailhead parking lot. For a fully detailed trail guide of Doctor Park: Click Here

4. Lupine

Smooth track, beautiful wild flowers, valley views

Beginner/Intermediate ● The Lupine trail is a quick ride from town that offers many locals a pre or post-work ride. As made evident in the name, the trail is engulfed in lupine flowers and awe-inspiring. The trail offers relatively easy climbs, fast descents with berms, small feature drops, and a great view of the town of Crested Butte and the surrounding mountains. The best part of the Lupine trail may be the location, which allows for one of the longest riding seasons of any trail in the Crested Butte area. For a fully detailed trail guide of Lupine: Click Here

5. Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman

4 trails, 3 climbs, 3 descents, 1 awesome ride

Intermediate/Advanced ● Whats better then one epic trail? A handful. Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman is a combination of trails that covers the entire mountain bike spectrum. Long road climbs, straight, fast and technical descents as well as a ridiculous amount of fun switchbacks. While some of the trail may not be considered world class, this 18 mile loop as a whole is one to put on your bucket list. For a fully detailed trail guide of Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman: Click Here

6. Strand Hill

Power climbs, fun root drops, and a 3 season favorite

Intermediate ● One of the most popular intermediate trails in the valley is a Crested Butte classic. Enjoy views of mighty Teocalli Mountain on your descent, before dropping through a tight aspen forest. Some root drops may pose a challenge for some, while others may choose to launch off them. Fall is a fantastic time to ride Strand, and it is typically open to early season riding as well.For a fully detailed trail guide of Strand Hill: Click Here

7. Teocalli Trail

2,000 feet of climbing, 2,000 feet of descending, all in under 12 miles
(Photo/Greg Heil)

Intermediate/Advanced ● The Teocalli Trail truly offers it all. Experience some classic Colorado hike-a-bike before topping out on the ridge with grand views of mountains off to the northeast. The trail makes its way back down the Brush Creek valley, while you negotiate roots, rocks, and a handful of switchbacks, before arriving at an open meadow. This trail was recently rebuilt by the Forest Service and opened for the first time in 3 years in the summer of 2014. For a fully detailed trail guide of Teocalli Trail: Click Here

Bonus: Singletrack Sessions

Trails Might Include: Doctors Park, Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadmans, Walrod Gulch/Strand Hill/409, Deer Creek & 401

The vehicle-supported, overnight mountain biking tours are the perfect way to capture the bigger rides that can’t be accessed easily from town, without the hassle of managing logistics or camp duties. Let the expert guides share their local knowledge of trails during the day while our camp host wows you with freshly prepared meals morning and night. All you have to do it focus on riding! Whether you’re a beginner or an expert we will customize the trip to fit your individual needs. Get 20% off with code: RIDEWITHIG and book soon!

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