Cycling: Crested Butte Loop via Ohio Pass
At 50+ miles, the Crested Butte to Ohio Pass loop will add a bit of challenge to your routine. The climb up the pass is on dirt roads, which encourages low gearing and fatter rubber. We rode this on 23mm tires, but would recommend 25mm or greater for a wider contact patch and smoother ride on the loose road surface. Wider seems to be the trend these days regardless…
|Highlights:||Mountain Views, Dirt Climb|
|RT Mileage:||52.1 miles|
|Elevation Gain:||2,604 feet|
|Max Elevation:||10,074 feet|
|Average Grade:||5% (climb up Ohio Pass)|
|Steepest Grade:||Sustained 10%+ Ramps|
Click photos to view gallery
A generous shoulder on route 135 makes the 55 mph limit tolerable. From town, head southeast over some undulating terrain. The road flattens out and descends very gently (-1% to -3%). Keep an eye out for a drainage grate just after CB South and just before the road bends to the right.
Continue south past Almont and as the valley opens up take a right on CO Road 8 (there is a sign). The road turns to hard packed dirt as you pass many ranches and farms. At the end of the road take a right turn onto Ohio Pass Road (CO Road 730) and back onto pavement.
Continue northwest up the wide valley and quiet road . Stay on the road (bearing left) at the junction for Carbon Creek . Continue on packed dirt roads as the quality diminishes as you get closer to the pass. Ascend up the Category 2 climb avoiding sandy patches where possible. The scenery of the Anthracite Range and distant Castles are spectacular.
The pass finally levels out as you close in on Kebler Pass road. Take a right at the junction and descend back to Crested Butte.
Apart from the climb, most of the ride is on smooth pavement. Ohio Pass Road does not receive much traffic and is a cyclist’s dream. The descent on Kebler Pass is on dirt for a few miles, but generally in decent shape. Google Map.