Cycling: Mt. Crested Butte Climb to Prospect Drive High Point

This climb will test your fitness and reward you for the effort. The highest paved road in the valley takes you from the base of Mt. Crested Butte up past the ski resort and around to the north side for excellent views of the East River Valley and Elk Mountains.

Highlights:Mountain views, Switchbacks
Difficulty:Category 2
RT Mileage:12.2 miles
Elevation Gain:1,404 feet
Max Elevation:10,027 feet
Average Grade:4%
Steepest Grade:10% - 12% sustained

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The temperature differential is very noticeable from top to bottom. An extra layer might be wise depending on your timing. The switchbacks tend to have loose gravel and sand at the edges; careful on your descent! The USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage ends just past the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Map


The climb starts with the Mt. Crested Butte to Gothic segment to past the base area of the ski resort. The road has several sustained lengths of 10-11% until you get closer to the top of Gothic Road. Just before the parking lot at the top, take a right turn onto Prospect Drive.

This climb takes you around to the north side of the mountain, where you’ll encounter a couple more 10+% pitches. Take in grand views of the East River valley and 12,000 foot peaks to your left as the road winds its way up numerous switchbacks. Be sure to bear right at a junction midway up and continue climbing. A few turn-offs lead to dead ends. Take the road to the end of the pavement and enjoy the serpentine descent.

Road Map & Profile