Cycling: Mt. Crested Butte Climb via Gothic Road
Along with Rustler Gulch, we recommend adding the Frigid Air Pass loop or 3 Pass loop to your bucket list (there are so many to choose from). Along with epic wildflower blooms throughout the summer, this hike takes you up above tree line for some truly spectacular panoramas. From Frigid Air Pass, the south face of South Maroon Peak towers over Fravert Basin and you can even see Mt. Crested Butte in the opposite direction.
|Highlights:||Mountain views, Wildflowers|
|Difficulty:||Cat Class 3|
|RT Mileage:||8.5 miles|
|Elevation Gain:||793 feet|
|Max Elevation:||9,546 feet|
|Average Grade:||4% (to Mt. CB)|
|Steepest Grade:||10% - 11% sustained|
The climb starts off with a few generous switchbacks followed by a brief respite as you pass Saddle Ridge on your left. This opportunity for a short recovery is most welcome as the steeps lie just ahead past the ‘Welcome to Mt. Crested Butte’ sign. Here is where USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage winners are made. The road tilts skyward for sustained lengths of 10-11% and at over 9,000 feet in elevation, the legs just don’t have the same power as they do in the lowlands.
Continue climbing past the ski resort on the right side as Elk Mountain views open up in front of you. The Snodgrass trailhead parking lot at the end of the paved road is a great spot to turn around and take in the sweeping vistas.
Give the short distance of this climb, you’ll probably want to add it onto a longer route or do repeats for some great interval training. The lower roads and switchbacks tend to have loose gravel and sand at the edges; careful on your descent! Add on the Prospect climb for additional challenge. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage ends just past the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Map