“The guides have been all exceedingly friendly, helpful, and genuinely fun to be around, especially to my son, whose first question upon returning home is always, "Where are we going next year?" ”
Crested Butte Singletrack
- Jul 22, 2013 - Jul 26, 2013
- Jul 29, 2013 - Aug 2, 2013
- Aug 5, 2013 - Aug 9, 2013
- Aug 12, 2013 - Aug 16, 2013
- Aug 19, 2013 - Aug 23, 2013
If you are a singletrack aficionado (you’ve done Sun Valley, Brian Head, and even our Colorado Singletrack) and you STILL want more, it’s time to head to Crested Butte. Bigger peaks, taller wildflowers, and more singletrack than you can ride in an entire summer.
Through our partnership with Crested Butte Mountain Guides we have created the ultimate Crested Butte itinerary. We pedal right out of town into the Elk Mountains which surround Crested Butte.
Located at a whopping 8,885 feet, Crested Butte is home to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and a birthplace of modern mountain biking. Singletrack literally extends in all directions and we have chosen the most buffed, and the most beautiful, including all the classic rides. True, breathing is a challenge, but the views are unrivaled making the effort all worthwhile.
This trip requires singletrack experience and peak physical condition. Altitudes range from 9,000 to 11,500 feet. This is the real deal, and trust us, it’s amazing. Give us a call — 800-845-2453. We’ll get you lined out on the best that Crested Butte has to offer.
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Crested Butte Singletrack Itinerary
MEETING TIME AND PLACE
This trip will meet at 8:30am MST at Crested Butte Sports Ski & Bike Shop 35 Emmons Road, Evergreen Condo Building, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado, 970-349-7516. You will need to spend the night before in Crested Butte.
ENDING TIME AND PLACE
We will return to the bike shop in Mt. Crested Butte between 2:00 & 3:00 pm on the last day.
TRIP DAY 1
We'll begin our journey right from the bike shop in Mt. Crested Butte. Majestic Crested Butte Peak (12,162 feet) rises sharply above town and over the course of the week our tour will take us on a complete circumnavigation of this landmark. We will start out riding the Upper Loop to Whetstone Vista, which then leads us to the Brush Creek Valley. From here, majestic Teocalli Mountain is visible as are parts of the Deer Creek area, giving us a tantalizing preview of what is to come in the days ahead. We'll top off our water bottles at the Veltri family spring before riding through the beautiful flowers and aspens of Strand Hill. A big smile and hearty appetite are sure to come as we settle into "Brush" camp for two nights amongst the aspens at approximately 9,500 feet. TOTAL MILEAGE - 13 miles
TRIP DAY 2
With the mighty 13,209 foot Teocalli Mountain as our backdrop, we ride out this morning on a singletrack tour of Teocalli Ridge. This is a classic by anyone's standard largely due to the epic downhill. But of course what goes down must first go up. So climbing is the name of the game right out of camp. We ride both singletrack and doubletrack up and alongside the picturesque West Brush Creek, past beaver dams and fields of incredible wildflowers. The moderate climbing continues through willows and across streams until reaching the base of the big climb! Here the climb begins in earnest across the face of Teocalli, culminating at around 11,300 feet. We'll have the option to hike to the Teocalli summit, weather permitting, before our big fun downhill. Upon returning to our layover camp we continue with the "eat-sleep-ride" credo. Get the picture? TOTAL MILEAGE - 11 miles
TRIP DAY 3
After a hearty breakfast and packing up camp, we travel north, then west on our journey up the East River Valley on the beautiful Deer Creek Trail. Whether it's deer, elk, bear, eagle or maybe just a few marmots, this backcountry ride will provide us plenty to marvel at. Deer Creek is a beautiful up & down trip that challenges you with steep climbs and twisty switchbacks, all on snaking singletrack. The views from the trail encompass the Crested Butte ski area and majestic Gothic Mountain. Riding into the old mining town of Gothic, one can hardly imagine it once supported a population of nearly 8,000. At its height Gothic had several hotels, brothels, saloons, a smelter, three sawmills, a public school and a dancehall. Today, Gothic is home to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and supports several hundred in the summers, but only a few hardy souls through the long winters. Our camp for the next two evenings will be in the beautiful upper East River Valley. TOTAL MILEAGE - 16 miles
TRIP DAY 4
Our goal today is Paradise Divide (11,372 feet) and the 403 Trail. Climbing from our camp at 9,600 feet we'll ride through Elko Park, past a waterfall, and between Cinnamon and Baldy Peaks before we lunch at the aptly named Paradise Divide. This is Colorado, one of the highest states in the nation. And today's ride is mostly above treeline rewarding us with views of mountains stretching into the horizon. The 403 singletrack dives down amongst shoulder high corn lilies and through a blur of colorful wildflowers before delivering us back to camp. One more day remains and if you thought it couldn't get any better, just wait and see. TOTAL MILEAGE - 13 miles
TRIP DAY 5
After four days of "the goods" you might be thinking, "how can this get any better?" Well it can, because you have not experienced the stunning beauty and eye watering descent of Trail 401 yet. The morning's ride will take you up valley along the winding East River, past lingering snow patches and by the crystal clear blue water of Emerald Lake. Once we crest Schofield Pass, elev. 10,709 feet, the climbing really begins. What was a well graded dirt road becomes a granny gear climb for about another 700 vertical feet. It's a tough one, but well worth the extra effort! From the highpoint above treeline the views of the 14,000 foot Maroon Bells are breathtaking. Just about all food tastes great above 10,000 feet, so today's well deserved lunch break on the 401 Trail may make you just want to lie back in the wildflowers and watch the clouds go by. But alas, one of the all time best downhills anywhere awaits. To label this as simply "classic" would not do it justice. "Sick, Gnarly, Awesome, Rippin', Mind Blowing"- hardly begin to describe this descent. Simply put, it's a "must do" on any mountain biker's list. This is a ride you'll replay over and over for years to come. From 401's finish in Gothic we'll climb toward the village of Crested Butte and descend on roads right to the bike shop. You'll have enough time to clean up and enjoy a memorable Friday night in the wild west town of Crested Butte. TOTAL MILEAGE - 18 miles
Riding Surface: Singletrack on clay based soil, some rocky scree crossings.
Technical Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, many obstacles and tricky sections.
Physical Difficulty: Difficult, high elevations, steep climbs, long unsupported sections.
Altitude: 9,000 - 11,500 feet.
Please Note: This tour contains some very difficult riding on narrow, steep mountain trails. A high level of skill and fitness is required to enjoyably navigate much of the route. We will be without vehicle support during all of the singletrack sections of the ride and medical help is far away. If you do not consider yourself to be an expert rider and doubt your ability to complete this tour, please call us and we can help you determine whether this trip is appropriate for you. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.
Crested Butte is about 210 miles southwest of Denver, (about a 4.5 hour drive), 155 miles west of Grand Junction (about a 3 hour drive), and 28 miles north of Gunnison, (a half hour drive) on Colorado Rte. #135. There is parking available while you are on the trip.
In the summer months a few alternate routes exist into Crested Butte. Kebler Pass Road opens around Memorial Day. It's a good gravel road that connects Crested Butte to Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Delta & Grand Junction.
Cottonwood Pass Road offers a fair weather route into the Crested Butte area from the East. Cottonwood begins as Colorado Rte #306 in Buena Vista, heading West off State Hwy. #24. On the East side of Cottonwood Pass, the road has been paved. West of the pass the road can get washboardy and dusty, but the views, as you descend in to Taylor Park make the drive worth while.
-Flying into Gunnison, CO
Airport Code: GUC
Gunnison is 28 miles south of Crested Butte.
Alpine Express runs shuttles to Crested Butte by reservation only, $34 one way with two day advance notice. Call 800-822-4844.
-Flying into Montrose, CO
Airport Code: MTJ
Montrose is 92 miles from Crested Butte.
Telluride Express runs shuttles to Crested Butte by reservation only, $50.88 each way with a minimum of 2 passengers. Call 970-728-6000.
Alpine Express 970-641-5074 or 800-822-4844. Mountain Express (late night taxi) 970-349-5616
Free bus service runs from town to Mt. Crested Butte and can accommodate your bike. Check at your hotel for the schedule.
We recommend staying right in the town of Crested Butte so that you can walk to all of the restaurants and shops.
Elk Mountain Lodge
Mention Western Spirit and get up to 15% off.
The Inn at Crested Butte
The Grand Lodge
This hotel is next door to the bike shop in Mt. Crested Butte.
Above rates are approximate.
There are really just two kinds of weather: weather you like and weather you do not like. Come prepared for both and you won't care what the weather does.
If you have questions about temperatures for your specific trip please feel free to give us a call 800-845-2453 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to give you packing suggestions and help you with ideas for things to do before and after your bike trip.
PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP
You will receive a tour packing list with your tour confirmation package. Be sure to bring everything on this list. Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable so be sure to bring all the warm clothing and rain gear listed! When you arrive for your tour, we will give you a dry bag in which to pack your gear. If you have any questions about anything on the list, please call us.
SHIPPING YOUR BIKE
You are welcome to ship your bike to us in advance of your trip. For a moderate fee we will unpack it, build it, and ship it back home to you afterwards. Bikes can be insured to $4,000. Domestic shipping only. If you decide you want to go this route, you must call us in advance of your trip so we can inform the shop that your bike is on its way.
To ship your bike UPS, send it to Crested Butte Sports Ski & Bike Shop, 35 Emmons Road, Evergreen Condo Building, Mt. Crested Butte, CO 81225; 970-349-7516. It is critical that you include your name, "Western Spirit Cycling" and tour date on the outside of the box. Check with your local UPS people for the number of days needed for it to arrive in time. There is no Saturday delivery in Crested Butte. It is imperative to have your bike finely tuned and cleaned before your tour so you know it is in top running condition.
If you have any other questions about trip logistics, please feel free to send us an email or, better yet, to call us at 800-845-2453. We will be happy to try to help you answer any other questions you might have about our bike trips.
THINGS TO DO
Paradise Cafe, 303 Elk Avenue - an old time favorite
The Avalanche, Mt Crested Butte - good food and lots of it, also good for lunch and dinner
Teocolli Tamale, 311 Elk Avenue -excellent burritos of every description
The Bacchanale, 209 Elk Avenue - Great Italian
The Brick Oven - Great Beer/Pizza
The Stash - Great Pizza
Slogar - Fried Chicken and a CB classic
Your guides will have all the maps necessary for your trip. If you would like your own copy for a souvenir, here is all the info:
Latitude 40 CrestedButte Map - Locally at all the shops.
RIDES AND HIKES
For a short spin before or after your trip we recommend the Lower Loop, a fun quick singletrack with good views of Paradise Divide. There are hundreds of trails in the area, so if you have extra time, be sure to get your guide's advice for rides or hikes after your trip.
Three Rivers Outfitting in Almont, 970-641-1303 - these folks run both day trips and overnights.
Arkansas River Tours in Cotopaxi, 800-321-4352 - if you have more time, we recommend a wild ride on the Arkansas
THE MOUNTAIN BIKE HALL OF FAME
The museum is now housed at 331 Elk Avenue in the old Tony's Conoco. In addition to lots of famous mountain bike history, artifacts, and photos (including Western Spirit's fearless leader Ashley Korenblat, inducted in 2003) you will find lots of interesting history about Crested Butte's mining heydey.
Historic Elk Avenue is the place to shop in Crested Butte.