Mountain Biking in Crested Butte

Lupine’s Trail was gorgeous. All single track of course. The mountains here in Colorado draw tourists from less-mountainous states (which is basically all the other states) like a magnet. I recently visited the small mountain town of Crested Butte and fell in love with this mountain wonderland. Seeing the lifestyle of the locals made me want to stay there forever. The mountain folk here know how to have crazy fun more than anything else, and they do it in one of the most beautiful, pristine mountain wilderness areas you can possibly imagine. They have events that will blow your mind like The Chainless World Championships, where the locals pretty much wake up, knock back a few Jim Bean shots, bus up to a huge “hill,” and race down it as fast as they can on bikes without chains. Basically, you need to take the scary mountain turns as fast as possible to keep your speed because you can’t pedal (all the while fueled by alcohol)… Winter is no less crazy, with the snow, comes some of the “most treacherous and exciting” (as the locals declare) ski runs in Colorado. But I digress, I was here during the glorious summer month of July, so I participated in Crested Butte’s most famous activity of mountain biking…with my chain of course.

Why is Mountain Biking is Crested Butte so Special?

  1. Glory – Finishing up a trail like Doctor’s Park, considered one of the best trails

    in the nation, leaves the rider feeling heroic like they just slew the dragon and saved the princess. It’s a 19.5-mile loop that seems to have a downhill single track section that was sent to earth straight from heaven. It flows, it twists, it turns, and it has little roller jumps that cause you to wiz by aspen groves in a way that will make your mouth hurt from all the smiling. Pure, and magical joy for any mountain biker, this place is a must for any mountain biker!

  2. Beauty – The stellar scenery here can be enjoyed by any outdoor enthusiast. However, mountain biking on a flowy singletrack with blight yellow and pleasantly violet wild mountain flowers grazing your knees creates a new high-velocity art form in your head. Don’t forget to slow down for a second and gaze at the stunning valley surrounded by snow-capped mountain ranges.
  3. CBMBA – The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association, it is supposedly the oldest mountain bike club in the world. They do a very, very good job of maintaining the trails in Crested Butte. In fact, I have not seen better maintained trails in my life. No trenches from water damage, no worn outsides on cliff turns, and no overgrown foliage. Just perfect, pristine single track.

Whatever your reason is for coming to Crested Butte, be it rock climbing, skiing, dirt biking, mountain biking, or drinking in one of the few local bars you’re sure to have one of the best experiences of your life.

Atop Cottonwood Pass
Atop Cottonwood Pass

Crested Butte is located in South Western Colorado just North of Gunnison. Take 285 West for the majority of the trip. Google Maps tells you to turn right onto US-50 to Gunnison and then right onto CO-135 up to C. Butte, but it’s actually faster (and way more scenic) to take Cottonwood Pass from Buena Vista.