When it comes to Crested Butte mountain biking, let’s face it- we’re spoiled. The local tourism board claims that there are 750 miles of singletrack in Gunnison County, so there really isn’t any place to live that has “bad” access to great trails. Thanks to the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association and Gunnison Trails, that number figures to keep growing. But some places are better than others in terms of easy access and a high variety of trails right outside your door. The best part about living here is that you can start right from your door for so many great rides, rather than packing up the car just to go for a quick spin. So, if you’re looking for a home with great mountain bike access in Crested Butte, here are the pros and cons for several areas to consider during your search:
Mount Crested Butte Mountain Biking
While many would argue with me on this point, I consider Mount Crested Butte to be the best neighborhood for Crested Butte mountain biking. Primarily, I give Mount Crested Butte the nod due to the large number of options available for the shorter “after-work” rides. Crested Butte Mountain Resort has developed an extensive network of singletrack trails that are some of the best around. But the crazy thing is that once the lifts stop spinning, the singletrack is nearly deserted. Even when the lifts are running, the trails on the Gold Link side tend to be pretty empty as well. Other short rides with great access from Mount Crested Butte include Snodgrass and the Lupine trails. For longer rides, Mount Crested Butte makes a great starting point for the most classic ride of them all, 401. The only downside? Riding trails in the Brush Creek area means that you’ll finish your day with a grind back up to Mount Crested Butte, via the Upper Loop, or the Rec Path (although you can always take the bus if you’re really spent).
Town of Crested Butte
While there is certainly no better place to ride a townie than the town of Crested Butte, it may not be the ultimate location for “out the door” riding. The Lower Loop trails are the crown jewel of town riding, but they’re also very popular so expect to see plenty of other people while you’re out. Other short rides from town include the Lupine trail and Tony’s to the Upper Loop system. Longer rides from town are accessed via the Rec Path (Deli Trail) towards Brush Creek, or even via highway 135 to Cement Creek.
Skyland and Surrounding Areas
Another area with great access to singletrack trails is Skyland, along with the neighboring communities of Riverbend, Larkspur, and Buckhorn Ranch. For shorter rides, residents of this area will probably take to the trails of the Upper Loop, including Whetstone Vista and Tony’s Trail. But from here, even the super-classic Strand Hill trail can be quickly ridden after a long day of work. For longer rides, the Skyland area really shines with Brush Creek rides such as Teocalli Ridge, Star Pass, and Point Lookout all nearby.
Crested Butte South
Many would argue that CB South has the best mountain biking access around. Undeniably, many of the best trails can be found in the Cement Creek area, and Brush Creek trails can be reached from here as well via 409. From the famous Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman loop to the unheralded 583 (Crystal Peak) and Hunter Creek trails, there are great options for big rides from Crested Butte South. The lower elevation and lower snowfall totals also mean that CB South is the first area to melt in the springtime. But for the shorter rides, options are limited in CB South. The Walrod to 409 Caves loop is the standard option, but other than the Cement Creek trail that parallels the road, there isn’t much else to speak of.
While you won’t be riding any wildflower-covered alpine hillsides right outside your door in Gunnison, it’s still one of the best locations for mountain bikers in Gunnison County. The homes right at Hartman Rocks Recreation area offer the best access, but given the flat topography, Hartman’s is easy to reach from any part of the city of Gunnison. The Signal Peak area offers more short rides near Western Colorado State University. But as mentioned above, you’ll probably be jumping in the car for bigger rides in Crested Butte, Monarch Pass, or perhaps even the mostly-unknown Needle Creek Reservoir area.
As you can see, there are many neighborhood choices that offer great mountain biking access. Not sure where some of these rides are? Check out my Crested Butte mountain biking guide page. Need help finding your dream home with trails out your door?- Contact me anytime!