Five Crested Butte Trails Every Mountain Biker Should Ride

Crested Butte Mountain Bike

Crested Butte, CO has almost become synonymous with the words Mountain Biking.  Claiming to be the birthplace of the sport, the town has become a clear destination for mountain bikers from around the globe.  Miles and miles of singletrack surround the areas around town, and the work of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association helps keep the trails in tip-top shape.

Whether you are a novice or skilled mountain biker, there is a trail for everyone here in Crested Butte. Living in the valley for almost 30 years, I’ve ridden the trails quite a few times and have compiled a list of the top five rides around Crested Butte ranging from beginner to expert.

Lower Loop Crested Butte     


Lower Loop Slate River Crested Butte

Lower Loop – Lower Loop begins and ends right from the town of Crested Butte.  This is probably the most popular beginner ride in the area and is approximately 6.5 miles round trip.  Ride to the corner of 1st St. and Butte Avenue and follow Butte Avenue until it turns into Peanut Lake Road (dirt road).  From here, you’ll be able to spot the trail and continue on.  My advice is to ride the trail in a clockwise direction.  You can also add on the Budd Trail for additional mileage.  Visit or for more information.


Strand Hill Crested Butte fall


Strand Hill Gate Crested Butte

Strand Hill – One of my go-to rides when I’m short on time, Strand Hill is a 9-mile intermediate ride that will not disappoint.  Drive out Brush Creek Road (or you can ride from town via connecting trails – Jack’s to Upper Loop) to the parking lot.  Ride down the road until you get to the Strand Bonus Trail to begin.  You can also take the 4-wheel drive road up, but I’d recommend the Strand Bonus Trail to make the uphill more enjoyable.  You’ll ride through beautiful aspen groves and have some beautiful valley views.

Lupine Crested Butte

Lupine – Lupine is another trail that you can connect to from town, and it is an intermediate ride. I recommend riding the rec path up to Saddle Ridge Ranch Road.  You’ll connect to the trailhead from that road.  After riding most of the Lupine Trail, you can continue to ride Lupine 2 and then continue through the Gunsight Connector trail.  I suggest you cross over Gunsight Bridge and ride the Lower Loop trail back to town.  Timing is dependent on the previous winter’s snowfall, but you should see some beautiful Lupine flowers come July!

Snodgrass Crested Butte

Snodgrass – Snodgrass is an intermediate trail that can be ridden as an out-and-back or as a loop via Gothic and Washington Gulch Roads.  Beautiful views of Mt. Crested Butte provide the backdrop to a fun ride! Check with before you go as the trail opens and closes for ranching.

Schofield Pass Sign 401 Crested Butte


401 Crested Butte

401 – The crème de la crème of mountain bike rides, 401 should be on every mountain biker’s bucket list.  A challenging uphill leads to one of the most beautiful and enjoyable downhills there can be.  Wildflowers are everywhere come July and August.  Stop at Emerald Lake for a break on the way up and take in the mountain range view when you reach the top of the trail.  To get to the trailhead, you’ll need to drive up towards Mt. Crested Butte on Gothic Road continuing past the old mining town of Gothic.  This is an expert ride and one you won’t regret!

Depending on your skill level and time in Crested Butte, I definitely recommend trying out at least one of these trails.  Check out for more trail information and conditions.  See you on the trails!

If you’d like more information about Crested Butte and its real estate market, feel free to contact me at (970) 209-2421 or