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Off-Schedule Rides Home Page

North Ranch Mountain Bikers' Off-Schedule Ride


 Crested Butte, Colorado, and Panguich, Utah


Walt ()


 Saturday July 28 to Saturday August 4, 2007.

 Photos and Videos

  Overview Map of the area (and a 3-D map too)


  The Dyke Trail (Monday)
  Trail 401 (Tuesday)
  Flag Creek - Bear Creek - Deadman's Gulch Trails (Wed)
  Thunder Mountain Trail (Friday)
  Blowhard Mountain Trail (Friday)
  Miscellaneous (Saturday to Saturday)


  Video Teasers (Short clips of all rides)
  The Dyke Trail (Monday)
  Trail 401 (Tuesday)
  Flag Creek - Bear Creek - Deadman's Gulch Trails (Wed)
  Bear Creek downhill segment (Wednesday)
  Deadman's Gulch Trail switchbacks (Wednesday)
  Snodgrass Trail (Thursday)
  Thunder Mountain Trail (Friday)
  Blowhard Mountain Trail (Friday)
  Brian Head (Saturday)

Walt nears the top of Trail 401



View of the valley from Trail 401Walt instigated a trip this summer to the alpine mountain biking capital of the country, Crested Butte, Colorado. There is no better place in the country to mountain bike if you love riding miles of pristine single track through pine forests and alpine meadows. Three of us went - Walt, Steve and Jeff, a friend of the South Bay Mtn Bikers.

Here's what we did:

  • Saturday July 28: Start early in the morning, stop overnight in Fruita, CO at the Super 8 Motel
  • Sunday: Drive the rest of the way to CB, staying at the Old Town Inn. Had lunch, set up Walt and Jeff at their campsite, then rode the Lower Loop Trail from their campground into town and back.
  • Monday: Rode the Dyke Trail (14 miles; 2500' climbing; max elevation 10,400'; maps). This is lower than the other trails so we thought it would be a good place to start.
  • Tuesday: Rode Trail 401 (14.2 miles; 1200' climb on dirt road, 1600' on singletrack; max elevation 11,300'; maps). We did this as a partial shuttle. We parked the van at the top and Jeff rode back up to get it while Steve explored the western end of the Deer Creek Trail. Walt rode the lower section of Trail 401 to the end and then Snodgrass Trail. After bringing the van down to the Deer Creek Trail trailhead for Steve, Jeff rode the Deer Creek Trail to the eastern end, then took the road back to town. He characterizes the Deer Creek Trail as a death march so we didn't ride there on Wednesday as planned.
  • Wednesday: Rode the Flag Creek Trail / Bear Creek Trail / Deadman's Gulch Trail (14,3 miles; 2000' climb and 3700' descent; max elevation is 11,120' at the trailhead; maps). We parked the van at the top and planned to do this as a partial shuttle, with Walt riding back to get the van (this trail was his idea; 6.5 miles with 2000' of climbing) while Jeff and Steve explored some other trails near the bottom. However, fate was smiling on us and we ran into Joshua and Allison (newly from Kansas) at the top, and Joshua drove Steve back up to get the van.
  • Thursday: Rode the Snodgrass Mtn Trail out and back (6.6 miles total; 1400' climbing and descent; maps). Drove to Panguich, Utah, staying at the Lamp Lighter Inn.
  • Friday: Rode the Thunder Mountain Trail in the morning (15.3 miles; 1100' climb on bike path and dirt road, 1700' on singletrack; max elevation 8,200'; maps). After lunch, Jeff showed Walt the Blowhard Mountain Trail while Steve shuttled to the bottom to pick them up. It turns out that significant parts of the trail were rutted, muddy, rocky, rooted and/or loose. Walt isn't planning to ride there again.
  • Saturday August 4: We had planned that Jeff and Steve would ride the Blowhard Mountain Trail on Saturday before driving home. However, after Walt's experience on Friday, Jeff thought that a trail from Brian Head would be more appropriate. So Jeff and Steve rode from the top of Brian Head, along the Sidney Peaks Trail, then down the Right Fork Bunker Creek Trail, taking the dirt road out; maps.

Crested Butte Weather Forecast

Contributions from past visitors to Crested Butte. (Click on the thumbnail images to get to the full-size pictures)



Thanks for looking at Steve's guide to mountain biking trails in Ventura County, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) and other locations frequented by the North Ranch Mountain Bikers.