Colorado’s iconic mountain bike trail lives up to the hype

Perhaps the state’s best known and most talked about mountain biking trail, the 401 Trail at Crested Butte offers riders a variety of riders, stunning views, and top-notch trail quality.

A good thing about this trail is that runners can choose their own adventure. Some riders choose to start from a lower parking lot, doing a 14 mile loop. Others choose to shuttle almost to the top of the uphill section of the route, eliminating most of the over 2,000 feet of vertical drop.

While cyclists can find different ways to reach the single track portion of the route, all cyclists can experience the smooth downhill stretch the trail is known for.

The single track portion of the route begins at the top of Schofield Pass, taking cyclists on a 1.3 mile climb through dense forest that eventually opens up to around 11,000 feet above sea level After that, the trail is almost entirely downhill, back to the starting point of the ride or shuttle. It’s quick, smooth, and halfway between intermediate and advanced, making it a more accessible option compared to the more difficult trails that exist in the area.

Alpine views eventually turn to aspens, with the trail flanked by wildflowers in early summer. Views from the bike saddle on this ride show scenic Colorado at its best, with grazing cattle.

Those planning to commute should make sure they have a driver with a vehicle capable of tackling rough mountain roads. Several narrow and uneven sections are present on the path leading to the trailhead.

There are also several items along the trail that feature exhibition or technical movements. Those who are unsure of their abilities can drop down and walk through these sections.

Overall, it’s hard to imagine a nicer, smoother stretch of standard single track track. For mountain bikers visiting Crested Butte, this one is a must see.

Find the route recommended by MTB Project here.


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