Crested Butte Photo Essay: All Time Fall Time

Last month, we hosted two consecutive trips in our favorite of all fall locations: Crested Butte, Colorado.  Each trip was different in its own way, with the first trip (from September 18-21) having moody weather and all-time hero dirt, with the second trip (September 25-28) providing perfect weather and incredibly beautiful aspens.  Some of the best in the last decade, I’d even say.

Over the course of each trip, we managed to ride around 75 miles, climb 11,000 vertical and descend over 15,000 feet… and like always, we did our best to capture the rides in stunning images.  We just left a couple of weeks ago, but we already can’t wait to get back there next September!


Day 1: Upper Loop to Baxter Gulch (16 miles, 2200′)


This is one of the toughest “intro” rides we do on a Chasing Epic trip, as Baxter Gulch includes a ~5 mile, 2000′ climb from town… we get it, not easy on the lungs or legs!  But the payoff is totally worth it, as you get that same climb as a flowy downhill and it seems to last forever.  We end this ride back in town at our guide’s house for post-ride beers and world-famous Secret Stash pizza next to the fire.



Day 2: RFBD & Doctor’s Park (24 miles, 2800′ plus Shuttle)


This ride is a signature Chasing Epic creation, one that you can only do with a big shuttle!  Starting at 11,500′ on Reno Ridge, we ride all the fun parts of the famous “Reno Flag Bear Deadman’s” loop but instead of completing the loop, we drop down Deadman’s and add Doctor Park.  Talk about epic… you’ll get about 12-13 miles of incredible high country descending on today’s ride, some of the best anywhere.



Day 3: Teocalli Ridge & Strand Hill (20 miles, 3600′)


Another tough day, but as always the payoff is totally worth it.  Teocalli is probably the toughest climb most of our riders have ever done: all told it’s about 2200′ by itself once you top out at our lunch spot on the ridge.  But the descents on Teo and Strand are some of our favorites anywhere, especially in the fall.



Day 4: Trail 403 & Trail 401 (14 miles, 2200′ plus Shuttle)


We start today by shuttling to the 403 trailhead at 11,300’… after a mellow 1-mile climb, the 403 trail drops steeply into the East River Valley and gives you an entirely different look at what riding in Crested Butte can be.  Then we climb up to Schofield Pass and the top of 401 and get another world-class descent with views you’ll never forget; an amazing way to end the trip!


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AUTHOR: Steve Mokan

Steve is the owner (and founder) of Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures, and contributes regularly to our blog. He's passionate about providing customers with incredible mountain bike vacations, and he loves photography and travel when he's not working. Truthfully, he loves those things when he is working too.