Photo Essay: Chasing Perfection in Crested Butte

Mid to late September in Crested Butte is absolutely magical- the weather is cool, storms roll in, and the aspens are seemingly always changing colors throughout each stay.  We just completed our 4-day trip with a group of absolute rippers; what a weekend!  We managed to ride almost 75 miles, covering over 10,000 vertical and getting every kind of ride experience possible in one of the best places in the country to mountain bike.  On to the pictures!


Day 1: Lupine, Gunsight, and the Lower Loops (18 miles)


With our Chasing Epic trips, we like to “ease” riders into each trip with a first-day ride that’s a little more mellow than the rest of our rides.  In Crested Butte, that typically means an incredible ride with more manageable climbing, but the same amount of awesomeness on the descents.  The combination of Lupine, Gunsight, and the Lower Loops is our go-to ride, since it has flow, views, and more aspens than you’ve probably ever laid eyes on.

Oh, and the ride ends at our guides’ house in town with cold beers and hot pizza waiting for us as we roll in.  Top that.






Day 2: Teocalli Ridge and Strand Hill (21 miles)


I’ll be perfectly honest… it doesn’t get much better than the combination of Teocalli and Strand Hill in the fall.  20+ miles of riding, with two HUGE downhills that will blow your mind.  Sure, the climb up Teo will leave you wondering what you got yourself into, but remember: with Chasing Epic, the climbs always lead to ridiculously awesome downhills.

We got a little bit of weather, and were dodging rain drops for a little bit on Friday, but it all adds to the backcountry experience!






Day 3: Hartman Rocks (20 miles)


Unfortunately, Saturday was a literal wash in Crested Butte, with rain and snow throughout most of the day.  However, we always have a kick-ass Plan B, which meant we drove 40 minutes south to Gunnison and rode the Hartman Rocks trail network all day.  Hartman Rocks is a high desert environment with fast, flowy trails, huge views, and just enough tech to keep you on your toes.  Although it’s not the high-alpine environment you get in Crested Butte, it’s a perfect change of pace for our trips when the rain moves in.






Day 4: The 401 Trail (10 miles)


Ah… the 401.  Despite a stiff climb up to 12,000 feet, the 401 Trail is worth every bit of effort you put into it.  This trail is iconic for a reason- huge views, amazing singletrack, and a perfect mix of smooth and techy trail during your 5-mile descent.  We like to end each trip on a high note, and 401 is the perfect “dessert” to send our riders home thinking about.





Getting the Chasing Epic bike hauler ready to go home (yep, that’s a Pivot, it’s our trip leader’s personal bike!) as we head out of Crested Butte… extra special thanks to the crew at Longmont Ford outside of Boulder for hooking us up with such an awesome rig!


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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.