Photo Essay: Summer in Crested Butte, CO

We recently wrapped up a truly EPIC 4-day trip to Crested Butte, Colorado and like every trip, we captured the entire experience in pictures.  Our clients experienced some of the most incredible rides we’ve put together to-date, and we believe these pictures do a great job showing how great the trip was!  From a short period of hail to an entire 6-mile descent in the rain, from sunny skies to cold temps, and from 3,000 foot climbs to 3,000 foot downhills… this trip had it all!

Thanks to our awesome guiding partners at Colorado Backcountry for opening our eyes to what’s possible in Crested Butte- the ride options and routes in the valley are truly endless.  For anyone looking at one of our future Crested Butte trips, expect your mind to be blown!


Day One: Tour de Mt. Crested Butte (15 miles w/ 1800 feet)


On the first day of our Chasing Epic trips, we like to give our clients an introduction to the terrain they can expect, and in Crested Butte we opted to tour the trails around Mt. Crested Butte.  While the climbing might be a little stiffer than most “intro” rides, this group was up for the challenge!  The ride included a 30-minute climb, but our crew was rewarded with an almost-endless descent down Westside, Happy Hour, and the Upper Loop.






Day Two: Teocalli Ridge and Strand Hill (19 miles w/ 3300 feet)


Time to step up the game… Teocalli is classic Crested Butte, and by adding Strand Hill, we pushed our group to their limits.  “Teo” starts with a big 2,000 foot climb (don’t worry, the beautiful scenery minimizes the suffering!), but you’re rewarded with HUGE views and one of the best descents anywhere.  Strand Hill is a Chasing Epic favorite, with a stiff climb followed by an amazing, flowy descent through a giant aspen forest and open meadows.  This ride will be a Chasing Epic staple for years to come.










Day Three: Crystal and Star Passes (22 miles w/ 4100 feet)


Yes, you read that right- 4,000 feet of climbing.  And to make it even more unbelievable, almost half of that was hike-a-bike!  But ask any of our riders, and each and every one will say it was worth the pain.  The views from the two passes (only about 3/4 mile apart) are incredible, and the rest of the ride was truly epic.  I’ll put this ride up there with any we’ve done with a customer group in the history of Chasing Epic!

The ride started with a 10 mile climb up Cement Creek, all the way up to Crystal Pass and on to Star Pass at 12,500 feet.  We had amazing 180-degree views of the area and watched thunderstorms pass through.  After eating lunch, we had an incredible 6-mile descent down Trail 400, which is one of the sweetest, fastest rides you’ll do.  After that we were “rewarded” with a 1.5 mile hike-a-bike up Block and Tackle… and with the right company, it’s a pretty fun way to climb a mountain!

Our second huge descent dropped down the south end of Block and Tackle before meeting back up with Cement Creek Trail; when combined make for another 6-mile descent of epic proportions.  The experience was amplified by a passing rainstorm drenching us, but making the trail absolutely perfect.  What a way to end an awesome day!











Day Four: 401 Trail (12 miles w/ 2000 feet)


OK, no pictures on this one (sorry!), but the 401 Trail is a must-ride to end any Crested Butte trip.  A steady 4-mile dirt road climb up to Schofield Pass starts the ride, followed by a stiff 1-mile climb up to the top of 401.  But don’t worry, because the hard breathing and pain is totally worth it when you begin the epic descent through chest-high wildflowers and wide open views of the East River Valley.

Trust us, you’ll have to experience this one for yourself!

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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.