Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crested Butte and the 401 Trail

Whoa! What a view! This is the top of the 401 bike trail outside of Crested Butte, CO. The elevation here is at least 11,000 feet. Someone up there stole my lung. To get here you drive right through Crested Butte, past the ski area and out towards the Gothic biological research area. You'll see signs, eventually, for 401 trail parking. Then it's a 4.5 mile climb up the jeep road to Schofield Pass and another 1 mile climb through the deep dark forest on switchbacks to get to this view. Worth it? Probably. The ride down certainly is!

I have no idea what the grade of this slope is, but it was enough to have me gripping my brakes for a bit until it evened out a little! There was NO MORE pedaling after that viewpoint above.
Eventually, the flowers get so high there's no fear of falling, only of wondering where in the world the trail will go next! By the end, when you zip across the creek and hit the jeep road again, you're smiling and the long climb is forgotten! Next we hit the Snodgrass trail. Personally, I would have loved loved loved about 4 more miles of this trail. It climbs for a bit and then just takes off through an Aspen forest. The trail rolls and winds through there and some times the distance between trees is barely enough to get your bike through! It's super sweet.

All this biking makes you hungry though! There are some great little places downtown to eat, but we headed back to camp and downed a can of Pringles! Good times were had by all!