Bucket List MUST DO: 401 Trail – Crested Butte, CO

I had the pleasure of spending 4th of July in Crested Butte, CO this year.  It was my first time there, and hopefully I’ll get back soon.  Love that town!!  Friendly people, bike racks in front of every house, everyone riding their beach cruisers around.  My kinda spot.  For my “Freedom Day” ride, I got to hit the magical 401 Trail.

Climb up Gothic Road with a beautiful view of Avery Mountain

Climb up Gothic Road with a beautiful view of what we’ll soon be riding up ahead.  Yes!

East River crossing on Gothic Road, with Avery Mountain in the background

East River crossing on Gothic Road, with Avery Mountain in the background

It’s the closest thing to the Sound of Music I’ve found in America.  I felt like I was in Austria.  Serene and remote feeling, not a soul on the trail.  In total, the ride is around 15 miles with 2,400′ climbing.  Much of the climbing is done as a well-paced fire road climb up Gothic Road.  Even though it’s fire road, the views are marvelous, making the climb enjoyable – plus, it gives you an idea of what you’re about to descend, adding to the motivation.

View of Emerald Lake during the climb up Gothic Road

View of Emerald Lake during the climb up Gothic Road

Once you ride around Emerald Lake and reach Schofield Pass, the singletrack begins, and you climb a little more.  Even on July 4th, I hit some snow drifts here.

Schofield Pass - Almost done climbing

Schofield Pass – 10,707′ – Almost done climbing

Even on July 4th, there was still some snow around 11,000'

Even on July 4th, there was still some snow around 11,000′

Eventually, you top out, and it opens to magical views and then… you descend a sublime thin ribbon of singletrack through the BEST scenery I’ve ever seen on a bike ride.  The hills are alive, part rain forest, blooming wildflowers… lush and green.

Perfectly manicured singletrack awaits you as you reach the summit of the climb.  Just how I like it!!

Perfectly manicured singletrack awaits you as you reach the summit of the climb. Just how I like it!!

Can't get enough of this trail

Can’t get enough of this trail

View looking back down to Crested Butte.  So lush!

View looking back down to Crested Butte. So lush!

Are you kidding me!!! Sick!!!

Are you kidding me!!! Sick!!!

Towards the bottom there’s a little climbing and “normal” sections, but you go through aspen groves and end at the trailhead with the sweetest taste in your mouth. This trail certainly is special, and everybody should put this on their list.  Can’t wait to get back and try some more trails in the area.photo(12)

Sunflower

Sunflower

Lower Trailhead

Lower Trailhead

Crested Butte is the wildflower capital of Colorado.

Crested Butte is the wildflower capital of Colorado.

After the ride, I made it back to town in time for the annual 4th of July parade.  I stashed some chairs in a primo spot before leaving on my ride – lucky, because the street was packed now, and Angela and the girls were sitting pretty.  Great small town vibe, much like the parade at home in Mammoth – but the turnout was huge and there were many more floats.  We enjoyed Bloody Mary’s from The Last Steep as the parade marched past.  At the end of the parade, the fire department water fight was a blast (no pun).  The hoses went wild, and the kids were all stoked, including Lucy.  Good times.  Crested Butte, you have not seen the last of the Jacoby’s!

Cool tricycle on the roof of Big Al's Bicycle Heaven

Cool tricycle on the roof of Big Al’s Bicycle Heaven

Molly showing her pride on Independence Day

Molly showing her pride on Independence Day

During the water fight at the 4th of July parade in Crested Butte.

Lucy getting drenched uring the water fight at the 4th of July parade in Crested Butte.

Helpful Links, trail maps, ride beta, if you plan on riding 401 in Crested Butte:

 

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One Response to Bucket List MUST DO: 401 Trail – Crested Butte, CO

  1. Pingback: Annual Flip A Coin Roadtrip HOME | Dirty Teeth – Alan's Mountain Biking Adventures

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