Crested Butte Q&A
Great question! Crested Butte sits at 8,995 ft above sea level and is in the heart of the West Elk Mountains. The Mountain Biking season in Crested Butte is generally from Mid-June until the end of September. We are at the will of mother nature here and that means we wait for the snow to melt in the spring and pray for it to not come back until October or November.
Yes you can, we rent Fat Bikes from early December to Late March. Fat Biking is cool and fun but it is not mountain biking, you will not be riding on the same trails as in summer. Fat Bikes are great on user compacted or groomed trails around the valley.
Trailriders 401 generally does not open as a loop until around the 4th of July…YES, THE 4TH OF JULY! It is a high alpine trail and has a dark timber approach that holds snow that makes it impassible until melted. The trail can be ridden as an out-n-back usually a few weeks earlier. Once it opens as a loop we recommend you go with the flow of traffic. Want to ride 401? Come here in July, August or September.
Of course! We are surrounded by the beautiful Gunnison National Forest here in CB and that means a plethora of camping options. You will find established camp grounds and also areas where dispersed camping is allowed. If you look at the map of Crested Butte and surrounding areas you will see county roads going in every direction. These will all have camping options on them a few miles out.
We have one RV park in Crested Butte and others in Gunnison. If you are looking to have hook ups and a shower facility check out the Crested Butte RV Park. In Gunnison there is a KOA out near Hartman Rocks another great riding area. Most of the County roads are be passable to a certain point in a small self contained RV.
If you are asking me to choose I would say town is where it’s at in summer, but I’m biased because it’s where I live and work. There’s a bit more action in town in summer and if you want to walk (or ride a townie) to coffee, shopping, the market and dinner… you want to be in town. That being said, Mt CB is lovely, and connected to town by a paved Recreation Path that only takes about 15 minutes to ride on a bike. We also have a free town bus service that connects the 2 areas every 20 minutes. You really can’t go wrong the town of CB and the town of Mt CB are only 3 miles apart.
Yes, Evolution Bike Park is on the ski area and is where you go if you want to ride lift served trails. There are trails here for all levels from Hot Dogger for the little ones to Luge and Avery for more experienced riders. If you are not an experienced Mountain Biker you should always stick to the Blues and Greens in a bike park and work your way up to more difficult terrain. For information on Evolution Bike Park please go to skicb.com.
I’m so glad you asked. Yes, we have miles and miles (750 to be exact) of what we call “backcountry trails” in CB. What does that mean you say? It means you don’t get on the lift, you just get on your bike and ride. You will climb a fair bit here and it will be hard but so worth it. There will be beautiful meadows of wildflowers, aspen groves, babbling brooks, and mountain vistas. And don’t forget what goes up must come down!
Big Al’s does not offer a guide service, but we have friends who do. Give Ben and Janae a call at Colorado Backcountry Guides, tell them Big Al’s sent you!
Yes, we have many trails that we can send you on right from the shop. Most of our beginner terrain and a lot of intermediate trails are accessible from town. There are other trails that are farther away that do require driving to a trailhead.