The Dyke Trail should be high on everybody's list of rides to do when visiting Crested Butte. In only a little over 5 miles in length this trail throws just about everything at you from smooth flowy singletrack, loose technical descents, a leg and lung burning climb in the middle, several small water crossings and fantastic views of the Ruby Range and the Anthracite mountains.
There are any number of ways to ride The Dyke. You can ride this one from town if youre feeling fit. With the development of the new Wagon Trail paralleling Kebler pass road it makes the ride from town a bit more interesting. If youre short on time or just dont want to mess with the road, drive toward Kebler Pass to the junction with the Irwin Lake Road. Park there and ride toward Irwin Lake Campground, staying left at the split.
Ride past the lake and keep bearing left at road intersections. Wind around and climb up to a sign for The Dyke Trailhead. Stay left on this doubletrack and ride out to a small turnaround and a sign for The Dyke Trail.
This first part of the singletrack is a ripper! Watch out for a few surprise creek crossings and some technical sections. Otherwise, enjoy the romp through the forest. The trail weaves around the contours before climbing up and over The Dyke, which is a very distinct rib of rock at the top of a set of lung blowing climbs. Enjoy the aspen and the views through them. Youll be staring straight up at the Upper Dyke and the Ruby/Owen range. On the left at the top is a short trail to a great viewpoint and lunch spot.
From here get ready for a great finish! Hang on for a terrific downhill through what must be some of the most beautiful aspens around. If you picked the right day, the light filtering through a golden canopy fifty feet up will seem surreal as you blow through it leaving a dust cloud of aspen leaves.
Make a sharp left where a sign points right to the wilderness area. Continue with the ride and eventually come out in a saddle and parking area at the Dark Canyon trailhead. Turn left down the doubletrack and a quarter of a mile later, youll hit Kebler Pass Road.
Another option if you're even shorter on time and have a friend is to ride this as a shuttle, parking one car near lake Irwin and another at horse ranch park off of Kebler pass. Highly recommended ride in the fall time when the aspens are changing.