401 Trail

 37 votes

8.6 Miles 13.8 Kilometers


Singletrack

1,110' 338 m

Ascent

-2,208' -673 m

Descent

11,335' 3,455 m

High

9,617' 2,931 m

Low

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Minor Issues

1 day agoUpdate

The bread and butter of 401 Trail Loop - alpine singletrack at its best.

Chuck McQuade

Overview

Description

At the top of Schofield Pass, the famed singletrack of the 401 Trail veers right starting with a tough and consistent climb for 1.3 miles through dense trees. Near the top, the grades gets easier, the trees open up, and the views behind you are stellar. The climb isn't really all that hard - nothing technically - but your lungs will keep reminding you are at 11,000 feet above sea level.

Then the payoff begins. The unsurpassed 360 degree alpine views of the Elk mountains, followed by the first of the steady downhill. After descending a few hundred feet, the trail flows fast and gently downhill with stunning views in front of you and flowers all around in mid-summer. For much of the top part of the descent you're hugging the hillside, with a steep drop to the right, which can mess with your equilibrium. There are a few very skinny sections that are easy but have very bad fall potential. Take your time and savor it!

You'll intersect with the Bellview hiking trail and take a right. This section has several switchbacks and has begun to get a little rutted out, but it's generally fast and flowy with great traction all the way. When conditions are good, the middle section of the 401 descent is about as fun as mountain biking gets.

Once down to Rustler's Gulch, take a breather because the climbing begins again. This point also provides an exit back to Gothic road if the weather turns for the worse. Otherwise continue your tour through the Ruster's Gulch camping area, and follow the 401 trail into the meadow above the campsites.

The trail climbs for about a mile and is technically a bit harder than earlier sections, though still fine for fit intermediate riders. You'll pass thorugh a drainage with lots of rockfall, and most people walk their bikes a few feet to get through it.

One final descent takes you to a small trailhead on the outskirts of Gothic.

Contacts

Rate Trail


   Clear

4.8 from 37 votes


Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 12, 2017
Mojie Nixon
15mi — 3h 15m
Aug 12, 2017
Abraham Padilla
Easily the best trail I've ridden in Colorado! 8.8mi
Aug 5, 2017
Tom McKim
8.6mi
Jul 20, 2017
Bill Frasure
Jul 20, 2017
Amy Moseman
Super fun, beautiful flowers and meadows. Black flies were really bad, second climb is a bit brutal
Jul 15, 2017
Greg Mattlage
Jul 15, 2017
Dan J
Jul 14, 2017
Michael Wynne
12.5mi — 2h 21m

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 37 votes

#17

Overall
  4.8 from 37 votes
5 Star
84%
4 Star
16%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#7

in Colorado

#17

Overall
1,456 Views Last Month
15,980 Since Apr 4, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
35%
65%
0%
0%

Conditions


Minor Issues 1 day ago
Muddy, Mostly Dry, Fallen Trees: upper 401 mostly dry but lower portion has descent amount of mud and several sections of fallen trees
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...

Photos

Hey Toronto...check out Colorado's rendition of the 401. Jun 21, 2013


Want to give this one a try 4 days removed from sea level so I need to shuttle it to eliminate some climbing. Looks incredibly beautiful. Jul 4, 2013


Is this trail generally rideable in late April? Dec 8, 2016


MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter