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Trail Riders Trail #401



8.3 mile 13.4 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,100' 335 m
Descent: -1,992' -607 m
High: 11,331' 3,454 m
Low: 9,697' 2,956 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)


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Trail shared by Chuck McQuade

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

Chuck McQuade

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


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.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed


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Oct 13, 2019
R Robinson
Sep 27, 2019
Kevin Koryto
Sep 2, 2019
PJ Palaunu
Aug 29, 2019
Rob S
Aug 21, 2019
Zach Mueller
Aug 17, 2019
Alex Weldum
Beautiful, rewarding, fun!
Jul 28, 2019
Clark Sperry
Sep 30, 2018
Sarah Niemeyer

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 64 votes


  4.8 from 64 votes
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in Colorado


114 Views Last Month
23,240 Since Apr 4, 2013



Bars-deep in wildflowers on Crested Butte's 401 Trail.
Jul 28, 2015 near Crested…, CO
401 is known as one of the premiere mountain bike trails for a reason.
Jul 22, 2014 near Crested…, CO
It is the blur of color from the wildflowers. Don't let the views distract you too much. Most scenic ride I have ever done!
Oct 12, 2016 near Crested…, CO
The fall colors in Crested Butte were amazing well into October this year - especially on the 401 Trail!
Oct 31, 2016 near Crested…, CO
Once you get into the aspens, 401 starts getting interesting and fun!
Sep 26, 2019 near Crested…, CO
Riding the 401!  The views are unreal!
Sep 21, 2017 near Crested…, CO

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