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Trail Riders Trail #401

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.8 (75)

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


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Map Key

8.3

Miles

13.4

KM

Singletrack

11,331' 3,454 m

High

9,697' 2,956 m

Low

1,100' 335 m

Up

1,992' 607 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

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

Shared By:

Chuck McQuade

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 75 votes

#19

Overall
  4.8 from 75 votes
5 Star
84%
4 Star
15%
3 Star
1%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#5

in Colorado

#19

Overall
72 Views Last Month
24,636 Since Apr 4, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
33%
9%
57%
0%

Photos

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
Once you get into the aspens, 401 starts getting interesting and fun!
Sep 26, 2019 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
Wildflowers galore on Crested Butte's famous 401 Trail
Aug 7, 2020 near Crested…, CO

Weather


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Check-Ins

Sep 23, 2020
John Mark Happel
Sep 1, 2020
Erik Magnuson
Aug 15, 2020
Christian Rooney
Incredibly beautiful and diverse trail. Dry and dusty with one washed out section. 9.3mi — 1h 40m
Aug 7, 2020
Josh Empey
Jul 11, 2020
Robert Lee
Oct 13, 2019
Ryan Robinson
Sep 27, 2019
Kevin Koryto
Sep 2, 2019
PJ Palaunu

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