Doctor Park

 84 votes
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Featured Ride
Trail

20.1 Miles 32.3 Kilometers


40%

Singletrack

2,734' 833 m

Ascent

-2,719' -829 m

Descent

10,913' 3,326 m

High

8,335' 2,540 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

All Clear

34 days agoUpdate

A local favorite with a tough grind of a climb, then fast, flowy singletrack as a reward.

Michael Ahnemann

Overview

Generally, open from June - October. Closed in the Winter/Spring until the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend for Big Horn Sheep habitat.
Many riders familiar with the Crested Butte area call this one of their favorite rides. Although the ride starts with a slow grind of a climb up a jeep road, there are a few great views along the way. Once the climbing is done and the trail turns to singletrack, riders are rewarded with five miles of fast descent - it's technical and rocky at first, then smooth and flowy before turning technical and challenging again towards the bottom.

Need To Know

This ride can be done as a loop, starting and finishing in the North Bank Campground, or it can be shuttled. If you choose to ride from the campground, get ready for an 8 mile slog up the dirt road (Spring Creek Road). If you shuttle, you should be able to find plenty of space to park along the road as you near the turnoff for Doctor Gulch trail (554).

Description

After climbing up Spring Creek Road, either on your bike or in the car, the true ride starts at the turnoff for Doctor Gulch trail (554) and almost immediately crosses a river (Spring Creek). The river crossing could be rideable when the river is low, but beware - it's at least 20 feet across, the water can easily be above your hubs in places, and it can run quickly enough to knock you off your bike. It's easiest to take your shoes off to keep them dry, and walk across a series of flat rocks, carrying your bike.

Once you've crossed the river, it's a bit of a grind as you head up the 4wd road. The first mile is relatively gradual climbing. At the 1 mile point, look for a right turn to stay on 554, and here the road gets steep. It's granny gear climbing at times as you gain altitude to get on top of the ridge. As you climb, start looking off to the right and you'll eventually see some expansive views of the valley looking back across Spring Creek Road.

After a quick rest to take in the scenery towards the top of the ridge, you'll climb a bit further and enter thick forest. Here the ground is almost always damp, sometimes extremely muddy, with plenty of slimy roots to slip you up. After winding through the mostly flat trail through the forest for about a mile, you'll emerge into a grassy meadow. This is where the true Doctor's Park experience starts as the trail heads downhill.

The descent starts on narrow, smooth singletrack, then gets more technical with some steep sections and many rocks and small steps to drop over. Eventually the trail smooths out, and rewards riders with 3 miles of smooth, fast riding that will make you want to descend forever.

The final part of the descent gets technical again, and the trail surface turns from smooth, tacky dirt to loose, dry sand. The final 1/2 mile has some very steep sections with rocks to drop down, and lots of rock lining both sides of the trail. Your brakes will be hot as you negotiate the final few turns and emerge back into the North Bank Campground.

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4.7 from 84 votes


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Check-Ins

Nov 9, 2016
Brett Atkinson
Rideable in November!! Get it while you can!
Oct 24, 2016
Lisa Dreier
Oct 24, 2016
thomas feistl
Sep 17, 2016
Rebecca Koski
Sep 12, 2016
Rich Thurston
Sep 9, 2016
Spencer Drewelow
19.7mi — 2h 17m
Sep 9, 2016
Dustin Roth
Spencer and Dustin fall 2016 19mi — 2h 15m
Sep 8, 2016
Chase Davis
Rode this in 3.5 hours. Brutal to do when kids woke me up all night and didn't have enough to eat.

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 84 votes

#9

Overall
  4.7 from 84 votes
1 Star
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2 Star
1%
3 Star
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14%
5 Star
80%
Rankings

#1

in Colorado

#9

Overall
370 Views Last Month
23,393 Since Nov 14, 2012
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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13%
64%
23%
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Conditions


All Clear 34 days ago

Forecasting the weather...

One of the must do trails in the Crested Butte area. Lesser known than 401, but just as amazing. Jun 9, 2014


Really love Lead King, 401, Dyke, etc., but not this one. Parking at the bottom just outside the campground there is a very pleasant gravel grind up to the trailhead with a quick creek crossing. More two track climbing provides panoramic views. The top of the trail is a loam/topsoil mix that sponges water making for mucky conditions unless is has been dry for many days. On the way down deep erosion, exposed roots, and rock makes one drag and skid soil off the mountain more than roll downhill. Suddenly the trail flattens some turning into a cinder/rock/sand base which absorbs water well and lets you completely fly down. Just before the end you get some challenging and fun rocky switchbacks. With some rerouting up top this would be a grade A trail, but cannot recommend at this time. Jul 29, 2014


One of my favorite rides anywhere. I recommend a shuttle to make the most of the downhill fun. If you have 2 high-clearance vehicles, you can shuttle all the way to the trailhead and have time to ride it twice! Oh, and there's no "dragging" or "skidding" if you actually know how to ride a bike; no need to ruin it with rerouting or sanitization. Sep 5, 2015


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