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Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadman's Gulch

 4.4 (69)
Trail Mapped Wrong?


18.3 Miles 29.5 Kilometers




3,402' 1,037 m


-3,415' -1,041 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (21°)

11,142' 3,396 m


9,438' 2,877 m



All Clear 23 hours ago

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A Crested Butte classic with 3 distinct uphills and 3 distinct downhills

Adam Kagy

Overview [Suggest Changes]

The first segment of Reno road offers up the toughest and longest climb, but you'll be rewarded with some ripping downhill. After that there are only 2 other shorter climbs. Note: There are over 30 switchbacks on the deadman's downhill.

Need to Know [Suggest Changes]

Bring plenty of water and a bite to eat since this ride has over 3000ft of vert. Installation of a new bridge crossing Cement Creek will commence on July 6, 2015 for one week (DO NOT park in the Deadman's Trailhead parking during this week). Also, use caution as this trail system is also used by moto bikes.

Description [Suggest Changes]

From the parking lot, ride up Cement Creek Road, cross over Cement Creek on a large culvert, and switchback up. On the right will be a well worn but unmarked shortcut, take this or continue to the marked junction of Reno Divide Road 759. Go right and climb steadily for about 5 miles to the top of Reno Divide.

At the top of Reno Divide is a good place for lunch. The views to the west are of Teocalli Mountain and Double Top. To the north is Italian Mountain and east is Matchless Mountain and the Spring Creek drainage.

Ride through the gate and straight ahead onto the marked Flag Creek singletrack. CBMBA and the Forest Service recently reworked this smooth section of trail, so get ready for one of the best downhill runs anywhere. After three miles you'll cross a compacted gravel "bridge." Shortly after this you'll enter the dark timber where your next right turn is.

There is a small sign here marking the Bear Creek Trail. If you come to a road crossing, youve gone too far. Take the right trail, cross a creek and climb up another creek drainage. This trail climbs, sometimes steeply, into an open marshy area. Veer right here passing an old closed trail on the left, and climb to the dirt road. GO LEFT on this road. (The singletrack straight ahead leads up to the Reno Ridge trail. Dont be tempted!) Follow the road three quarters of a mile to where it forks, go right and then ride straight ahead and over a dirt berm and across a road onto the signed continuation of the Bear Creek Trail.

Get ready for an awesome downhill! This section has been reworked lately as well and is in the best shape that Ive ever seen it. Plan on minimal brake wear as you rocket down Bear Creek. There are a few rough spots towards the bottom, but mostly its buffed all the way down. About 3 and 1/2 miles down, the Deadmans Gulch trail turns right. This is a good place to refuel for the last climb; take the Deadmans Gulch trail to the right and gear down for a longer than expected climb. Pass the Cement Mountain Trail that comes in from the left and make the last push to the top. The trail gets a bit steeper near the top which can wreak havoc on already tired legs. At the top pass the Reno Ridge Trail coming in from the right.

Go straight through a small barbed-wire fence and begin a newly reworked, switchback-filled descent to Cement Creek. There are over 30 switchbacks here! At the bottom is the cement creek crossing. The forest service recently destroyed the makeshift bridge Crossing Cement creek for liability reasons, so use caution early in the year when water is high.


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Your Check-Ins


Sep 19, 2017
Alex Tiberio
Sep 9, 2017
Zach Bauer
This loop is 20 miles. And excessively fun! 19.9mi
Sep 9, 2017
Matt Greenfield
Sep 3, 2017
Whitney James
Aug 12, 2017
Richard Paylor
Aug 10, 2017
Dave Morris
Great trail, but beat to hell by motos and cows!
Jul 30, 2017
Jonathan Mueller
Muddy 22mi
Jul 30, 2017
Jonable Nable
Cows and motos trashed the climb out of flag creek. Deadmans clutch was fun but super pitted 18mi

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 69 votes


  4.4 from 69 votes
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in Colorado


550 Views Last Month
17,038 Since May 8, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Scenery fantastic, great route, unfortunately quite a lot of deep trenching and humps and hollows from motorbikes. Oct 29, 2016
Lots of "trenching and humps and hollows". Agree with other commenter. A bit overrated I would say. Jul 10, 2017
boonecounty Bradley
Basalt, CO
boonecounty Bradley   Basalt, CO
I rode this ride back in 2003 and it was amazing. What a difference 14 years makes. The trail is incredibly eroded with lots of trenches & puddles. It is obvious some work has been done to fix key sections but there are to many miles of damage. The 30 switchbacks down off of deadmens are mostly massively eroded trenches. The last climb is full of cow shit and flies! Over rated but scenery is good. Jul 15, 2017

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