“A long cross-country ride with stellar views and wildflowers.”
— Adam Kagy
Deer Creek is a classic Crested Butte ride that loops around Mt. Crested Butte. While this ride doesn't have any long fantastic downhills, it makes up for it in scenery, wildflowers and a feeling of remoteness. The views of the east river valley, the backside of Mt. Crested Butte and Gothic Peak are second to none. If you time this ride right you'll be traversing hillsides of wildflowers and you'll realize why they call Crested Butte the wildflower capital of Colorado.
Need to Know
This is a fairly long ride with some leg crushing uphill and hike-a-bike. At close to 30mi and a bit over 3,000ft of vertical this ride isn't to be taken lightly. Bring plenty of water, or a water filter as there are plenty of creek crossings. This is best ridden in June after the snowmelt and into early August. Once the cows are put out into the fields sometime in August the trail may be a bit bumpier and you'll most likely be riding through a more than usual amount of cow droppings.
To ride it from town, start at the 4way parking area. Ride east on Elk ave. and take a right on 9th. Ride past the school and into a gravel area which eventually turns into the New Deli Trail
. Ride this trail in its entirety until it finally ends at Brush Creek Road.
Turn left on Brush Creek Road (County Road 738) and pass the entrance to Skyland. Keep riding out Brush Creek Road past Farris Creek Road and the Strand Hill
rides and start to climb up to a Y intersection. At the "Y", stay left and begin climbing more steeply on West Brush Creek Road. The right takes you up East Brush Creek toward Trail 400 and Pearl Pass. The climb gets a little tougher at this point, then levels out before coming to another split in the road. Take another left onto Deer Creek Road. Right takes you further up West Brush Creek toward the Teocalli Ridge Trail
. There are wooden signs at these intersections directing you.
Deer Creek continues to climb up a rough doubletrack. Go through a gate at the top of this climb and continue about 1/4 mile to another split in the road. Go left again and ride steeply down through some aspens. Follow the doubletrack to its end, where the Deer Creek singletrack begins.
After two creek crossings, the trail starts to climb steadily and steeply. The top is a great place to recover and have a bite to eat.
From here, the trail weaves and bobs its way along the flanks of Whiterock Mountain, with several descents and a couple stinger ascents, and plenty of fast-rolling singletrack sections.
Toward the end of the singletrack, the trail veers hard left at some private property. There is a sign here, dont miss it! Continue to the left through the meadows, then curve right and down to a doubletrack. Take a right on this rough road and ride out to Gothic Road
(the main gravel road). Turn left on Gothic Road
and head back to Mt. Crested Butte and into town.
Once you're near Mt. Crested Butte you have a few choices. If you're tired, follow the Crested Butte Rec Path
or the road back into town and to the 4way parking area. If you want to take advantage of some more singletrack take a left on Hunter Hill Road after you pass the ski area, then take another right to stay on Hunter Hill Road.
Stay on Hunter Hill Road up to a switchback in the road. Look for a forest service sign and start of the singletrack for Upper Loop
. Take this singletrack and enjoy the techy/flowy descent. Eventually, you'll come to a T intersection with Tony's Trail
. Take a right on Tony's Trail
and follow it out to a dirt road. Take a ride on this road, cross through a gate and you'll be back in town and only a few blocks from where you parked at the 4way.