This ride combines some huge climbs, high alpine scenery/singletrack with some big long downhills.
Since a portion of this ride is above treeline and above 12,000' in elevation, expect that the route won't be snow-free until sometime in July. Start early to avoid monsoon storms in the afternoons.
Start by parking at the Deadman's Gulch trailhead or somewhere off of Cement Creek road nearby. Ride east on Cement Creek Road for 1.3mi until the start of Upper Cement Creek Trail
. Take Upper Cement Creek Trail
in its entirety until you get to the intersection of Hunters Creek
trail. Take a right here, cross Cement Creek and continue up Cement Creek Road.
In about 2 miles, you'll see a trail sign on your left for Trail 583 (Crystal Peak)
. Take a left on this trail. From here, the climbing starts getting tougher. For some, this trail is 100% ride-able but for many there will be parts where you won't have enough gear to climb. As you ascend you'll eventually get to a saddle at around 12,000' and a junction with the Mount Tilton Spur Trail.
Take a nice rest here and soak in the stellar views. Continue on Crystal Peak Trail for another half mile or so until you get to the junction of Trail 400 Star Pass. Take a left here and climb up the short but steep trail to the top of Star Pass. This is the high point on the ride and another great spot to rest and take in the views.
From the top of Star Pass, you'll have a short but steep descent on the west side until you get to the junction with Trail 405 Double Top. Take a left on Trail 405 Double Top and climb the steep but short ascent to another saddle. From the top of this saddle, the ride is mostly downhill from here. In another steep half mile, you'll come to the intersection with Hunters Creek
. Rip the fast flowy downhill on Hunters Creek
all the way back to Upper Cement Creek Trail
. Take a right here and follow this back to Cement Creek Road and back to your car at the Deadman's Gulch parking area.