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Enjoy the best of the Raspberry Gulch singletrack on this ride, culminating at a spectacular overlook.


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Map Key

11.8

Miles

18.9

KM

75%

Singletrack

9,678' 2,950 m

High

8,619' 2,627 m

Low

1,631' 497 m

Up

1,634' 498 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Features Views

Overview

Raspberry Gulch is an enticing out-of-the-way spot to ride mountain bikes in the Arkansas Valley that's conveniently accessible from fantastic dispersed camping. However, to make the most of the incredible singletrack here, this route has a very Jekyll-and-Hyde nature, beginning with tough, technical climbing and a ripping descent before swooping through mellow, flowy singletrack and culminating at a spectacular overlook above the Chalk Creek valley.

Need to Know

There's a substantial amount of dispersed camping off of Browns Creek Road, not too far from the trailhead. However, no camping is allowed at the trailhead, and due to the popularity of this area, you aren't guaranteed to get a campsite—especially if you arrive on a Friday or Saturday. To ensure that you find a campsite, arrive early on a Thursday (or earlier in the week). If there aren't any campsites available, please do not drive into the grass or undergrowth to create a new site—this damages the natural resources. Also, be sure to respect all fire bans and completely extinguish all campfires.

Description

Park at the main Browns Creek Road trailhead at the split in the road near the gate. While you could park at the Browns Creek Falls trailhead if you need a pit toilet, it's easier to find open parking near the gate.

Begin the ride by pedaling up a mellow climb along FS 272—the continuation of Browns Creek Road (which is a left turn compared to the drive in). At the Browns Creek Falls trailhead, climb steeply up the Browns Creek Trail, which begins directly to the right of the pit toilet. Note that the trail names for the Browns Creek Trail #1429 and Wagon Loop Trail #1427 were switched several years ago to reduce confusion. However, that means that older maps and some online resources don't align with the trail signs. If in doubt, refer to the route shown here and follow the visibly well-trafficked route.

The initial climb on the Browns Creek Trail is steep and rocky, quickly gaining elevation while providing picturesque views over the Arkansas Valley below. The steep, rocky terrain makes for tough going on a mountain bike and will force most riders to do at least some hike-a-bike.

At the junction with the Colorado Trail (COT), take a right to finish the climb, and then continue following the COT down and right down a fast, rocky descent, finishing with some tight switchbacks.

After this descent, you'll drop out into Raspberry Gulch proper and enjoy several miles of mellow, flowing singletrack with beautiful views through the breaks in the trees. Along the way, you'll cross the Raspberry Gulch Road. For a beginner-friendly ride, you could choose to drive up to the crossing on Raspberry Gulch Road and head out and back in both directions to stick to the easy, flowy singletrack.

The route shown here climbs up to a high point above Chalk Creek Valley, culminating at a spectacular viewpoint of the valley far below, Mount Princeton towering above and to the right, and Mount Antero above and to the left. Be sure to stop and have a snack at this gorgeous outcropping!

From here, turn around and rip back down the way you came, crossing the first dirt road at the bottom and pedaling back across to Raspberry Gulch Road. To get back to your car, descend Raspberry Gulch Road, and then take a right at the bottom to pedal back up a small rise and return to the Browns Creek Road trailhead.

Contacts

Shared By:

Greg Heil

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#6

in Buena Vista

#2949

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#6

in Buena Vista

#474

in Colorado

#2,949

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Photos

Views from the Colorado Trail
Sep 11, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
Climbing the Colorado Trail above Chalk Creek Canyon.
Jun 7, 2017 near Alpine , CO
A rider rumbles down the Browns Creek Trail.
Mar 26, 2017 near Alpine , CO
Aspens at peak color.
Apr 19, 2024 near Alpine , CO
Valley view from Lower Browns Creek Trail.
Apr 15, 2024 near Alpine , CO
View of Mount Princeton from Raspberry Gulch.
Apr 19, 2024 near Alpine , CO

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Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 45 days ago
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Check-Ins

Jun 21, 2024
Chris Ververis
11.8mi
Jun 4, 2024
Sean McKeown
Climb up to the CT is not great - 50% hike-a-bike. But the descent down Little Browns was spicy fun, and the out-and-back after that was gorgeous.
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