Summer 2017 marks my 7-year anniversary living in the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley. That being said, I am embarrassed to say, I have yet to conquer some of the valley’s classic rides on my mountain bike. After discussing this, we as a staff thought it would be fun to post our summer bucket lists. We will have to circle back when the snow starts flying to see if we were all able to accomplish our goals. This year, I won’t need a hall pass to go ride because I got my wife a mountain bike for her birthday.
The most shameful and well known trail on my never ridden list is Doctor Park. That is why I have it as a top priority for this summer. There are a couple of ways to do this classic trail. Some choose to park at North Bank Campground, near where Spring Creek meets the Taylor River. Others choose to shuttle up Spring Creek road to the start of the singletrack. I personally plan to drag my ’63 Shasta camper, Greta, up Spring Creek Rd. and camp at one of the many sites along the road. The ride is about a 20 mile loop with 2,700’ vertical, topping out just below 11,000’.
Probably the best-known ride out Cement Creek Road in Crested Butte South, a compilation of Reno Divide to Flag Creek to Bear Creek to Deadman’s Gulch make up this classic loop. With three climbs, and three descents, 3400 vertical feet will be ridden over a little more than 18 miles. While you might run into a few CB South locals, this trail tends to see far less traffic than a more popular trail like the 401. I have hiked around in the area, but have never ridden it.
Access Canyon Creek North of Sargents at the Western side of Monarch Pass. Over 3,300 vertical feet are gained on Tomichi Creek 4×4 road, and this trail tops out at whopping 12,581 feet! The punishment is said to reap great rewards, with a 10 mile downhill to rival anything in the state. Canyon Creek is a must for my bucket list this summer. This trail is definitely off the beaten path. In talking with friends who have done the ride, it isn’t uncommon to be the only person out there. That being said, probably best to ride with a buddy for safety. This trail seems to be a popular one on our staff bucket lists, I am thinking this might be a good team building day.