The Green Lake trail network contains the most accessible trails for those in the town of Crested Butte, so much so that the town itself should really be considered the trailhead. This makes these trails perfect for a quick ride that fits your schedule, and easy aprés choices when you return.
The easiest rides from town are on the Wood’s Walk loops on the flanks of the Red Lady. Several different loops with no real preference for direction can be ridden here. These trails, due to their easy nature and access from town can be busy with all user groups, and particularly families with kids. While they do offer great access and riding to the Lower Loop trails and beyond, they aren’t made for ripping at high speed. You can access these trails off of Kebler Pass Rd. right before you get to the Trapper’s Crossing neighborhood, or from the North end of town at the ends of Teocalli Ave. and Butte Ave.
On the south end of town are two trails that offer some serious adventure right out the front door. The Green Lake Trail and Baxter Gulch Trail both climb from town up The Bench, the steep hill that runs from Kebler Pass Rd. to the side of Whetstone.
The Baxter Gulch Trail is still in the process of being built, but a good chunk gets knocked out every year and it won’t be long before a new classic loop is connected between the Carbon Trail and Green Lake Trail. The access to the Baxter Gulch Trail is from Avalanche Park off Hwy. 135 at the top of the hill after you pass the 45 mph sign. If you have the Green Lake Trail Map downloaded on your phone you will automatically get updates on your map as sections of this trail are completed.
The true classic ride in this area, at least according to some, is the Green Lake Trail. Words like euphoric, brutal, cleansing, and technical are the answer when you ask someone about this trail. Normally ridden as an out and back, the one reward for your climb is getting to see what you’re about to ride down. That, and you get to jump into one of CB’s most beautiful lakes when you reach the top.
The ride down from the lake plunges through the dark timber of the bench before reaching the road section. This section, and in fact most of Green Lake Trail, travels through private property and it is very important that all users stay on the trail. When you’re on the road be sure to keep your eyes open for the trail sign that indicates your left turn back onto singletrack. Although this section is a little less technical, it’s still a fun set of switchbacks all the way down to the Nordic Center and Big Mine Park.
Options for long and short loops can all be found if you use the Carbon Trail and the future connection to Baxter Gulch. Some people who prefer to ride loops rather than out and backs will ride up Kebler Pass Rd. and then climb the steep, short climb up the Carbon (also called Wildcat) Trail. This section is currently receiving attention from the Forest Service as well and is likely to contain less hike-a-bike when it’s completed.
Trail Heads 1
- Visitor Center