Gunsight Pass is a relic of the mining era and lot of remains are present on the trails in this area. The name comes from a narrow pass between Scarp’s Ridge and The Red Lady that was carved by miners that, for some reason, felt they needed another road between Coal Creek and the Slate River Valley. This one needed to climb and descend 3,000 ft though!
Although the climb on Gunsight Pass Rd. is long, it is rarely steep. The road grade switchbacks over 6.5 miles to even out the climb. The remains of the Daisy Mine stand near the top of the driveable section and are worth a look before the final push to the summit of the pass. From the top the only legal ride down is via the Elk Creek Trail. This will eventually land you on Kebler Pass Rd. where you can connect to Lily Lake, Green Lake, Carbon, or Dyke Trail Areas. Riding Gunsight Pass and Elk Creek is somewhere in the ballpark of 18 miles if you ride from downtown Crested Butte. Be warned this is more of a full-on adventure than a bike ride. Be ready for loose scree hike-a-bike, sharp rocks, unmarked social trails, and lack of shade and water. If you’re headed up to ride this consider leaving your bike and hiking the short ridge to the top of Red Lady, one of Crested Butte’s most cherished summits.
The best singletrack in the Gunsight Pass area is on the Lower Loop trail network and the Kebler Wagon Trail. The Lower Loop is one of the flatter areas in the valley and is a great place for people new to mountain biking or looking to get their lungs back after coming from sea level. Most of the trails are easy or moderate, but some of the trails offer short difficult sections that can be a great confidence booster or test piece.
Kebler Wagon Trail is frequently ridden as connector trail between town and Irwin. As the name suggests it follows the historic road grade up the Coal Creek Valley. The colors on this trail are fantastic in the fall and the climb is so nice it’s actually fun. Most people ride this trail to get to Lily Lake, Dyke, Carbon, or the Tour de Axtell.
Trail Heads 3
- Lower Loop Trailhead
- Peanut Lake Road Lower Trailhead
- Splain's Gulch
- Budd Trail
- GB Loop
- Lower Lower Loop
- Upper Lower Loop
- Woods Walk