The Strand network out in the Brush Creek drainage is one of those areas in the valley that reflects Crested Butte’s past as the home of mountain biking. It is just chock full of trail. WIth everything from tech to flow, there is trail all over the place that you’ll want to ride.
You can drive from town to the Brush Creek Trailhead. Or you can ride road. Or you can link it up to the Upper Loop trail system. Doesn’t matter how you get there.
Beginners and families with kids who are still learning will want to start with the Ditch trail, a nice two-track out and back.
If you love all things flowy and smooth, you’ll want to head out Brush Creek Road, staying right at the y, then start up Ferris Creek trail on the right. You’ll need to cross Brush Creek. When you reach an intersection, continue on the Canal Trail and get ready for some fun flow.
Or, you can ride Strand one of two ways. If you’re in good shape but not good at climbing singletrack, head up Strand Hill Road (be sure to leave the gate as you found it). The Strand Bonus Trail will meet you part of the way up the road on the left. Keep on climbing up the road. Then the road connects with Strand Trail. Turn left onto Strand, climb just a tiny bit more, and then drop your seat at the top when you hit the campfire ring.
Start down. Enjoy a mostly easy fast downhill with occasional techy sections. As always, don’t feel like you have to ride it all. When you hit the Canal Trail, turn left and enjoy smooth flow to the bottom. Or take a left from Canal onto Strand Bonus, climb the Bonus, and lap Strand again. And again.
Some folks who like an easier climb will want to climb up the bottom of Canal, turning onto the Bonus and avoiding most of the steep road climb. It will probably take you longer, but it’s definitely easier climbing.
Other trails accessible from the Strand area and the Brush Creek Trailhead include Teocalli Ridge, a hard, but beautiful climb with an awesome techy downhill. Or you can head south via any number of trails climbing up and then riding down into the Cement Creek Canyon.
No matter what you’ve ridden in the Strand area, you’ve certainly earned a burger and a beer, especially if you linked it up with town via the Upper Loop system or got into the gnar of Teocalli Ridge. So head for Elk Avenue and relax.
Be aware that the Brush Creek drainage is in ranching country. Respect the cattle and leave gates as you found them.
Trail Heads 1
- Brush Creek Main
- 409 1/2
- Canal Trail
- Ditch Trail
- Farris Creek
- Point Lookout
- Strand Bonus
- Strand Hill Road
- Teocalli Ridge
- The Wall
- Waterfall Creek