Teocalli Ridge is the go-to trail for people who want a big ride in a small bundle. It’s a beastly climb followed by a beautiful and rocky ridge ride, followed by a screaming downhill all in 11.5 miles of classic Crested Butte mountain biking.
You can start this ride from town or the Brush Creek Trailhead, but the shortest loop is to park at the split of Middle Brush and West Brush Creek. From here the best direction to ride is clockwise so start your climb up West Brush Creek Rd. The road is mostly easy going for about 5 miles. Early on you will have to fork right at the Deer Creek Rd. intersection. You will also have to ford West Brush Creek about midway up the road and there is no bridge. Even in August bring sandals or plan to get your feet wet. Be very careful if you are riding during June as this, and the creek crossing at the exit will be very high.
At the top of West Brush Creek Rd. you will start the singletrack and the climb will get steeper. Very few riders can clean the whole climb so there is no shame in walking sections of this climb, especially if you aren’t set up for racing or cross-country. Use the views of the East River Valley as an excuse if your buddies give you a hard time.
At the top of ridge you’ll enter a saddle and small trail junction, and things will look like they might be flatter. Turn right to stay on Teocalli Ridge Trail. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re one of those folks), from this junction you’re still not done yet. Several short, steep sections of climbing and descent must be conquered to receive your reward of total downhill. The views here are world class and it’s not uncommon for folks to enjoy a beer in the golden hour of sunset before the plunge to the valley floor.
Most of the descent is pretty manageable, but intermediates may want to walk a couple switchbacks that have a little bit of exposure to them. The switchbacks start in the dark timber before popping out into a large field of sage all the way down to Middle Brush Creek Rd. Turn right on this 4×4 road and try to contain your giggles as you leap berm after berm the rest of the way down.
One final easy climb out of the creek bed will bring you back to your car, and hopefully some of those cold beers you brought with you. More power to you if you still have energy to ride after this. Multiple loops can be linked together with the Strand Hill trail network on the other side of Brush Creek.
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