A few weeks ago, we highlighted Crested Butte Mountain resort’s trail Meander. Today, we’d like to highlight another CBMR trail – Crusader. These trails, while located in similar proximity on the mountain, couldn’t be further apart in type. Meander is very much a cross-country style trail, whereas Crusader is a speedy freeride downhill trial full of features.
There are many ways to get to Crusader. You could take the Red Lady Lift and ride down to the start of the trail. Or, instead of riding the lifts, you could ride up one of the cross-country trails too. On this ride, we chose to ride up Prospector.
Prospector leads ascending riders right to the top of Crusader.
Only built last year, CBMR continues to make improvements on Crusader. But, riders should know that Crusader is a fast downhill trail full of wooden features which seem to increase in difficulty as you descend down the hill.
Trail 401 has been Crested Butte’s most popular mountain biking trail for a very long time. But, ever since 401 was listed in a national bike magazine as being one of the top trails in the nation, droves of people have been coming to Crested Butte to experience the ride for themselves. Top that off with increased traffic due to tourism on Gothic Rd (hence, increased dust while riding to 401), and the thought of riding 401 during the most busy times in the summer, as a local, becomes repulsive. I can’t think of the last time I rode 401 in July.
Crested Butte’s Trail 401 in the evening, with beautiful light and bright green corn lilies.
Well, we changed that this year. Snow kept 401 from opening for quite some time. So, in early July, when we heard it was finally rideable, we wanted to get out and ride it. But, it was 4th of July mayhem and madness. No go for us. Although the enormous holiday crowds departed, there was still a busy roar throughout town. How do we ride 401 without the dust, the cars, and the crowds? We strategized. “Let’s ride 401 on Sunday night after work.” That became our plan. Our friend Jenny decided to join us too.
We began riding at 5:00 from our condo near the ski area. That put us near the top around 6:30. The rain earlier in the day and the evening rays created a mystical scene.
Mule’s ears on Snodgrass, with a view of the ski area and Whetstone.
Mountain biking is flourishing here in Crested Butte. It seems that every year there’s a new trail built, or a new section of trail… sometimes even more than one new trail. With the addition of a couple of new trails in recent years, a great town loop has now been created.
Brittany riding Snodgrass with the Crested Butte valley below.
Crested Butte is known for it’s wildflowers. Heck, we even have a wildflower festival. The festival was just this past week. While I didn’t actually participate in the festival activities, I still decided to get in the spirit and go for a good wildflower hike. I’d heard that the wildflowers were in full force near Beckwith Pass. So, I borrowed Eddie the wonderdog to join me, and we headed out for a wildflower hike on the Cliff Creek trail.
The lower aspen forest harbored many wildflowers, like these larkspur.
I don’t see this one too often – Corydalis.