TR: Biking from Aspen to Crested Butte – Taylor & Star Passes (12 Sept 2010)

(Last Updated On: June 29, 2016)

After taking Pearl Pass from Crested Butte to Aspen the previous day with the historic “Pearl Pass Tour“, Frank and I joined 4 other riders for a return ride back to Crested Butte. While Pearl Pass is a scenic, epic, and historic ride, it’s best done just one way. There are other options back to Crested Butte that provide better riding, such as Taylor and Star Passes. This is where we headed.

We left Aspen at 10 am, making our way up the paved Castle Creek Road. From there, we ventured on to the relentlessly steep Express Creek Road.
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The two best things about this road: little hike-a-bike, and beautiful leaves. Otherwise, “STEEP” is the word that sticks in my mind.
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But, the higher we went, the more scenic the views.
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Castle.
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Me.
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Finally, after 3+ hours of climbing from Aspen, we reached Taylor Pass.
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Cathedral as seen from Taylor Pass. The thoughts going through my mind can be expressed in two words – Must ski.
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We continued along the road for awhile toward Star Pass.
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The road rolled along, until we reached the climb to Star Pass. Don Cook, having built parts of this trail himself, decided we needed to detour. We followed his “original” trail, which has since been rerouted by the Forest Service, replaced by a heinous climb that avoided a thicket of willows.
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The climb to Star Pass.
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Admiring the mountains.
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Frank enjoying the views on top of Star Pass.
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And the views are incredible. It’s amazing how something so stark can be so beautiful.
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By the time we’d reached Star Pass, we’d been riding 5 hours and 22 miles- about 20 of which were climbing. We were ready for a good descent. And a good descent we had. The ride down from Star Pass is a tough one to beat- one of the top descents in the Crested Butte area. We opted to enjoy our ride, rather than hanker down for photos. But, Frank did catch these couple of me on the road out.
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7 hours after beginning our ride, we rolled back into town, spinning down Elk Avenue. 90 miles of riding and about 9000′ vertical over two days had me pretty beat. But, at the same time, I couldn’t have felt any better 🙂


Want to do this ride yourself? Our mountain bike guide will help you plan our route. Also, Maroon Bells Shuttles can help you make sure your car is where you want it to be at the end of your ride!

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Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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Summary
Biking from Aspen to Crested Butte - Taylor & Star Passes
Article Name
Biking from Aspen to Crested Butte - Taylor & Star Passes
Description
Mountain biking from Aspen to Crested Butte is super fun, especially through Talyor and Star Passes! Find out more info to complete this ride!
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Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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