TR: Star Pass / Hunter Creek (31 July 2013)

(Last Updated On: August 7, 2013)

It had been years since I’d ridden up to Star Pass. And that was for a reason. Although beautiful, the trail had been treacherously steep, and loose and rutted from dirt bike abuse. But, recent closure of trail 583 to motorized vehicles has changed things, and Frank’s “discovery” of the Hunter Creek descent has now shed a new light on riding in this area.

I first rode this lollipop loop the weekend prior. With scenery and wildflowers abound, I instantly regretted not bringing my camera. So, when my friend Sonya visited and I described this ride to her, I was happy to return. This time with the camera.

We parked at the Deadman’s trailhead and began riding the road for a short spurt before connecting on to the newly redone Cement Creek trail. This trail is fantastic. It is rolly and rhythmic, has rock-bridges spanning over significant creek crossings, and lots of wildflowers colorizing the sage brush. Sonya:

We followed the Cement Creek trail all the way to it’s end at Hunter Creek. But, instead of ascending Hunter Creek (which we wanted to descend), we headed back on to the the Cement Creek Road for a few miles before connecting with trail 583. Just before we headed back on to the road, we coincidentally ran into our friend Sydney, who was also headed in the same direction.

Sonya and Sydney on the middle part of 583:

The trail was beautiful.

Up, up, up we went.

We rode through fields and fields of flowers.

The climb came with the rewards of stunning scenery.


At the top of 583 we stopped to enjoy a nice break, admiring the view of Star and Taylor Peaks. Sydney and me.

We continued onward toward Star Pass.

The wildflowers were hard to beat.


Such a beautiful area. Sydney and Sonya.

At the top of Star Pass, Sydney decided to part with us and descend toward Brush Creek. Sonya and I continued onward, descending a bit at first and then ascending Hunter Creek. The climbs were worth it though. The descent of Hunter Creek was fabulous. As is true of most of the best descents, it was too good to stop for pictures. But, I did manage to capture one of Sonya:

After the end of Hunter Creek, we connected back on to the Cement Creek trail to complete the lollipop. This trail is just as fun going down as it is going up.

For me, one of the main problems with riding in the Crested Butte area is that so many of our epic rides involve significant road climbs. Frankly I get bored with that. I like the single track. This loop is great because it only has a few miles of road. In addition, the scenery and descent are top notch. It easily is ranked in my top 5 rides for Crested Butte. And, as Frank said, this ride is surely and instant classic.

The riding season is far from over. In fact, it’s just starting to get good. So, get out there, and enjoy it!

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!

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!

5 thoughts on “TR: Star Pass / Hunter Creek (31 July 2013)

  • August 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    A quick trails update.
    1- Snodgrass is now closed for the season

    2- The cows are out on Cement Creek, and with all the recent rains, conditions have been described as “exceedingly bumpy”. Meanwhile, on 583 (Crystal), motorized users continue to disregard the closure, and the trail is chewed up once again. If you are a motorized user, please respect the closure. Hunter Creek was likewise described as “chewed up”, although Motorized users are allowed on that trail.

  • August 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Frank, all these trails you LOVE were made bike dirt bikes over 30 years ago. If you try and take a different viewpoint you would realize that by sheer numbers, mountain bikers are damaging trails more than dirt bikes(except for the Colorado 500 which should be banned) I have personally been riding the Taylor park area since 1999 and since the explosion of social media and blogs and web-sites like yours the number of mountain bikers in the area are overwhelming. Sure you don’t use motors but you do as much damage as dirt bikes if not more. Take for example the Flag-bear-deadman-29 turns loop, which has been so braided and over used by mountain bikers it’s like a 4 track now! Mountain bikers don’t have the suspension to ride over big rocks and whoops and ruts so they go around. I am speaking form experience, I started racing mountain bikes in 1991 and still ride 2-3 times a week. I hate big drops a deep mud-holes sometimes you have to go around if you don’t want to get off your bike and as you and I both know we hate to put a foot down.

    All i’m saying here is be fair minded and STOP advertising every single tail you ride, it hurts our trail system and we will all be shut out. Let’s share the trails, Frank.

    Be safe , have fun and don’t do Face-Book

    P.S. if you ever wanna see what damage those blessed hikers can do just look at Maroon Bells where bus-loads are let off by the hour to trample the beauty.

  • August 24, 2013 at 8:41 am

    OK, Marisa, where to start? First off, remember that 583/Crystal Peak is CLOSED to motorized use, and the disregard for that closure is one of our main concerns. Secondly, and I cannot state this clearly enough, please stop spreading the complete falsehood that dirtbikes built the local trails. They did not. Please, learn some local history. Buy a book. Then you’ll know that the trail system was largely built during the Depression thanks to the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

    Reno Flag Bear is overused, I’ll give you that. But you should have seen it in the days when dirtbikes would go UP it. Which brings me to one of the core reasons for having my mountain bike guide. Overuse is overuse, no matter what the mode of transportation (just as you suggest in the Maroon Bells). Do a quick thought experiment. Let’s say there are 100 mountain bikers, but they only know two trails, and ride them every day. Now let’s say that there are 100 known trails, so each of those trails is ridden by just one rider per day. Don’t you see that spreading riders out is a GOOD thing for the trails?

    Finally, may I suggest a road trip for you? Check out the Colorado Trail and connections from Molas Pass to Durango. While this area is similar to Star Pass and Doubletop in elevation, soil, and precipitation, the trails are completely different. Why? Dirtbikes are allowed in one place, but not the other. Dirtbikes have their place, but it’s not everywhere. If you think that cinder blocks are a great riding surface in the high country, well, there’s not much more I can say to you.

  • August 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Damn, I read this ride report wrong. I just returned from CB and was looking forward to doing this ride. I hit 401 in the am and then parked at Deadmans after a brief refuel at Camp4. Cement Creek trail was fun and my memory failed me when I looked at the map and thought the trail went UP Hunter Creek. I knew something was wrong when I saw the ‘are closed for reclaimation’ sign on the trail that I thought would be my downhill rip. After a bit of hike a bike with some short peddaling I hit the Double Top trail and contemplated going that way or over to Block and Tackle. Needleess to say I was a bit spent (need more fitness) and didn’t want any more elevation so I just ripped down from there. Now that I am home and looked over the report again I am going to give it a go when I head back over Labor Day. Thanks for all your posts, gives me goals.

  • August 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Sorry for the confusion, Greg. The closed trail is Hunter Hill. Glad you enjoy these posts, and it gives you ideas. I’m working on adding maps to many of the rides in the guide, so that should make some things clearer in the future, though I won’t be adding maps for the “adventure-style” rides. Nice work adding this after a 401 ride!

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