(Last Updated On: July 17, 2014)
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.
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.
The evening light was absolutely spectacular sometimes; creating this sublime scene.
We found 401 in rather good shape – especially considering that we don’t usually ride it until the fall after the trail has been “hammered on” all summer long.
The sunflowers were great once we dropped a little elevation. Me, with Rustler’s Gulch in the distance.
Jenny riding 401 as the sun sets.
We continued on to ride lower 401, but we stopped taking photos as the light was simply too dark by then. But, the ride was great. And it was quite a treat to have the trail to ourselves. Crested Butte’s Trail 401 is still spectacular, even after all these years 🙂