TBT: Sink Creek and Throughline trails 9.1.18

(Last Updated On: November 1, 2018)

Even though it’s now November and mountain bike season is winding down in the mountains, that doesn’t mean that you can’t dream of some trips next summer. Or, honestly, perhaps ride the Sink Creek and Throughline trails this fall, since they are located on the drier and warmer side of the West Elk range near Paonia and Crawford.

As many of you know, Brittany and I were riding a lot of random trails this summer as part of Trailquest, a contest to ride all of the singletrack in the Crested Butte and Gunnison areas (which apparently also includes Paonia and Crawford). While we probably won’t return to some of these trails, others might be worth a return a trip and Sink Creek and Throughline certainly fall into that category. Unfortunately, both of these trails have to be ridden as out and backs, since the legal riding ends at the West Elk Wilderness boundary. If it wasn’t for that, you could make a great loop with these trails around the humorously named “Tater Heap” mountain.

In any case, we started off on throughline, which is a well-used trail unlike some of the others in this area. This area felt perhaps like the African savanna (take note of Needle Rock in the distance, the distinctive rock formation outside of Crawford):
throughline trail crawford colorado.

We made short work of Throughline and started down the dry, dusty, but fun trail (Tater Heap in the background):
crawford mountain biking tater heap

mountain biking west elks


Mendicant Ridge, which proved to be the hardest day of the Trailquest challenge, is in the bakcground:
crawford mountain biking and mendicant ridge

Once we were back at the Throughline/ Sink Creek intersection, we headed up Sink Creek. This trail wasn’t as popular, but it was still in good shape while being a bit overgrown in spots with ferns. That’s just kind of fun, though.
mtb sink creek trail

trails near crawford colorado biking

We had a great time on these trails, and I’d certainly mountain bike them again. If you’re looking for something different, head out towards Crawford and give Throughline and Sink Creek a shot. Things went so well, in fact, that we had more time and decided to head towards another trail called East Flatiron. East Flatiron is more of an ATV trail with a long approach road, but it did have some great views. Mount Gunnison (one of these days we’ll ski this amazing massive peak):
Mount gunnison

Looking back towards Crested Butte. Marcellina is on the left, Owen and the Ruby Range is in the middle, and West Beckwith is on the right:
West Elk Mountains

An unnamed canyon:
backcountry near Paonia

As with Mount Gunnison, we really need to ski West Beckwith:
west beckwith

That’s it for this post. If you love riding in new places, keep Sink Creek and Throughline in mind. We’re pretty sure you’ll have a great time.

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TBT: Sink Creek and Throughline trails  9.1.18
Article Name
TBT: Sink Creek and Throughline trails 9.1.18
Description
Mountain biking on the Throughline and Sink Creek trails near Crawford, CO- terrific singletrack that doesn't see a lot of MTB traffic.
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Frank Konsella

Frank loves snow more than anything... except his wife.  He ensures his food is digested properly by chewing it 32 times before swallowing.He is a full-time real estate agent serving Crested Butte and Gunnison and would be honored to send you his monthly newsletter.

Frank Konsella

Frank loves snow more than anything... except his wife.    He ensures his food is digested properly by chewing it 32 times before swallowing. He is a full-time real estate agent serving Crested Butte and Gunnison and would be honored to send you his monthly newsletter.

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