This year the Enduro World Series will be visiting the beautiful Crested Butte, Colorado for a grueling 3-day race. This will likely be the hardest event of year due to high altitude and long transfers to stages. I’ve been visiting this town for 20 years now, and no matter how fit I think I am, I’m always humbled by the steep climbs and lung-busting altitude. But, I’m never disappointed by the amazing wildflowers, 360-degree views from mountain ridgelines, and the fun, flowy descents back to town, where large quantities of food await you. There are over 700 miles of singletrack accessible to not just cyclists, but to several different user groups including motorcyclists. There are so few places in our country where all user groups work together to maintain and build trails.
I vividly remember my first visit to Crested Butte with an old boyfriend. We camped in his van by the river (where I still camp today in my little Aliner RV). I still ride many of the same trails that were recommend to us by a local shop — 401, Doctors Park, and Reno Flag to Dead Man’s Gulch. Also, these are all potential courses for the Enduro World Series this weekend, and trails I would recommend to any first-time visitor to Crested Butte. On 401, you ride through fields of wildflowers that tower over your head. Doctors Park winds through massive aspen groves and takes you up to speeds on your mountain bike that you never thought were possible. Reno Flag to Bear Creek will have you smiling because it is the flowiest singletrack in CB. That’ll drop you at Deadman’s descent for tighter, more technical switchbacks.
At any time during these rides, you might find yourself surrounded by scurrying cows herded by working ranchers. You’ll feel as though you stepped back in time to the “old west”. Of course, there are hundreds of miles of other trails in the area to explore, and I recommend stopping by the Alpineer Bike Shop for additional trail recommendations and a map.
After a big day of riding, you will be ready to put food in your mouth, and one of the best Mexican places in town is Teoccalli Tamale. It’s the best value in CB for large quantities of food. Plus, it tastes amazing after a long day in the saddle. If you’re not in the mood for Mexican, then I recommend hitting the Secret Stash for some of the best pizza in this world. My personal favorite is the Notorious F.I.G.—figs, truffle oil, and prosciutto. Once you’ve had your fill, you can walk to Camp 4 Coffee for a little afternoon pick-me-up. The coffee is roasted locally, and the pastries are made in CB just a few miles down the road. It’s a great hang out place where you can sit outside on the patio and sip delicious coffee.
Crested Butte offers some of the best trails in the country and a unique western experience. Some 400 participants this weekend will not only enjoy the trails, but a beautiful, historic town. I fell in love with mountain biking and Colorado in Crested Butte, and I’m excited to share it with my fellow racers.