Hooked up with Ellie, who spends about a month every summer in Crested Butte. We let her choose the ride, and she picked two that were on Francine's hit list. She met us at the Hostel at 8:45am. We climbed 3 miles on the paved bike path up to the ski area. Then, we headed out Gothic road for 11 more miles to the 401 Trailhead, 10,700 feet at Schofield Pass. The road was perfectly damp, so we had no dust from the cars. The views were incredible everywhere we looked. 14.25 miles at the 401 Trailhead. Then we climbed a little over a mile on the 401 Trail. Thankfully the rain over the last 2 weeks made the trail tacky and damp. We reached the highpoint at 11,350 feet.
The downhill was fast, smooth and narrow. Normally the wildflowers would be up to our handlebars, but they came early this year, due to lack of snow and no rain in June. After about 5.3 miles, we hit the intersection with Rustler's Road. We bailed out to Gothic road, so we could add Snodgrass Trail to our day. Ellie said the condition on this popular trail was the best it could be.
Then we retraced a few miles on Gothic Road to Gothic Townsite, where we had a snack. Soon, the public bus from town pulled in. Francine asked the driver if she would stop at the top of the 3 mile road climb, at Snodgrass Trail. She said yes. She was in. Ellie and Kevin joined her on the free bus ride.
We huffed and puffed, with Francine walking most of the climbs, for about a mile on Snodgrass Trail. This was another sweet, smooth, with technical sections thrown in, trail running thru the aspen trees and open hillsides. After 3 total miles, we dropped on the Washington Gulch Road. Went left to Gothic Road. Hit the paved trail back to town. 33 miles at over 9,500 feet all day.
Had huge burritos at Teocali in town after the ride.
|Francine climbs Gothic road|
|Schofield Pass, where the singletrack begins.|
|Kevin and Francine get higher|
|Ellie charges through the alpine meadow|
|Highpoint for the day, elev. 11,350'|
|Kevin and Francine|
|Francine in the Aspens|
|Postride Burrito at Teocali|