Tips for Beginner Mountain Bikers in Crested Butte and Gunnison

Beginners can follow these easy mountain biking tips to get on the amazing Colorado trails in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley. These days, more and more people are turning to mountain biking to get away from crowds and the hustle and bustle of city life. Maybe you just bought your first mountain bike, or maybe you’re dusting off a bike that has been sitting unused in your garage for a few years. Either way, we hope this guide will help you gain some basic mountain biking skills and learn your way around the beginner trails in Gunnison and Crested Butte. On this page you’ll also find helpful tips and local resources for new mountain bikers.

A smiling female mountain biker rides down a flat dirt trail through spruce trees in Crested Butte

Mountain Biking Safety and Etiquette

Mountain biking is a lot of fun, but it also comes with risks. To keep yourself and your fellow riders safe, it’s important to follow common-sense rules and simple principles of trail etiquette.

  • Know where you’re going. Download the CBGTrails app for an interactive map of every trail in Gunnison, Crested Butte and everywhere in between.
  • Ride within your limits.
  • Stay on the trail and leave no trace. Only ride on trails that are open to bikes (no wilderness areas).
  • Uphill riders have the right-of-way. Downhill riders yield to uphill riders.
  • Bring plenty of water, snacks, appropriate clothing, tools and a first-aid kit.

Mountain Biking Guides, Lessons, Coaching and Clinics

A guide can show you around the trails and help you gain basic riding skills. Hire an experienced guide who knows the local trails through one of these mountain bike guide services. For kids, check out the Crested Butte Development Team and the gOgirl program.

Easy mountain biking in the Gunnison Valley two riders mountain bike downhill through a green field and aspen trees in summer. Mountain peaks are in the background.

Easy Mountain Bike Trails in Gunnison

Hartman Rocks

  • Evan’s Loop
  • The Luge
  • Tailpipe
  • Buddy Bear
  • Nine-0
  • Powerline Road

Signal Peak trails

  • Contour Trail
  • Cemetery Trail
  • Rasta Gulch
  • Duane’s World

Easy Mountain Bike Trails in Crested Butte

Crested Butte

  • Lower Loop
  • Woods Walk
  • Upper Lower Loop
  • Lupine Trail
  • Gunsight Connector (Lando Calrissian)
  • Kebler Wagon Trail

CB South

  • Lower Cement Creek Trail

Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR)

  • Up and Away
  • Meander
  • Awakening
  • Hotdogger
  • Downtime
  • Primer
  • Painter Boy

Renting a Mountain Bike in Crested Butte or Gunnison

There are many reasons to rent (or “demo”) a mountain bike. Maybe it’s your first time riding. Maybe you’re looking to upgrade from an older bike, and you want to see what’s out there. Maybe you flew here and left your bike at home. No matter the reason, the bike rental shops in Gunnison and Crested Butte have plenty of demo bikes for you to try. If you own your own bike and need a tune-up, most of these businesses offer a full-service bike repair shop, too.

Beginner MTB trails in Crested Butte a female mountain biker rides on a smooth trail through sagebrush. Tenderfoot Mountain is in the background. It is summer.

Buying a Mountain Bike

So you’re officially hooked on mountain biking! It’s time to buy a bike. But which kind? There are so many options. A bike shop professional can help you decide which components you need and what bike will be the perfect fit. Take a look at our list of local bike retailers to start shopping.

Other Mountain Biking Resources in the Gunnison Valley

In addition to the CBGTrails map app and website, there are several other local organizations that provide updates on trail conditions and education about all things mountain-biking-related. Check out the Crested Butte Mountain Biking Association (CBMBA) website and the Gunnison Trails website. In addition, these organizations provide many other benefits to the Valley’s trail systems, including trail signs and volunteer trail maintenance.

Crested Butte mountain biking female biker smiles as she rides downhill on a sandstone trail. The area is a high desert in summer.

Happy trails!

Author: Katy Mooney

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