In recent years, gravel biking in Colorado and beyond has quickly taken off. Whether you’re riding a gravel-specific bike, a road bike, a mountain bike or an e-bike, there are dirt roads in Gunnison and Crested Butte that offer stunning views and a great workout.
Most gravel riding in the Gunnison Valley is done on forest roads and county roads. There are 1,169 miles of bike-able National Forest service roads in Gunnison County. In fact, 36% of Forest Service dirt or gravel roads in Colorado are located in Gunnison County. BLM and county roads account for hundreds more miles.
Roads can be easily linked to create day loops or multi-day bikepacking routes of nearly any length for beginner, intermediate and advanced gravel bikers. In true Colorado fashion, much of the gravel biking in Gunnison Crested Butte tends to be remote and adventurous.
If you’re also a mountain biker, you probably know about the 50+ miles of cross-country singletrack trails at Hartman Rocks. But Hartman’s also boasts access to hundreds of miles of gravel roads. The dirt roads south of Gunnison form a spiderweb of potential routes that span from Blue Mesa Reservoir to Highway 114 to Monarch Pass.
There are hundreds of miles of Gunnison National Forest roads to explore on the east side of the Gunnison Valley between Taylor Park and the tiny towns of Tincup and Ohio City. You’ll be rewarded with views of the Elk Mountains, Fossil Ridge and the Sawatch Range.
Mountain biking got its start on the dirt roads in the Gunnison National Forest surrounding Crested Butte. These days, most mountain bikers have taken to singletrack trails, leaving the roads for gravel bikers. From chunky 4×4 Pearl Pass to smooth, mag-chloride-coated Kebler Pass, the gravel roads around Crested Butte offer options for both beginner and expert gravel riders. Get ready for high elevation and epic mountain views.
The Gunni Grinder is a gravel bike race held in Gunnison every September. 120-, 60- and 30-mile route options are available. The course explores the beautiful, remote dirt road system south of Gunnison and ends in town. This event is a challenging and fun way to explore the pristine canyons and vibrant high-desert ecosystem unique to Gunnison via bike. You’ll also love the affordable hotel options and laid-back downtown scene in Gunnison.
There are several online resources for digital maps to the roads surrounding Gunnison and Crested Butte. Click the button below to view map options for every type of gravel biking adventure.
Planning on gravel riding on Forest Service roads during your trip to Gunnison Crested Butte? Check out the maps below to help you plan your route.
You can use any kind of bike—gravel, mountain, road or electric—to explore the gravel roads around Gunnison and Crested Butte. Whether you’re looking to buy gear, rent a bike, repair your equipment or gather route ideas, the folks at the Gunnison Valley’s bike shops can help.