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Plan Your Colorado Mountain Biking Vacation in Crested Butte and Gunnison

From high desert to high alpine

The Gunnison Valley’s massive system of pristine backcountry MTB trails makes it a top Colorado mountain biking vacation destination. With more than 800 miles of singletrack to choose from, you could stay here for a month and still not ride every trail! The area offers a wide array of mountain bike trails, from rocky desert rides in Gunnison to flowy alpine descents in Crested Butte. No matter where you ride, panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains surround you. Start here to find trail recommendations, maps and tips for planning your Colorado mountain biking vacation!

What trails are open right now?

Due to the Gunnison Valley’s high altitude and cool temperatures, snow and mud can cling to the high country trails well into spring. Wondering what MTB trails in Crested Butte and Gunnison are currently open? Check Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association’s trail conditions page for the most up-to-date information.

Gunnison Valley MTB trail areas

The Gunnison Valley has some of the most singletrack of any Colorado mountain biking vacation spot. So much, in fact, that it’s helpful to break the valley into zones. Each corner of the valley has its own unique geography and scenery. Explore them all to find your favorite!

A person riding a mountain bike on a path in front of a mountain peak. This trail is Strand Hill Crested Butte

Brush Creek

Dozens of diverse trails are accessible off Brush Creek Road, just southeast of Crested Butte. Ride a quick, steep loop on Strand Hill, or venture deep into the backcountry on Strawberry or the 409s. Teocalli Ridge is also in this zone.

Crested Butte town trails

Ride from your lodging in Crested Butte straight to the trails! The town trails begin on the west side of town. After just a few minutes of pedaling, the Slate River valley opens up before you, revealing a winding river and towering peaks. Lower Loop and Lupine are classic easy rides in this zone.

A mountain biker rides a rocky section of Doctor Park trail

Taylor Canyon

Taylor Canyon is home to the famous and beloved Doctor Park trail—a steep, chunky epic found on many best-of lists. This guide covers trails in Spring Creek, Taylor Park and Fossil Ridge, too. 

Hartman Rocks

This ancient meteor crater near Gunnison is now a rocky playground for mountain bikers. Looking for a challenge? Check out Freefall. Want to ride a Hartman’s classic? Go for Rattlesnake. First day on a mountain bike? Learn the basics on Sea of Sage. Wherever you go, expect rocky, technical trails with tons of line options.

Cement Creek

Ride through rocky crags or soar over high mountain passes on the trails off Cement Creek Road. Don’t miss Middle Cement—a short, rollicking downhill trail perfect to work into an evening ride.

Signal Peak

Think of the Signal Peak area as Gunnison’s town trails. Directly adjacent to Western Colorado University and the city of Gunnison, Signal Peak offers mellow riding and panoramic mountain views. Chicken Wing is a local favorite.

Trail 409.5 in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Gunnison National Forest

Most mountain bike trails in Gunnison County are built on Gunnison National Forest land. Learn more about this vast, wild chunk of public land. 

Gunnison and Crested Butte mountain biking trail map

Beginner, intermediate and advanced bike trails

Whether you like flowy alpine singletrack, technical desert rocks or pine forest plunges, it’s all here. You might have heard of Hartman Rocks, Doctor Park or the 401. These famous trails offer incredible riding, but there are some phenomenal lesser-known trails in the Gunnison Valley too. Use the map below to plan routes and discover new trails.

Crested Butte on Trailforks.com

Gunnison and Crested Butte mountain biking films

Some of the world's first mountain bikers stand by their klunker bikes in downtown Crested Butte.

Watch Micayla in Wonderland

A story about the wonder of Colorado mountain biking

This short film by Gunnison Valley’s own Matchstick Productions follows Micayla Gatto down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, which looks a lot like Crested Butte. Follow Micayla as she rides through mystical aspen groves and magical trails.

Some of the world's first mountain bikers stand by their klunker bikes in downtown Crested Butte.

Watch the Born from Junk films

The history of Colorado mountain biking

Two short films chronicle mountain biking’s beginnings in the Gunnison Valley. Immerse yourself in the story of mountain biking’s ragtag origins in Crested Butte and its racing heyday in Gunnison. 

Jesse East and Carson Storch fist bump in the Cutting Class thumbnail image.

Watch Cutting Class with Carson Storch and Jesse East

Follow legendary pro mountain biker Carson Storch and newcomer Jesse East on a rowdy ride through the Gunnison Valley’s best trails. The film starts and ends at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, where Jesse is a student.

Videos of Gunnison Valley trails

Watch MTB videos of the best trails in Crested Butte and Gunnison

Check out our collection of mountain bike trail videos to get a taste of what some of the trails in Crested Butte and Gunnison have to offer on a Colorado mountain biking vacation.

Find a bike shop

Whether you need a bike mechanic, a snazzy new bike jersey or a mountain bike rental, the bike shops in Gunnison and Crested Butte can help.

Support Local Trails Organizations


Who built the 800-plus miles of mountain bike trail here? You probably won’t see them during your ride, but there is an army of volunteers and trail workers behind every trail, sign, bridge and berm in the Gunnison Valley. 

Gunnison Trails and Crested Butte Mountain Biking Association are the two local trails organizations that build and maintain the Gunnison Valley’s mountain bike trails. They also educate locals and visitors alike about how to take care of the beautiful trails, lands and waters we all love.

While enjoying the trails during your Colorado mountain biking vacation, please consider supporting the hardworking people who built them. Show your support by making a donation or volunteering on a trail work day. Learn more about the Gunnison Valley trails organizations at the link below.

Taking care of trails and public land


Pit toilets are available at Hartman Rocks and a few trailheads around Crested Butte, but most trails do not have bathroom facilities. “Go before you go,” and learn how to properly dispose of waste if you have to answer the call of nature outdoors.


  • Only ride on open trails.
  • Riders traveling downhill should yield to riders traveling uphill.
  • Bikers yield to all other trail users, including horses and hikers.
  • Ride under control at all times.


The seven principles of Leave No Trace guide us on how to behave in the outdoors. Abiding by the principles helps minimize human impacts on the land. To learn more about Leave No Trace principles specific to mountain biking, visit LNT.org.


If possible, plan your route to avoid riding on wet or muddy trails. If you do encounter snow or mud on the trail, ride through it rather than around it.

Trail closures

Obey all trail signs and posted trail closures. Learn more about seasonal trail closures on our spring trail closures page. 

Other ways to explore Crested Butte and Gunnison on two wheels

Six e-bike riders on a dirt road with mountain peaks in the background


An electric bicycle can take you farther and faster than a traditional bike. Learn about the different types of e-bikes and where you can ride them in the Gunnison Valley.

three gravel bikers ride on a gravel trail with rolling hills in the background

Gravel biking

Explore more then 1,000 miles of dirt roads in the Gunnison Valley via a gravel bike. Explore sage oceans and unique rock formations in Gunnison, ride through railroad history in Pitkin, and try to catch your breath on epic rides above treeline in Crested Butte.

More Colorado mountain biking trip inspiration

Find trip itineraries, trail recommendations and more.

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