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Freeriding Crested Butte trails with Carson Storch and Jesse East

Watch the short film

Follow Carson Storch and Jesse East freeriding Crested Butte trails in Colorado’s Gunnison Valley in a new short film. Who better to show MTB legend Carson Storch around the Gunnison Valley’s trails than Western Colorado University student Jesse East? The two riders get some big air and big views on trails in Mt. Crested Butte, Crested Butte, Almont and Gunnison. Watch the short film by Crested Butte-based adventure film studio Matchstick Productions below.

Watch: Cutting Class with Carson Storch and Jesse East

Short film summary

Class at Western Colorado University wraps on Friday afternoon, and student Jesse East grabs his mountain bike and hits the trails. He’s joined by legendary freerider Carson Storch. Starting on a towering ridge in Crested Butte, the two shredders explore the Gunnison Valley’s huge variety of trails.

Jesse and Carson roll down steep, rocky lines at Hartman Rocks. They jump off rocks and rollers on Doctor Park trail in Taylor Canyon. And what mountain biking tour of the Gunnison Valley would be complete without hitting some big lines on Crested Butte’s famous alpine trails? The day concludes with a romp around the Western Colorado University campus in Gunnison.

Meet the athletes

Who is Carson Storch?

Hailing from Bend, Oregon, Red Bull athlete Carson Storch is one of the best mountain biking freeriders on the scene today. He regularly contends in high-profile MTB events, including Red Bull Rampage. He also appears in several mountain bike films and features, including an original film called Quarterpoint and a Teton Gravity Research Athlete Edit.

Follow Carson Storch on Instagram to watch him shred in Bend and beyond on mountain bikes and motos.

Who is Jesse East?

This may be the first time you’ve heard of newcomer Jesse East, but it won’t be the last. Follow Jesse East on Instagram to watch this talented young mountain biker’s career take off.

Micayla Gatto rides her mountain bike through yellow smoke in "Micayla in Wonderland."

More rad mountain bike films

Mountain biking in the Gunnison Valley

Want to experience freeriding Crested Butte trails for yourself? Find challenge and adventure mountain biking in the Gunnison Valley. A huge variety of trails waits to be explored here, from rocky, cross-country trails at Hartman Rocks in Gunnison, to flowy, high-elevation trails in Crested Butte. And don’t miss the Crested Butte Mountain Resort Bike Park.

Mountain biking in Crested Butte

Crested Butte frequently tops the lists of best places in the world to mountain bike. Trails in Crested Butte often appear next to classic rides like The Whole Enchilada in Moab, Utah; Gooseberry Mesa in Hurricane, Utah; and Sandy Ridge in Mount Hood, Oregon.

Shuttling trails is not common in Crested Butte. The vast singletrack trail network in this area allows most routes to be ridden as loops. Stunning mountain vistas and fields of wildflowers make up for the thin air at 8,800 feet. Expect challenging but rewarding rides in the Brush Creek zone. Beginners and experts alike will appreciate the easily accessible town trails.

Mountain biking in Gunnison

Most of the rocky scenes in the film were shot at Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, a mountain biker’s paradise just four miles from Gunnison. Nearly 50 miles of singletrack trail crisscross through the rocky ridges of this BLM land. Trail riding at Hartman Rocks is often eclipsed by the world-famous Crested Butte trails, but Hartman Rocks is a must-visit on any MTB trip to the Gunnison Valley. Anyone who enjoys technical cross-country mountain biking will fall in love with Hartman’s.

Looking for something a little easier? Check out the beginner-friendly Signal Peak trail system.

Mountain biking elsewhere in the Gunnison Valley

With more than 800 miles of bike trails in the valley, many of them fall outside of the towns of Gunnison and Crested Butte. Doctor Park, an iconic Colorado ride, lies in beautiful Taylor Canyon, about halfway between Gunnison and Crested Butte. The world-famous Monarch Crest trail is just an hour’s drive east of Gunnison on Highway 50.

For every famous trail, there are a dozen other fabulous trails you’ve never heard of. Grab a map and don’t be afraid to explore!

The sun sets on Taylor Hall at Western Colorado University in winter.

About Western Colorado University

Western Colorado University is a small public university in Gunnison that offers a personalized education with unparalleled access to the outdoors. Small class sizes and outdoor-oriented study areas combine to provide students with an educational experience unique to Western. Choose from more than 100 areas of study, including several master’s degree programs.

After class, hit the trails! Some are rideable right from campus. In winter, the steep slopes of Crested Butte Mountain Resort are just 45 minutes away.

Traveling to the Gunnison Valley

Spring brings early trail openings and excellent trail conditions to Gunnison. After the snow melts, summer and fall are the most popular seasons for mountain biking in Crested Butte. Wondering what to bring? Here’s a guide to packing for a mountain biking trip to Colorado.

ICELab community event on Jan. 24, 2022.

Business in the Gunnison Valley

The Gunnison Valley has transformed into a hub for businesses, especially those in the outdoor industry. With customized business support available from the ICELab, both startups and established companies have grown and thrived here. Gunnison and Crested Butte are the perfect proving grounds for outdoor gear. In addition, the area provides a high quality of life for employees who are outdoor enthusiasts.

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