Trail 401

   
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14
miles

Intermediate

Singletrack
↑ 2,500 ft
↓ 2,700 ft
6
avg mph
280
ridden
369
wishlist
2:42
avg time

Loop
AVERAGE RATING
4.66 out of 5
About This Trail
added by mudhunny Doubletrack on August 8, 2004
 
This is the BEST trail in Colorado! Start the long climb up on Gothic Rd for ~4.5 miles towards Schofield Pass. Turn right onto trail 401 to climb a little bit more on singletrack. At the top there are spectacular views, to the east you can see the Maroon Bells. From here, the scenery can't be beat... start the narrow singletrack downhill through fields of wildflowers and aspen groves. There are about two more steady climbs after the long downhill back to your car, take your time and enjoy the views!
Rider Questions
 
Recommended Trails
Monarch Crest Trail
Buffalo Creek
Porcupine Rim
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9 check-ins
 
  BRM
1 hour ago
4 days ago
  jeking
5 days ago
2 weeks ago
on Apr 1, 2013
 
Lynda Keller on July 2, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Did this ride today (7/2/14). Encountered many small snow fields toward the top of the road and the pass. As a novice intermediate, I found it quite challenging but was so glad we did it. Had to walk the bikes in some areas but had plenty of flowing trails through beautiful wildflowers, aspen groves, forests, etc. You definitely earn your beer on this one!

Similar Trail: Flume Trail, Incline Village, from Spooner Lake

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sammythemtnbiker on April 28, 2014
0 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: This trail has all of the hype, so I am excited to ride it this summer. My father has ridden 401 many times and has told me all about how great it is. The views are super crazy from the pictures ive seen, and I'm sure they dont do it justice.The climbs will be great I'm super excited.

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sammythemtnbiker on April 28, 2014
0 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: This trail has all of the hype, so I am excited to ride it this summer. My father has ridden 401 many times and has told me all about how great it is. The views are super crazy from the pictures ive seen, and I'm sure they dont do it justice.The climbs will be great I'm super excited.

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uber_franz on March 22, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: One of the best trails in Colorado. Easy climb up the 4wd road then sweet singletrack descent

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FinishSTRONG7 on December 22, 2013
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: Spectacular views is an understatement!! Very colorful in the summer with the wildflowers, greenery, and snow on the mountaintops. It is a lengthy drive to get here unless you live in Gunnison County, but well worth it. The dirt road up to 10,707-foot Schofield Pass (where 401 begins) is smooth but has a few sections of steep climbing. Plus if you go in September, you will be riding through a golden aspen canopy! The 401 singletrack is smooth with some technical sections and a couple of short portages. The initial climb is a true aerobic challenge with switchbacks through the forest. It takes you to a meadow above treeline where you are rewarded with an amazing view of Maroon Bells. It's a mix of fast downhill, technical sections, and short steep climbs after that. Overall this seems to define the ideal ride for the intermediate level rider. Unfortunately, 401 is usually only rideable in its entirety between early July and the end of September.

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Guest on September 11, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: How late in the season is this trail usually ridable?

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mtbgreg1 on September 11, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: It's totally dependent on the weather, how warm it stays, and when it starts snowing. It could be snowing in Crested Butte later this month, or it could wait a long while...
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delphinide on July 15, 2013
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: After riding thousands of miles of trail over the past few years in multiple countries, I can honestly say that this is the most scenic and breathtaking trail I have ever been on. Sure, it isn't as fun as some of the Fruita trails, or as epic or challenging as some of the Moab singletrack, but it is undeniably awesome...in every sense of the word...with a scope of landscape that is difficult to represent in words or images. We started by parking at Copper Creek and riding up Gothic road to Schofield pass. The 2000ft of climb is a real lung buster, but the reward was worth it: 8 solid miles of flowy, flower filled singletrack overlooking a grand green valley littered with dots of yellow, white, purple, and red. The trail was mostly hardpack, with some dusty corners, and a few unexpected abrupt drop offs (so keep your eyes on the dirt). CB is definitely one of my favorite places.

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Ceeski on June 25, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Bring your GoPro and camera, because this is the best scenery you'll find on a trail, and it just flows! If you're a novice, you might want to think about hitting up one of the shorter, easier (but still really fun) trails in town, like Lupine. This one might be a bit much if you're new to MTB'ing, or not in decent shape; if you're pretty solid, it should be on your bucket list. Also, you're really up there for the first mile, so if you're scared of heights, this might not be the ride for you, but after that, it's a blast. In fact, it was so much fun, I did it twice!

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singletrackaspen on October 14, 2012
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: Easy 5 mile climb up to Schofield, then a slightly tougher climb up the singletrack for another 1-2 miles. It pays off with the awesome singletrack. You can then climb back up for another downhill on the lower 401 back to the parking area. Great ride, and awesome views.

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wrestle203 on August 28, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: 401 was awesome even if the weather was not cooperating. We got tons of lightning, rain and hail. but did not stop us from completing it. Be prepared bring good raingear. The trail fills with water quickly to create a stream. and once your down be prepared to cross the stream that has swelled up.

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djeneration on August 21, 2012
1 out of 2 readers found this useful
 
Review: We rode Trail 401 for the first time this year early in the season, at the beginning of this June. Being a flatlander, elevation was a big factor. The ride up Gothic was just as expected, long, winding and constant climbing. What wasn't expected was the road being closed because of the huge snowdrift. Of course, we laboured onward and over the icefield, as many reviews here tell. The lot was at about 9500' and you crest at Schofield Pass somewhere near 10700'. Finally, you get a taste of singletrack, but the climbing doesn't let up for a while. And neither did snow crossings. Finally, at over 11k' elevation we had *most* of the climbing behind us. The first sections were just little teases of downhill, still always balanced with more climbing. Then came the epic sections of trail, through never-ending fields of low-lying skunk cabbage & on trails that skirt the edge of sheer drops and require some of the craziest creek crossings I've ever attempted. Not tough terrain-wise, but considering how high up you are and how close to the edge, it definitely makes you think twice. Big sections of descending through Aspen forest, and climbing back into some pine forest and a final high speed descent down a gravel road back to the lot. Overall, this was one of the most challenging rides for us, but also most epic as we started a little late and there was a bit of a sense of urgency in getting off the mountain since we didn't want to be stuck in the dark out there. Luckily, we got out just in time to catch the sun setting between the Maroon Bells. The scenery was topnotch, the trail was in great shape, though a little washed out near some of those high creek passes. And it was so awesome to be able to ride what you were looking up at from Gothic Rd, and while you were on the singletrack, look down on Gothic Rd to see what you had to climb up to get to where you were.

Similar Trail: No trail in recent memory matches the epicness

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tcbroncs on August 20, 2012
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Review: This is a tough climb at altitude, but once you've made it up... epic. Downhills overlooking Crested Butte are epic and world-class. Ride this trail, if you can in mid to late July. Definitely unforgettable.

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James_Bright on August 11, 2012
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Review: Incredible trail with some of the best wildflowers in July I have ever seen. Do it!

Similar Trail: Monarch Crest Trail

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00rdster on July 12, 2012
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Review: We rode this trail as a loop in late June of 2010. We took Gothic to Schofield and started climbing the single track. We eneded passing bikes over and under trees and carrying them through snow patches. Made it to the top and it was a blast after that. I would consider myself an experienced novice and found this trail to be challenging and intense but so worth it.

Similar Trail: Rampart Resevoir, Peak's Trail

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alisonbirkenfeld on June 30, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: After living in Colorado for several years and finally learning how to Mountain Bike, this seemed like a great trail to try now as I fine tune my beginner skills. My son and I went out to Crested Butte via Kebbler Pass, about a 2.5 hour drive and ate a great breakfast at Izzy's cafe before heading out to bike. Of course, the drive up to the trailhead is just stunning with the views and it only gets better on the 401 singletrack. We parked at the bottom and rode up the road. This year we are in a severe drought so it was no surprise that this road was DUSTY as heck. We were definitely challenged with the climb up the road as it was also very windy and of course, climbing at higher elevation was a bit of a task. BUT we made it. Once on the trail, we had a ball and stopped more than we rode for photo opportunities. We will definitely be back to ride this with our group from Glenwood Springs. This trail was so much fun!!! Good job Crested Butte.

Similar Trail: I recently rode the Rainbow Rim in the Grand Canyon and this reminds me of that with the high alpine riding, clean and easy single track with some fun downhill.

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ben519 on June 24, 2012
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Review: I grew up riding this trail and haven't been back for almost 20 years until this weekend. How easy it is to lose sight of how unforgettable that valley and trail are. One of my companions said it was the most memorable ride of her life.

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msb on May 25, 2012
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Review: It has been too long since I rode this trail. This was one of the first trails I rode when introduced to mountain biking. I will never forget this ride and hope to make it back ASAP.

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buffalogerl on May 11, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: This is my absolute favorite trail! Long climb to the top, across an ice field, but well worth it! Once you reached the great views at the top, its all downhill from there; screaming singletrack and awesome views. 5' tall fields of wildflowers hug the trail as you zip for what seems like hours. I will definetly do this again!

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dzpd23 on April 10, 2012
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: I wish it were longer. Long climb up but well worth it. View is spectacular. The speed can sneak up on you so watch it. Cattle roam this trail so try not to run into them. They have horns.

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stumpyfsr on November 16, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Scenery is breathtaking. The trail itself is just a cow path. I've expected a bit more of the trail rated #2. There are many other trails in the area worth of try.

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ukraine on September 29, 2011
0 out of 5 readers found this useful
 
Review: Not empresed at all. Nice views, great steep uphill and waste of climbing,straight boring long downhill. Not fun anless you're old or new to mtb. And watch out for catle and there's duty.

Similar Trail: Get road bike and use it!

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jmonnahan on September 22, 2011
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Review: Absolutely amazing from the views to the narrow singletrack to the handlebar high wildflowers

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davefourtwenty on August 30, 2011
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Review: This is a beautiful ride that offers some of the best views in Colorado. The climb up the pass is pretty basic on a dirt road but as soon as you get to the single track you are in for some seriously steep climbing. The climb is fairly short and once you're up the ride down is fast and breathtaking. You decend through a few different eco-systems which makes the ride that much more interesting. This is a must-do if you're in Crested Butte. That said, I have trouble understanding how the trail is ranked so high globally. While it does offer the best views in the state I would say the riding is very easy and not challenging at all. If you want a little excitement to the ride I would definitely add the last little section at the end as this portion offers the only slightly technical riding on the whole trail.

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mahanjoe@gmail.com on August 29, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: We camped at the Base of the trail at the Gothic Campgroud...super fun! The road up the trail is not hard at all...there is currently still a slab of snow that you walk your bike over, but its more fun than anything! once the single track starts you will climb for about 15 minutes till you get to a meadow with AMAZING views of Maroon Bells and CB... the downhill is super fun, and not hard at all...it is more consquential than hard, and once you get down into the aspens again its game on to go as fast as you can! if you camp where i did, the singletrack will dump you out on a 4x4 track where you bike across a river, and you are 100yards from home!

Similar Trail: Meadow Mountain

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mtbgreg1 on August 12, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: I think the fame of this trail comes primarily from the epic grandeur of it all! It is so remote, so high up in the mountains, the views are so incredible, the mountains are so big, the singletrack is so sweet, the downhills are massive.... The only things I didn't like about this ride were the climbs (but those are a necessary evil) and the wildflowers. Seriously, why does everyone seem to love the wildflowers? Sure, they were pretty for a little while, but then I just wished that I could see the trail! The trailside vegetation is so tall and overhanging that you have to severely limit your speed because you can only see about 5 feet in front of your tire, even though you can see the mountain range on the other side of the valley. Obviously, there's nothing that can be done to fix this, I just wonder why everyone seems to enjoy them so much.... But still, this trail is absolutely epic and an absolute must-ride!

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Hawkeye1846 on August 8, 2011
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Review: I rode this trail yesterday after years of hearing the hype. The scenery was good but the trail disappointing. The uphill road to the trailhead is a warmup for the steep singletrack uphill. Then you get to the downhill and give it away with a few switchbacks. What's the big deal with the wildflowers? Growing up in NE Iowa this time of year the flowers or weeds are this tall as well. Then the downhill isn't continuous singletrack? The downhill singletrack didn't seem worth the climb. I don't want to bash this famous hyped up trail but go try anything in Summit County. CB was very impressive, everyone is on a bike or doing something outside.

Similar Trail: Yellow River(IA)

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hammerlegs on July 31, 2011
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Review: OK trail. Rode this trail for the first time in July 2011 because I had heard this trail was so awesome. Other than the views I didn't see anything so great about this trail. I have ridden trails more fun where I live in northeast Kansas.

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GimmeAraise on July 22, 2011
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Review: rode up 401 then back down the other day, muddy spots but all and all wonderful! the connector from Schofield is open but muddy and one large tree still left to remove!

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jwbeuk on June 29, 2011
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Review: It will not be open for the 4th however there are a lot of great trails in the area which are open. See http://www.cbmba.org/ and click on trail conditions to get accurate updates on what you should, and should not ride.

* Review edited 7/5/2011

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stammer34 on June 27, 2011
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Review: What do you think -- 401 going to rideable this 4th of July weekend (2011)? Thoughts welcome.

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Haebe04(WSC) on January 24, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Great scenery!

Similar Trail: Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge

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baber3000 on September 7, 2010
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Review: What a beautiful fun fast trail. It was very rewarding as after the monster climb you get to do about 35mph for ever it seemed. The next climb was not as much fun but agin it never fails that the rewards kept coming!!!

Similar Trail: Doctors Park and Hazard County Trails

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Jeremy_Katz on August 29, 2010
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Review: Fun stuff. Friend ridng in front of me almost smakced into two huge bucks. First day of Archery season hmmmm. Beautiful scenery, quick downhill. Only one washout where we had to get off bikes. Did I day fun?

Similar Trail: Prospect/Alta/Sunshine off Gondola in Telluride

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winstead on August 23, 2010
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Review: This is the best trail I've ever ridden! The climbs are hard but doable and the downhills are really fun. The views are fabulous. You have to ride this trail.

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kuala_tahan on July 14, 2010
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Review: Absolutely killer trail. Nice big climb at first (1500 feet or so, at altitude), but not unmanageable or required to walk, both on road and singletrack. Beautiful views the whole way up. Up top, amazing panoramic views. Then the fun starts. Ridiculously screaming singletrack for about 7 miles down. Took me I think 20 minutes to get down 7 miles. Wide open on the side of the mountain at first, then starts getting nice and tight (literal, singletrack, super tight) through brush whipping against your legs, then through a beautiful aspen grove. Always going way too fast to appreciate any of it, but an amazing trail. Nothing technical at all, just FAST. Thought this was the best singletrack I had ever ridden until the next day in CB, when I rode Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman.

Similar Trail: Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman

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fatkidwithasthma on July 8, 2010
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Review: Was just in CB this weekend. Trail 401 is awesome, with awe inspiring views, awesome climb at the beginning ( long climb if you start at the parking area and pedal up the pass to the trail head), amazing downhills with some great exposure. Officially one of the top trails I have ever ridden. Not really technical, but worth every second just for the views. It is not currently closed, but a 100 ft. section of the road up to the trail head is covered with snow. We were able to drive it in a Subaru WRX wagon.....so as long as you have AWD you should be okay. The initial climb the trail head at the top of the pass has a pretty significant section with a lot of downed trees from winter storms. You will have to hike a bike through a good bit of the first 3/4 mile. If you are ever in Crested Butte......you have to ride this trail. If you don't, well you are definitely missing out on an amazing experience. Cheers!!! overall- not a super technical trail, but the altitude and climbs will kick you in the gut if you aren't ready for it.

Similar Trail: Monarch Crest trail

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mtbgreg1 on April 28, 2010
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Review: @ziraga, trail 401 is high up the mountains, and i imagine it is still impassable due to snow. But i don't know for sure what the issue is with the "closed" rating

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ziraga on April 27, 2010
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Review: is it closed? wtf?

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Shermerhorn on September 16, 2009
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Review: Loved it on 9/8/09, though how is it no one else has mentioned the cows? I thought one was a bear out of the corner of my eye since I was still way up there...then later a bull just wouldn't get off the trail even when I asked nicely. See pics.

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chgolf64 on August 10, 2009
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Review: By far the sickest trail in CO, the uphill is rough because of altitude, but the downhill is out of this world! We hitchhiked to the top the second day just to ride again.

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shizants on August 10, 2009
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Review: it's hard to find a more scenic ride

* Review edited 8/10/2009

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rwbuff78 on August 3, 2009
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Review: wildflower tunnels at 20mph great ride. if i was going to die next week, i would want to ride it again before i go

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AboveTheRidge on July 22, 2009
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Review: A buddy and I just got back from riding 401 on 7/17. Trail was spectacular, BEST I've ever ridden. The ride up Gothic Rd was slow, but not hard. The next 15-20 minutes uphill on the trail after reaching Schofield pass weren't too bad either. For an East Coaster, the elevation got to me a bit, but the trail was phenomenal and worth every crank to get there. Will add to the plethora of photos once I get them resized. Trail is very clean with only one or two hairy switchbacks where the trail seems to drop off the side. Relax with a beer at Eldos in downtown CB once done!

* Review edited 7/22/2009

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versplatch on July 9, 2009
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Review: Did 401 a couple of weeks ago. Hike a bike over snow from the top of Schofield to the top clearing, perfect after that. Scenery and dh is top notch. Such a great ride.

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krystyly on August 18, 2007
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Review: Don't be fooled...this trail can be a real challenge for beginners like myself, but it was sooo worth it. The scenery was out of this world and in the end it was pretty rewarding, This trail really has anything you could ask for...flowery meadows, plush forests, lakes, streams, Aspen Glens, challenging climbs, and some great downhill. You can't not love it!!

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utedude on July 26, 2007
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Review: I am simply speechless! Wow! That was by far the best trail I have ever done! It is a thrill ride, scenery show, and overall just pure singletrack. Wildflowers surround you bracing your fall down the thousand foot drop to your right! Crested Butte is south and the marroon bells wilderness northeast withe the rest of the beautiful elk mountains occupying the seemingly endless range of incredible scenery. Now to the trail: extremely well maintained, strenuous climbs, just the right balance of fast flying and technical sections, diverse landscape and a great aerobic workout. Overall, I would highly recommend this trail to a rider with any experience at al as it is the best I have ever done!

Similar Trail: Falcon trail, Rampart Reservoir

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arnolda14 on June 5, 2007
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Review: This is the best mtn biking trail in the known universe. If you like the idea of descending at more than 25 mph through a meadow of wildflowers that grow as high as your shoulders with sanguine red mountains as your backdrop, this is the place to do it. You'll need to be in moderately good shape even though the uphill is maybe not as bad as some say. It's probably more a matter of the altitude, so do make sure you acclimate if you're not used to being in the high country and take the time to learn a little about altitude sickness.

Similar Trail: There's nothing else like it.

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BobinConifer on May 13, 2007
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Review: There are many reasons this trail regularly gets ranked as the best trail in Colorado. The scenery is mind blowing, there is some decent exposure for thrillseekers, the wildflowers are historic and the single track is like butter. I've ridden this trail probably a dozen times and the only complaint I have is sharing Gothic Road with sight seeing Texans. If you have the legs and lungs a great alternative is to drive up Washington Gulch (the turn-off is between Crested Butte & Mt. Crested Butte) and ride 410 between Mt. Blady and Gothic Mountain. This is a pretty short, boney mostly downhill ride that adds a lot more singletrack to the trip. Once your on 401, be sure to do the extension (at Rustlers Gulch) there's a short climb before getting to the rest of the great single track. Another alternative is to add a scenic mile or two at the top of Schofield Pass (instead of taking the right onto the singletrack at te trailhead) just continue straight for another few miles along the dirt road. You'll drop down into Schofield Park and ride through the old ghost town before getting to a perfectly photogenic waterfall.

Similar Trail: Dyke Trail

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beckijhn on August 4, 2006
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Review: The uphill was killer (this is my first year - ouch) We parked at Gothic and rode up the pass and then up the singletrack. The downhill was awesome - the views terrific! We took the second loop (approx 5 miles, 3 or so of those were UP and the downhill was mostly road. I want to do this one again this year, without the additional loop - bailing at the first parking lot and going back down to Gothic.

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rocketbracket on July 28, 2006
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Review: pretty smooth trail with amazing scenery like snow covered peaks, waterfalls, alpine lake . not technical at all . i give it 8 for the views since i'm from florida . you'll climb slowly pass 10,000 ft and then about mile down to the parking. 401 trail is short, maybe few miles, but i believe if you can hook up with some locals at the parking lot they can sure link it with other trails to make the whole experience last longer.

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jeff on August 2, 2005
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Review: Good catch bonked, I'm not sure why this only had a 5! I initially reviewed this and I meant to give it a 10, everything is better now ;)

* Review edited 1/31/2011

Similar Trail: Monarch Crest.

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bonkedagain on August 2, 2005
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Review: Whoa! How did this get bumped to a rating of 5?! This is definitely a "must do" ride for anyone visiting CB. Riding thru wildflower tunnels with some plants over 7' tall is an experience you wont find in many other places. The scenery is fantastic and the lower section thru the aspens going into Rustler Gulch is fast and flowy. You can continue past Rustler Gulch to Judd Falls, but that portion of the trail is pretty average singletrack that grunts up and down the mountainside. This is not a technical ride, so go elsewhere if that is what you want, but if you just like getting on the bike and enjoying a nice trail with awesome views then this is a great place to go.

* Review edited 9/23/2011

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Trail 401 MTB Trail 4.66 out of 5 based on 52 ratings. 52 user reviews.
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Trail Features
 
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
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Riding One of the Nation's Best Mountain Bike Trails: Trail 401 in Crested Butte, CO
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