The 401 Loop circles for 8.6 miles near Crested Butte, an old coal mining town turned ski joint. Over a mix of road and singletrack, you’ll climb and drop just shy of 3,000 feet. Start your ascent up Gothic Road to Schoenfield Pass. There you’ll pick up Trail 401 and pedal hard—not because the trail is technical but because your body will resist biking at 11,000-feet elevation. As the forest thins, you’ll see panoramic views of the Maroon Bells (Elk Mountains’ postcard-esque peaks) to the east. From there, hug the hillside and descend through wildflower meadows and aspen groves to Rustler’s Gulch. Master the last two steady climbs back to your car and take a break. You deserve it.
Distance: 8.6 miles