Quick Telluride Escape: Biking in Crested Butte

Quick Telluride Escape: Biking in Crested Butte

It might seem strange to vacation in Crested Butte when you live in Telluride. Why leave one small mining-turned-ski town for another small mining-turned-ski town? Some may ask—why leave Telluride at all in the summer?

Ice Cream on CB's Main Street

 Yet, like many Telluridians, my husband, Andy, and I crave adventure. We crave travel. We crave escape. Indeed, the very cravings that pulled us into this valley are the same that push us out from time to time.

 We needed to get out of our house for a while. To get away from our same routines. And most importantly, we needed to re-explore a town we hadn’t been to in few years and see how it stacked up to our own.

 We’d heard the biking in Crested Butte was amazing. As relatively new addicts of the sport, we were eager to get our wheels muddy and test its trails. When we’d been to the town several years before, we’d gone to this astoundingly good coffee shop called Camp 4 Coffee. Would it be as good as we’d remembered?


But before we could test any of this, we needed to secure a decent place to camp. We hoped for some place pretty and relatively close to town. Both nights, we scored something much better. Crested Butte, it turns out, has tons of gorgeous camping spots, many of which are free. The first night, we camped near Lost Lake, just over Kebler Pass. The second night, we moved closer to CB and again found a spot just off the Kebler Pass Road. Both spots were quiet and had great meadows and trails that we could explore with our two little girls. As we got to know the town better, we found equally nice camping off Slate River Road and up by Gothic.

Biking Back Into Crested Butte The biking in Crested Butte, from the little we got to explore, seems to deserve all the press it gets. Bikes were everywhere and in every form.  While Telluride’s box canyon sets the stage for an incredible alpine experience right out the door, CB’s more open valley screams biking. Indeed, everywhere we looked, there were bikes. Cruisers for around town, mountain bikes for extended off-trail adventures, and road bikes for hammering the pavement.

Andy and I took turns riding Snodgrass and Lower Loop- both classic mellow CB singletrack trails. We were blown away by lushness of the forests, the smooth flowing nature of the trails, and the views of snowcapped peaks and wildflowers. Even just riding the Kebler Road into CB one morning was a nice break from the crushing vertical nature of Telluride’s rides. There was so much water moving by me all time—in waterfalls and in streams—that it drowned out the occasional car passing by.

Oh, and the coffee at Camp 4? Andy and I both made sure we tried it twice so that we could be very thorough in our report: it may be our favorite iced latte ever. Camp 4 Coffee

Still, driving back into Telluride after a weekend away to the sound of honking horns and naked tushes (we’d pulled in right behind the parade of naked cyclists for the Nothing Festival), I have to  once again give thanks for the place I get to call home. Crested Butte is beautiful, and I am already scheming a time when I can return and bike more. But at the risk of seeming small-town, I have to ask, is there any place more stunning than our own? Sometimes, all we need are a few days away to be reminded of this.

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