FATMAP by Strava
Rider: Greg Heil

Best Mountain Bike Trails in Gunnison, CO

Explore the fantastic high-desert singletrack at the southern end of the Gunnison Valley.

Mountain Biking Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Severe

Rider: Greg Heil
Rider: Greg Heil Photo: Marcel Slootheer


Almost every mountain biker under the sun has heard of the fabled mountain bike destination of "Crested Butte." Most tourists visiting the region drive straight through Gunnison on their way to Crested Butte, maybe stopping for a tank of gas and groceries to avoid the inflated prices at the northern end of the valley. Due to all of this drive-through traffic, the mountain bike riches located on the southern end of the valley in Gunnison continue to remain well below the tourist radar.

Where Crested Butte is lush, wet, and covered in wildflowers and groves of aspen trees, Gunnison is dry, dusty, and surrounded by rolling hills filled with sagebrush and granite outcroppings. The climate couldn't be more different, which only helps to increase the diversity of the riding and the length of the riding season in the Gunnison Valley. When the trails in Crested Butte are still buried in snow in the spring, the high desert singletrack at Hartman Rocks and Signal Peak will be open and running great.

Hartman Rocks is the most expansive and oldest trail system in Gunnison. Many of the trails at Hartman's were originally burned in by moto riders, but today, mountain bikers are one of the most popular user groups and spearhead much of the trail building and maintenance via their advocacy group, Gunnison Trails. The trails here vary from flowy, sandy tracks to technical rock slab-filled test pieces. The mileage at Hartman's seems nearly endless, as exhibited by the Original Growler race. The longest version of the Original Growler course runs for a whopping 40 miles without repeating a single trail!

While Hartmans is technically rideable from downtown, it takes about 4 miles of pavement pedaling to get there. In contrast, the trails surrounding Signal Peak begin directly from the campus of Western State University on the east side of town. Much of Gunnison Trails' latest trail development has occurred at Signal Peak. Trail building projects are still ongoing. Today, Signal Peak offers many miles of flowy, non-technical singletrack that's perfect for beginner and early intermediate riders. The trails here are, on average, much easier than those found at Hartman Rocks, providing some fantastic diversity in the region's trail offerings.

In this guidebook, you'll find a slew of route options from both of these trail systems, ranging from short to long and non-technical to ultra-technical. As you read through these descriptions, you might be amazed at the quality and quantity of riding available in Gunnison. So don't sleep on Gunnison—this place is a true high-desert singletrack destination of the first degree!

Routes included

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