Crystal Peak / Star Pass Big Loop

Crested Butte

Salida

Ambitious loop up to the top of Star Pass and back down.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
56 km
Ascent
1.8 km
Descent
1.8 km
Low Point
2.7 km
High Point
3.8 km
Gradient
11˚
VIEW ON MAP
Crystal Peak / Star Pass Big Loop Map

Description

This is an ambitious loop that takes you high above tree line on the Crystal Peak trail, with the eventual goal of Star Pass. While this 35-mile loop with over 6,000 feet of climbing is substantial, the views from the top of Star Pass are to die for! On top of the Pass, you're truly above treeline and are surrounded by jagged mountain peaks and alpine tundra. While trails like 401 barely sneak above treeline, Star Pass is truly in the tundra—you'll top out at 12,336 feet above sea level!

This route begins from the trailhead on Brush Creek Road and climbs up and over the ridge on the 409 Trail, descending the technical Caves Trail. Once into the Cement Creek drainage, it's a long climb to the Crystal Peak trail.

Once on Crystal Peak, the climb continues, only on steep singletrack. Quickly you'll break out into the alpine--prepare to spend miles enjoying the above treeline singletrack!

After crossing a saddle, you'll drop down and then climb back up on the Brush Creek Trail to reach Star Pass.

Finally, it's (almost) all downhill from here! The descent down Brush Creek is fast, furious, and technical. Exercise caution, as this trail has proved deadly in the past. As long as you maintain some caution, enjoy the high-speed rock-filled descent as you rip back down into treeline, then continue on down the mountain, splashing through creeks and rattling through babyheads. The singletrack widens into a doubletrack and then a dirt road, but the descent continues all the way back down to your car (save for a few small climbs).

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August, September

Features

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Road sections
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

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