Green Lake -> Baxter Gulch Loop

Crested Butte

Crested Butte's newest trail is an instant classic!

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
25 km
Ascent
929 m
Descent
929 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
2.7 km
High Point
3.3 km
Gradient
Green Lake -> Baxter Gulch Loop Map

The newest trail in Crested Butte that's not just a mere reroute is known as "Baxter Gulch." Just finished in late 2018, Baxter Gulch allows riders to create an epic loop with the Green Lake and Carbon trails that's accessible directly from downtown Crested Butte. 

Description

While you can pedal this loop in either direction, it's difficult to argue with the quality of the downhill on the fresh Baxter Gulch trail. This newly-dug singletrack swoops and flows through trees and alpine meadows, railing through perfectly-sculpted corners and several sets of low, flow-inducing berms. 

Lower down, the bench cut singletrack weaves across the mountainside, alternating between deep, dark forest and sunny fields of wildflowers. This hand-built trail took years to complete! "Traversing across the hillside, bench cut trail has been tediously put in through drains and steep embankments over the course of 6 years to get to the USFS boundary and some more tame terrain to work with," said Dave Ochs in an interview with Singletracks.com.

To get to this epic descent, climb up the Green Lake trail from downtown Crested Butte. This trail can be steep and awkward in places, which makes getting it out of the way first a blessing in disguise. If you want to visit the lake, carry on past the Carbon trail all the way to Green Lake itself, located in a bowl below a massive, rocky alpine ridge.

Once done with your snack at the lake, turn left on the Carbon Trail and head toward Baxter Gulch. Some of the climbs along this section of singletrack are quite rocky and difficult, but the tough climbs lead to stupendous views of Whestone Mountain, Mount Crested Butte, and the entire valley spread out below you!

Once you've passed the epic viewpoint, it's all about that sweet, sweet descent down Baxter Gulch. Enjoy!

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

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

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area