Reno -> Flag -> Bear -> Deadman's

Crested Butte

Salida

A fantastic cross country singletrack loop passing through remote terrain, with gorgeous views along the way. Arguably one of the best-quality loop rides in Crested Butte.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
31 km
Ascent
1.1 km
Descent
1.1 km
Low Point
2.9 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Reno -> Flag -> Bear -> Deadman's Map

Description

While it's a bit unfortunate that this route has never received a catchier name over the years, at the very least the name is descriptive. Take Reno Divide to Flag Creek to Bear Creek and finish on Deadman's Gulch to form one of the best mountain bike loop rides in Crested Butte.

All of the climbs on this route are completely rideable--no hike-a-bike required for most riders--which is a relative rarity for big mountain routes in Central Colorado. While the route does begin with a lengthy pedal up a 4x4 road, once the initial climb is done the rest of the route is on sweet serpentine singletrack.

But the climbing isn't done yet--two more respectable climbs will keep your heart rate up. That said, breaking the climbing into three separate sections helps this route feel like a true cross country ride instead of the more enduro-oriented routes in the region.

The initial descent down Flag Creek is a fast, flowy descent with some technical challenges down low. The views from this section of trail are incredible, thanks to the wide-open meadows.

The trail character remains roughly the same on the Bear Creek trail, although this trail contains most of the remaining climbing.

Once to the top of Deadman's Gulch, it's all gravy! The singletrack rips down the heavily-wooded mountainside through a series of never-ending switchbacks. As a moto-legal trail this section shows a significant amount of wear, with the trail cut deep into the mountainside. The trail tread is boulder-filled, with drops and rock gardens funneling into tight switchbacks... and some of the drops occurring mid-switchback. While this black diamond section of trail is decidedly not cross country, most intermediate to advanced riders should be able to navigate this section. Walk if you feel unsafe.

Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman's might be a ways off the beaten path from downtown Crested Butte, but the high quality singletrack, gorgeous views, and middle-of-nowhere feel help this rank as one of the best rides in Colorado.

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

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

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Road sections
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area