Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
There's no way around it: 403 is a difficult trail to access.
Whether you can talk a friend into shuttling you up to the trailhead or you turn it into an epic loop like the one mapped here, 403 requires intention and dedication to access.
If you put forth the effort, 403 will reward you with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and a high-speed descent down to Schofield Pass.
The descent is steep and rowdy, following the fall line most of the time.
The singletrack is alternately loose, rocky, and root-filled.
Demanding total attention, this descent is for advanced riders only. The loop shown here also incorporates the iconic 401 trail and the beginner-friendly Snodgrass trail.
Combining 401 and 403 is known as the 804 ride, "a local’s right of passage" according to MTBHome.com By itself, 401 is arguably the most beautiful trail in North America.
Not only does it offer epic views of the Elk Range, but Trail 401 is also one of the oldest and best-known mountain bike trails in the world. Snodgrass is similarly famous, but for different reasons.
The Snodgrass trail provides flowy black dirt winding its way through an aspen grove at the base of Snodgrass Mountain.
The singletrack on Snodgrass is very beginner-friendly, making for a great ending to a tiring ride.
Note that Snodgrass crosses some private ranch land and as a result, a seasonal closure begins every year on August 14, according to Travel Crested Butte. Sources: https://crestedbuttemountainbike.com/rides/expert-snodgrass-403-401-mountain-bike-loop-crested-butte-co/ https://mtbhome.com/trail-area/crested-butte/ https://travelcrestedbutte.com/crested-butte-trails-snodgrass-trail/