Crested Butte Mountain Biking: Reno Ridge & Deadman’s Gulch: expert ride

Information & Conditions: Reno Ridge & Deadman’s Gulch: expert ride

Updated 6/24/16

Status: Good to Go!

Current Conditions: Based on everything else out there should be ready. Could still be some mud in there.

Detailed Description:

There are no shortcuts in life, just alternate routes.

Here’s a little ditty if you find yourself in the Cement Creek area looking for something new to ride, or you were headed for Flag Bear Deadman’s and the weather is looking ominous.

Ride up Cement Creek as if you were doing Reno Flag Bear Deadman’s. Climb to the top of Reno Divide. Instead of going through the gate at the top, turn right and continue climbing up the rough road. The road continues for a while and crosses a fence a couple of times. Just stay on the main road along the ridge. Follow it as it bobs along the top of Reno Ridge. There are several stiff but short climbs along the way. The views of Spring Creek and Matchless Mountains are exceptional. Views of Cement Mountain can be glimpsed to the north.

After a few miles, the road forks. Stay right, and just as the main road starts another climb, there is the signed Reno Ridge singletrack on the right that has been etched into an old logging road. You’ll know you’re on the right path because several stiff berms have been built to discourage four-wheel use. This part gets better as you go.

The singletrack weaves around in the trees for a short distance then opens up into a beautiful meadow. The singletrack is very distinct now as it winds its way up and down the relief of Reno Ridge. After one last short climb hold on for a “pay attention” downhill. This section has become rutted in places, so…pay attention.

The trail dives down through a wonderful little aspen grove before ending at an intersection. This is the top of the Deadman’s Gulch climb. Here you have some choices. If the weather is still looking iffy, turn right and descend down the Deadman Switchbacks to Cement Creek Road.

If you’re feeling especially spunky or the weather has cleared and you can’t bring yourself into going home yet…. try this one. At the top of Deadman’s Gulch turn left or away from Cement Creek and go down towards Spring Creek. Take your first right. This is the Cement Mountain Trail. This is a good ride! Be prepared for some tough climbing, some mandatory walking (…so…) and some breathtaking wildflowers.

Once you’re on your bike again, you’ll be glad you did this. The open meadows through here are very special and at times feel very high alpine. Stay on the main trail. You’ll come to a couple of trail intersections where lesser trails come in. Rose Bud will be your first as it comes in on your left. Roaring Judy stays high and traverses along in the open then descends shortly before starting another very tough, steep, rock strewn climb up to Cement Pass. Nobody said this was going to be an easy ride, but it is a great one.

At the top of Cement Pass, the fun isn’t over. The first part of the downhill has been recently reworked and is in great shape! The trail eventually turns into a rough road and very steeply descends down to the top of Jack’s Cabin Cutoff Road. Right on the road takes you out to Highway 135. Right on 135 begins the scariest part of the ride…the asphalt back to town. If you’re smart, you left a vehicle at the top of Jack’s Cabin Cutoff Road. If you didn’t, your ride has become epic by the time you get home.

Trail descriptions and updates courtesy of The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, Holly's Ride Guides, and The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association. Trail Reporting Software and maps ©2000-2018 Thin Air Web. All rights reserved.

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