Crested Butte Mountain Biking: Doctor Park:expert ride
Information & Conditions: Doctor Park:expert ride
Status: Good to Go!
Current Conditions: June 20 - The Doctor is in! Still muddy and some trees down up top, but the trail is riding well.
There are a lot of ways to start this ride. The popular way is to drive up past Harmel’s on Taylor Canyon Road until you get to One Mile Campground on your left. Turn in and park. Start the ride by riding back to Harmel’s, turn right up Spring Creek Road and head up.
After climbing along Spring Creek for 8 1/2 miles, you’ll cross over a big cattle guard as the terrain opens up. On your left is a double track road- 744.21- that leads up Deadman’s Gulch and Rosebud. Just past that on the right, look for an old road that drops down, crosses Spring Creek and starts a steady climb up a small wash.
The climb is steady at first. Stay right when you come to the first intersection in less than one mile, then climb more steeply. After entering the dark timber, you will come to a signed intersection, turn right. (Or go left for the optional Gandy Gulch trail, which is described here, lower). Ride through the dark timber, passing a road/trail that comes in from the left .
You are now at the top of a wondrous downhill. Hang on, for the fun begins. The first mile or so has several classic switchbacks. After these, the trail begins to open up and straighten out. The banked turns are perfect and it is easy to maintain speed. The pitch of the trail is shallow but undulating and fast as it dances back and forth right next to the stream. This pitch continues for a couple miles. After a short stinger of a climb, more of the same down turned fun is encountered. Eventually you reach more turn table switchbacks towards the bottom and a couple of them are quite challenging. The end of the descent has become very eroded from heavy rain and multi-use in the past few years, be aware.
There is a trail maintenance day scheduled this fall on Sunday Oct 2nd, between the Forest Service and Crested Butte Mtn Bike Association. If your fond of this trail this will be a good opportunity to join the cause and help repair the eroded sections.
The trail ends at the Northbank Campground, go right and ride out to Taylor Canyon Road, right again to your car.
Optional Gandy Gulch info:
Once the majority of the climbing is done and you have entered back into the pine tree area you will see a two track road going left ,up hill. Take the left for approximately a 1/3rd of a mile. At the top of the two track on the ridge or pass is the Gunnison Spur of the Colorado Trail coming in from your left. The Gunnison Spur Trail itself goes back down the two track (that you just came up) and joins the Doctors Park Trail, so just travel a little on the trail that is going over the ridge and you will see the way to go. This section is called the Gandy Gulch trail and is quite often dryer than the original DPT route. It parallels the main ridge for a while then climbs and winds its way around eventually coming into a very large open area (Doctors Park proper). Always stay right at the trail intersections out in the open, and ride a big traverse around to the right and up into the grassy park. Follow the trail until it intersects back with the original Doctors Park Trail. An obvious lunch spot defines the junction.
From there the downhill begins and there are no turn offs to get lost on. It ends back in Taylor Canyon at Northbank Camp Ground.
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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