Fat Biking Crested Butte & Gunnison – Trails for Every Rider

Disclaimer: Some of these routes pass through or under avalanche terrain and users should review the CBAC report and bring proper gear before venturing into avalanche terrain.

Crested Butte is no doubt a mecca of mountain biking. It has been since the very first days of the sport. Sitting at 8,909 feet above sea level, surrounded by mountains that get an average of 217 inches of snowfall, it’s also a world-class ski destination. But if the menu is two wheels instead of two planks, what to do? Fat bikes are the answer.

Of course fat biking is fun at any time in CB, but those wide tires really come into their own when Old Man Winter has blown on through. Coloradoans, and especially CB locals, are a hardy lot. They fully embrace snow. It’s a big reason they live there, so there are no shortages of places to ride when the trails turn white.

There are two types of trails in the winter: user compacted and professionally groomed. Compacted trails could be from hikers/snowshoers, Nordic skiers, snow mobiles, etc., they’ll tend to be more rugged and possibly more difficult, but riders have a better chance of avoiding crowds. Groomed trails are perfect for beginners or those who just want to spin.

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Of course fat biking is fun at any time in CB, but those wide tires really come into their own when Old Man Winter has blown on through.

Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association/Gunnison-Crested Butte

Some of the best introductory fat biking trails can be found at the CB Nordic Trails. They are accessible right from town, incredibly scenic, completely free, and offer 8 miles of flat, easy trails, perfect for the first-time fat biker. Take the groomed Rec Path up from town and add more mileage. Once familiar with these trails, they serve as perfect links to ride out to the stuff farther out of town as well.

Slate River Road , just north of CB, is popular during the winter with Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and access to backcountry skiing. Easily rideable from town, head three miles up the road to the trailhead, then head up to Pittsburg, a former 19th-century mining camp. The gentle climb is four miles long and is considered beginner to intermediate, depending on conditions. It’s an out-and-back that goes through breathtaking, postcard-worthy country.

In the summer, Gothic Road is the way to get to CB’s most famous route, 401. During the cold months, it becomes a non-motorized playground, no snow cats, no snow mobiles. It’s unparalleled in its beauty, with leafless aspens lining the way and towering 12,000-foot snow-covered peaks all around. The best part? The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA) has started grooming intermediate singletrack down to the former mining village. If starting from the obvious Snodgrass trailhead, it’s a 3-mile downhill. After the 6-mile out-and-back, if still feeling strong, hit the Snodgrass Trail. This 2.8-mile intermediate ride adds another hour and 2,000 feet of climbing to the day, but the downhill on the way back is certainly worth it.

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Find plenty of trails to explore near town.

Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association/Gunnison-Crested Butte

Another place to park for the Gothic Road/Snodgrass ride is at the** North Village**. This allows access to the above trails in addition to groomed, beginner-friendly corduroy bliss. There’s a 1.5 mile easy loop to start with, and if it’s before 9am or after 4:30pm, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) allows uphill travel and cycling on specific routes. Some of the hills are super steep, but the routes are perfectly tamped down and the views unmatched. Riders will need to sign a waiver and have a pass to access the mountain proper.

How about connecting all of them from town for one big day? Take the groomed Rec Path from the northeast corner of town all the way to the North Village. If it’s after hours, climb up CBMR’s front side, to hit Snodgrass and Gothic. It’s a 5-hour ride that’ll deserve some hot chocolate at the end!

A few miles south of town is Brush Creek , another perfectly groomed area, courtesy of the CBMBA. Riders can actually take the CB Nordic trails out here to tack on more mileage. The bonus to Brush Creek is that the trails are cut in specifically for fat bikes. That means flowy, fun singletrack in the winter! The ride starts mellow and ends up behind Mt. Crested Butte for an almost 8-mile round trip. Visitors are treated with stellar views of Whiterock and Teocalli Mountains and Castle and Star Peaks. Be sure to pin the loop at Tent City. Depending on conditions, CBMBA has started grooming the Canal Trail and a loop on the Lower Strand Bonus too. In the summer, these are the trails that riders want to end their rides on because they are so unforgettably good.

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Crested Butte is the proud home of the Fat Bike World Championships.

Laurel Runcie/Gunnison-Crested Butte

Also south of town is Cement Creek. It’s groomed at 10 feet wide and sees all manners of winter travel from skiers to dog walkers to snow machines. It’s not the place to go for solitude, but it does provide about 9 miles of beginner-friendly riding to the area. And the ride is lovely, gliding through deep pine forests, alongside cliffs, and near creeks as tires crush snow underneath. There is talk of grooming up even farther on Hunter Creek Trail, which would add another eight miles to the mix. Park, check on conditions, and get the latest info at Camp 4 Coffee. The owner, Al, is the one responsible for the excellent maintenance. Be sure to give him a big thanks!

It’s easy to see that Crested Butte takes its fat biking seriously and is clearly looking to become THE winter fat bike destination of the world. In fact, Crested Butte is the proud home of the Fat Bike World Championships. Now in its third year, it takes place in January. Several hundred people enjoy a weekend of racing, demos, beer, food, and even lift-served fat biking!

Let’s not forget about Gunnison! 2018 stands to be a landmark year for the fat biking scene in the valley. Gunnison Trails, with support from the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association, has purchased a Trail Tamer grooming machine to create and maintain single-track trails at Hartman Rocks. In April 2017, the BLM agreed to allow groomed runs on over 25 miles of terrain at Hartman Rocks, opening up a new world of winter riding. For those looking for a casual or introductory experience, the Van Tuyl area will also have groomed fat bike trails. This area is flat but easily accessible from town, offers excellent views of the foothills that frame Gunnison, and is family-friendly. Tomichi Cycles is one of four bike shops in town that can help with rentals and advice on trails conditions and riding options.

All of this proves that there is never a bad time to visit Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley. Visit in the winter and be treated to epic riding with stunning views. Dress warm, hydrate properly, and have fun out there!

Originally written by RootsRated for Crested Butte & the Gunnison Valley | The Home of Mountain Biking.

6 Fun Ways to Get Outdoors in Bardstown This Spring!

SUP Kentucky

Bardstown may be the heartbeat of Bourbon Country, but Kentucky’s second-oldest town has much more to offer today’s visitors than just their signature sweet brown nectar—especially after being cooped up inside all winter!

Check out some of these fun activities that promise outdoor bonding time with your friends and family this spring. Reap the benefits of fresh air and sunshine the next time you visit The Bourbon Capital of the World®.

1. Experience nature like nowhere else in the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

In today’s digital world, people aren’t spending nearly enough time outside. Not only are there tons of physical health benefits to getting more fresh air, but scheduling “no-phone” activities can also be great for reducing stress and re-energizing your mood!

To start, try stretching your legs on a hike through the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. This massive, 15,625-acre natural space is about 20 minutes from downtown and just a few minutes’ drive away from the world-famous Jim Beam Distillery. With over 40 miles of trails to explore, Bernheim Forest has plenty of pathways to delight hikers of all levels.

If you’re not into the idea of a hike, don’t worry. Bernheim also features lots of other unique opportunities to connect with nature. Go fishing in Lake Nevin or read a book under the canopy of a tree. Check out the one-of-a-kind Edible Garden or browse one of the many public art displays.

No matter how you choose to enjoy Bernheim’s breathtaking landscapes, you’re guaranteed to find a must-try experience worth repeating.

2. Cycle Through the Countryside

Push yourself to really earn that next nip of Bourbon with an invigorating bike ride through the Bluegrass countryside. There are plenty of ride options, including brief loops and longer circuits, but if you’re a semi-regular cycler, you should definitely try the 22.5-mile ride from Bardstown to Sympson Lake and back!

If you’re an experienced rider and you’re up for spending a few days on two wheels, be sure to check out the Old Kentucky Home Bicycle Tour, held annually over Labor Day weekend. This fully supported, multi-day ride includes an overnight stay in charming little Bardstown and some of the most incredible scenic views available anywhere in the Bluegrass State.

3. Try Stand-Up Paddleboarding on Kentucky’s Waterways

Although it’s a landlocked state, Kentucky has a plethora of beautiful and undiscovered waterways. Stand-up paddleboarding is a super fun, low-impact activity that offers interested travelers firsthand access to aquatic exploration.

In the Bardstown area, water lovers don’t have to go far to find a stretch of water worth exploring—the Beech Fork River rambles through modest knobs, past distilleries, and continues into the gently rolling hills for a total of 112 miles.

Enjoy the scenic views (and swiftly forget that you’re getting a phenomenal workout!) just a few miles northeast of Bardstown on Taylorsville Lake. Book an entry-level class with Endless Summer Paddle Company or try one of their signature Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga Classes!

For more ideas and information in this area, reach out to the Bardstown Boaters, who are currently working on bringing the first-ever whitewater park to Kentucky.

4. Pick a Tee Time

Keep the Masters Tournament-hopeful in your family happy by scheduling a round of golf while you enjoy your time in Bardstown.

Check out the crown jewel of the Bluegrass golf community – a Kenny Rapier PGA Professional, 71-par golf course at My Old Kentucky Home State Park. Originally opening in 1933, this 18-hole course was redesigned in the 1990s and was subsequently given four stars by Golf Digest and dubbed one of the “Best Places to Play.”

Bardstown is also home to Bardstown Country Club, where the Maywood Course will challenge golfers of any skill level. Many of its tees measure over 7,200 yards from the championship tees and 4,700 yards from the forward tees, so there’s an ideal approach to the game for every member of your travel group!

5. Trot Through Town

The sun shines bright in the Old KY Home.

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If you’re an avid runner, another great way to explore Bardstown is to take the My Old Kentucky Running Tour. This athletic experience is a history-laden 5K (3.1 miles) that leads you right through the heart of town. Running tours depart on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and best of all, the jog wraps up with a scheduled stop at Hadorn’s Bakery so you can score a sweet reward.

If you’re more of an “enjoy the stroll” kind of person, Bardstown has one of the most impressive Farmers Markets anywhere in the southeast. On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from May to October, more than 30 hometown vendors gather to sell fresh eggs, handcrafted baked goods, homegrown veggies, fruits, plants, flowers, and more. After all, if you’re going to be outside, you might as well stock the fridge while you’re at it!

6. Sleep Under the Stars

Enjoying a beautiful night

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An original portion of the 1,300-acre plantation surrounding the historic mansion, the wooded forests and rolling hills of the campgrounds at My Old Kentucky Home State Park are beautiful, relaxing, and welcoming. Snag one of the 39 pet-friendly campsites and fire up the grill to enjoy a custom choice cut from locally revered Boone’s Butcher Shop.

If you prefer a little more connectivity in your camping experiences, another awesome camping option is White Acres Campground. Located just outside Bardstown near Sympson Lake, this leafy attraction spot offers pet-friendly spaces for tents and recreational vehicles, on-site restrooms and showers, and even free Wi-Fi!

Remember, getting your friends and family outside and away from cell phones is good for everyone! For more ideas on how to enjoy the great outdoors, request an Official Bardstown Visitors Guide. Don’t miss a thing!

Originally written by RootsRated for Visit Bardstown.

Featured image provided by SUP Kentucky

A Look at Chattanooga’s Newest Hot Spots for Food and Drink

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Chattanooga has seen significant growth in the past decade. The Scenic City attracts a steady crowd of visitors and recent transplants, and with them come fresh new spots to grab food and drinks. Try a burger, local brew, or a cappuccino at one of Chattanooga’s newest establishments that have opened since the beginning of 2017.

Frothy Monkey

Oh, yeah. 📷: @westchesternewyork

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Frothy Monkey has become a cornerstone of Southside’s historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. From breakfast to brunch, lunch, and dinner, Frothy Monkey can satisfy your culinary cravings every day of the week. The 4,500-square-foot, full-service restaurant has been carefully designed to accommodate any type of diner: at the bar, at a booth or table, or at a community table. Try the farm breakfast, an assortment of sandwiches from the Royale to the Crab Cake Sandwich, or stop by for dinner: tortellini, trout, or the quesadilla. Late-night food options are available from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Pair your food with coffeehouse standards or craft beer, wine, and cocktails. Frothy Monkey not only offers delicious cuisine in an impeccably designed environment, but it has also become a Southside staple within the first year of business. ## Moe’s Original Bar B Que

Wing-a-ding! Thursdays are 50-cent wing days at Moe's Original BBQ! 🍗

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Another recent establishment offers authentic southern cuisine just steps from the Tennessee Aquarium. Moe’s Original Bar B Que was the brainchild of three Alabama boys with a love of all things southern: BBQ, blues, college football, and whiskey. Moe’s pairs mouth-watering smoked barbecue with authentic southern-style side dishes and desserts from recipes passed down for generations. Choose irresistible options like the pulled pork sandwich meal, the smoked chicken platter, southern fried catfish, or smoked chicken wings.

Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint

Thanks for the recommendation @r_snagy 🔥🔥🔥#jackbrowns #jackonpiggyback

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If you need to wash down the barbecue with a beer, stop by Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint in the revitalized Tomorrow Building. Recently named the 11th best burger joint in America by Business Insider, Jack Brown’s pairs more than 100 craft beers from around the world with an award-winning selection of burgers. The Virginia-based restaurant chain specializes in burgers prepared with Wagyu beef and embraces creative variations of classic flavors. Try The Elvis, topped with peanut butter, mayo, Applewood smoked bacon, and cheese, or The Greg Brady, topped with house made mac n’ cheese and Martin’s barbecue potato chips. Sample the vast variety of burger and beer combinations any time you choose, as Jack Brown’s features a burger special every day of the week.

The Tap House

Located at the base of Lookout Mountain, The Tap House** **brought 30 new beer taps to the St. Elmo neighborhood when it opened its doors. Located just down the street from 1885 Grill, The Tap House features a rotating selection of local and international beers as well as light food options such as paninis, sandwiches, hummus, and meat and cheese plates. Meet up with friends and family and bring the kids. The Tap House has a selection of board games and offers trivia on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Bingo on Thursdays at 7 p.m.

Chatter Box Cafe

The Chatter Box Cafe is the fruit of Brandon Ellis’ labor. A transplant from Kentucky, Brandon created Chatter Box Cafe out of a passion for food and community. The menu is constantly evolving in order to always include fresh, in-season ingredients, but rest assured that Brandon’s meals always feature meats smoked for hours on his hardwood smoker. Come to Chatter Box to enjoy brisket, ribs, chicken wings, and more—all cooked tender and seasoned to perfection. The cafe is open on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the corner of 19th and Market Street. You can also find its pop-up food truck around town by following them on Facebook and Instagram. As the folks at Chatter Box Cafe say, you just need to "follow the smoke."

TAPTOUR

Follow your tastebuds on Chattanooga’s brand new TAPTOUR. As the name implies, this is a self-guided tour through Chattanooga’s craft beer culture. Navigate Chattanooga’s best breweries and beer drinking communities with the help of a little yellow book. This free Brew Guide is a place to record which establishments you’ve enjoyed and which are still on your list. Enjoy a local brew to receive a stamp at each participating location. Once you have 4 stamps, pick up a free pint glass at Imbibe. Collect 13 stamps and pick up a free growler and a discount on a local brewery fill. You can pick up a Brew Guide at any participating locations listed on the TAPTOUR website.

It is easy to see why Chattanooga continues to attract new residents and visitors. The variety of food and drink options evolves as the city grows. Step out next weekend and enjoy one of Chattanooga’s newest hot spots for food and drink. Whether you favor burgers, barbecue, or local craft beer, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.

Originally written by RootsRated Media for Chattanooga CVB.

Featured image provided by Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint

7 Peaceful Stargazing Spots Near Tucson with Summit Hut

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There is nothing quite like being in the middle of nowhere and seeing twinkling stars expanding out to every corner of the night sky. But with the increase in light pollution, true darkness and stargazing are harder to find. Luckily, there are still plenty of perfect destinations for the ultimate stargazing experience, especially if you’re in Arizona.

Working with Summit Hut in Tucson, we created the ultimate list of destinations perfect for stargazers all ages and abilities. They’ve been around since 1967, providing "outstanding specialty outdoor products and services" for adventurers in the Tucson area and beyond. Before heading out on your trip, make sure you swing by Summit Hut and pick up one of the staff’s favorite Osprey packs, like the Aether AG 70 if you’re planning a multi-day backpacking trip, or something in the Stratos/Sirrus Series for a shorter adventure.

Once you’re geared up, pick a spot on the list and enjoy a peaceful night of staring at the stars.

Note: The Grand Canyon is omitted from this list, but like all the locations here, it is also an incredible place to see the night sky.

1. Kitt Peak

Kitt Peak National Observatory sits just one hour’s drive southwest of Tucson, making it one of the easiest places on this list to get to. Offering nighttime programs for stargazing, a visitor center that is open daily and numerous other activities, this is a great introduction to stargazing.

For one of the best stargazing experiences, sign up for the Nightly Observing Program, which costs around $50 per person. You’ll learn to use a star chart, see the stars through a research-quality telescope, and then gaze out from the mountaintop into the heavens above.

2. Sedona

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Stargaze with stunning surroundings at Sedona and Red Rock State Park.

Deborah Lee Soltesz/Coconino National Forest

Sedona has earned the reputation of being one of the best stargazing destinations in America—and it lives up to the hype. The region is an official International Dark Sky Community and is home to some of the best observing conditions in the United States, thanks to very low light pollution, over 300 dry clear nights each year, and its high elevation.

Whether you book an Evening Sky Tour or pull off along Boynton Pass Road, you’ll be awestruck at the stars. Just south of Sedona, Red Rock State Park makes for a more rustic stargazing destination. Check out their STAR Party (held each September)—it’s a can’t miss experience with local astronomers pointing out both commonly known and lesser-known stars and constellations.

3. Kartchner Caverns State Park

While most people visit Kartchner Caverns State Park during the day for the cave tours, nighttime is a whole different story. Located less than an hour to the southeast of Tucson, this state park is an incredible spot for watching the night sky. Designated as an International Dark Sky Park, pop a tent at the campground for a night or two of incredible stargazing without having to drive anywhere. With hiking trails to explore during the day, this is a great place for a weekend getaway.

4. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

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Explore the clear skies in awe at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.

Deborah Lee Soltesz/Coconino National Forest

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument might be a bit of a drive from Tucson (it’s 12 miles north of Flagstaff off of Highway 89), but it’s a wonderful place for stargazing if you’re in the area. While backcountry hiking is not allowed here, there’s plenty to see from the visitor center and maintained trails. During the summer months, the national monument has numerous summer sky events on their calendar, so you can learn about the night sky from experts.

Go here to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower in August for a truly fantastic experience.

5. Wupatki National Monument

Also located north of Flagstaff, Wupatki National Monument is another great place to see the universe above without light pollution. Like Sunset Crater, the backcountry is off limits, but you won’t need to leave the parking area at night to see the stunning stars above. As an official International Dark Sky Park, you’ll have near-perfect stargazing conditions on clear nights.

6. Lowell Observatory

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Lowell Observatory offers a museum, numerous daily programs and even a chance to gaze into the universe from the same location that Pluto was discovered.

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Lowell Observatory near Flagstaff is one of the best places in the state to learn about the night sky from experts. With a museum, numerous daily programs, and even the chance to gaze into the universe from the same location that Pluto was discovered, Lowell has a lot to offer amateur astronomers. Check out the Constellation Tour to learn about the mythology of stars and constellations, and even get some tips on how to navigate using the night sky.

7. Oracle State Park

About an hour and 15 minutes north of Tucson, Oracle State Park is yet another gem for stargazers and outdoor enthusiasts. This is one of the least-visited of the Arizona State Parks, making this off-the-beaten-path location perfect for those hoping for night sky solitude.

With the light from Tucson blocked by the Santa Catalina Mountains, this park is yet another place to find Dark Sky Parties during the summer months. Open every day starting on March 1st, the handful of roads and trails are the perfect setting for a night adventure under the Milky Way Galaxy.

These are just a few of the best stargazing spots in Arizona. For a full list of the officially-designated Dark Sky locations around the state (and beyond), visit www.darksky.org.

Originally written by RootsRated for Compass Demo Brand.

Featured image provided by Mike Durkin

Fat Biking Crested Butte & Gunnison – Trails for Every Rider

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Disclaimer: Some of these routes pass through or under avalanche terrain and users should review the CBAC report and bring proper gear before venturing into avalanche terrain.

Crested Butte is no doubt a mecca of mountain biking. It has been since the very first days of the sport. Sitting at 8,909 feet above sea level, surrounded by mountains that get an average of 217 inches of snowfall, it’s also a world-class ski destination. But if the menu is two wheels instead of two planks, what to do? Fat bikes are the answer.

Of course fat biking is fun at any time in CB, but those wide tires really come into their own when Old Man Winter has blown on through. Coloradoans, and especially CB locals, are a hardy lot. They fully embrace snow. It’s a big reason they live there, so there are no shortages of places to ride when the trails turn white.

There are two types of trails in the winter: user compacted and professionally groomed. Compacted trails could be from hikers/snowshoers, Nordic skiers, snow mobiles, etc., they’ll tend to be more rugged and possibly more difficult, but riders have a better chance of avoiding crowds. Groomed trails are perfect for beginners or those who just want to spin.

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Of course fat biking is fun at any time in CB, but those wide tires really come into their own when Old Man Winter has blown on through.

Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association/Gunnison-Crested Butte

Some of the best introductory fat biking trails can be found at the CB Nordic Trails. They are accessible right from town, incredibly scenic, completely free, and offer 8 miles of flat, easy trails, perfect for the first-time fat biker. Take the groomed Rec Path up from town and add more mileage. Once familiar with these trails, they serve as perfect links to ride out to the stuff farther out of town as well.

Slate River Road , just north of CB, is popular during the winter with Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and access to backcountry skiing. Easily rideable from town, head three miles up the road to the trailhead, then head up to Pittsburg, a former 19th-century mining camp. The gentle climb is four miles long and is considered beginner to intermediate, depending on conditions. It’s an out-and-back that goes through breathtaking, postcard-worthy country.

In the summer, Gothic Road is the way to get to CB’s most famous route, 401. During the cold months, it becomes a non-motorized playground, no snow cats, no snow mobiles. It’s unparalleled in its beauty, with leafless aspens lining the way and towering 12,000-foot snow-covered peaks all around. The best part? The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA) has started grooming intermediate singletrack down to the former mining village. If starting from the obvious Snodgrass trailhead, it’s a 3-mile downhill. After the 6-mile out-and-back, if still feeling strong, hit the Snodgrass Trail. This 2.8-mile intermediate ride adds another hour and 2,000 feet of climbing to the day, but the downhill on the way back is certainly worth it.

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Find plenty of trails to explore near town.

Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association/Gunnison-Crested Butte

Another place to park for the Gothic Road/Snodgrass ride is at the** North Village**. This allows access to the above trails in addition to groomed, beginner-friendly corduroy bliss. There’s a 1.5 mile easy loop to start with, and if it’s before 9am or after 4:30pm, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) allows uphill travel and cycling on specific routes. Some of the hills are super steep, but the routes are perfectly tamped down and the views unmatched. Riders will need to sign a waiver and have a pass to access the mountain proper.

How about connecting all of them from town for one big day? Take the groomed Rec Path from the northeast corner of town all the way to the North Village. If it’s after hours, climb up CBMR’s front side, to hit Snodgrass and Gothic. It’s a 5-hour ride that’ll deserve some hot chocolate at the end!

A few miles south of town is Brush Creek , another perfectly groomed area, courtesy of the CBMBA. Riders can actually take the CB Nordic trails out here to tack on more mileage. The bonus to Brush Creek is that the trails are cut in specifically for fat bikes. That means flowy, fun singletrack in the winter! The ride starts mellow and ends up behind Mt. Crested Butte for an almost 8-mile round trip. Visitors are treated with stellar views of Whiterock and Teocalli Mountains and Castle and Star Peaks. Be sure to pin the loop at Tent City. Depending on conditions, CBMBA has started grooming the Canal Trail and a loop on the Lower Strand Bonus too. In the summer, these are the trails that riders want to end their rides on because they are so unforgettably good.

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Crested Butte is the proud home of the Fat Bike World Championships.

Laurel Runcie/Gunnison-Crested Butte

Also south of town is Cement Creek. It’s groomed at 10 feet wide and sees all manners of winter travel from skiers to dog walkers to snow machines. It’s not the place to go for solitude, but it does provide about 9 miles of beginner-friendly riding to the area. And the ride is lovely, gliding through deep pine forests, alongside cliffs, and near creeks as tires crush snow underneath. There is talk of grooming up even farther on Hunter Creek Trail, which would add another eight miles to the mix. Park, check on conditions, and get the latest info at Camp 4 Coffee. The owner, Al, is the one responsible for the excellent maintenance. Be sure to give him a big thanks!

It’s easy to see that Crested Butte takes its fat biking seriously and is clearly looking to become THE winter fat bike destination of the world. In fact, Crested Butte is the proud home of the Fat Bike World Championships. Now in its third year, it takes place in January. Several hundred people enjoy a weekend of racing, demos, beer, food, and even lift-served fat biking!

Let’s not forget about Gunnison! 2018 stands to be a landmark year for the fat biking scene in the valley. Gunnison Trails, with support from the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association, has purchased a Trail Tamer grooming machine to create and maintain single-track trails at Hartman Rocks. In April 2017, the BLM agreed to allow groomed runs on over 25 miles of terrain at Hartman Rocks, opening up a new world of winter riding. For those looking for a casual or introductory experience, the Van Tuyl area will also have groomed fat bike trails. This area is flat but easily accessible from town, offers excellent views of the foothills that frame Gunnison, and is family-friendly. Tomichi Cycles is one of four bike shops in town that can help with rentals and advice on trails conditions and riding options.

All of this proves that there is never a bad time to visit Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley. Visit in the winter and be treated to epic riding with stunning views. Dress warm, hydrate properly, and have fun out there!

Originally written by RootsRated for Crested Butte & the Gunnison Valley | The Home of Mountain Biking.

Featured image provided by TRAILSOURCE.COM