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been dying to get to Crested Butte. What other trails do you recommend?
Crested Butte was one of the locations we considered for the Rocky Mountain FJ RoundUp (hosted by Colorado FJ Cruisers), plenty of lodging but the trail distances are too far to have everybody home by dinner.
@Jim_D knows that area better than most, but a few great trails in the area that I'd suggest (these are all on the TrailsOffroad map):

Schofield Pass / Lead King Basin (where this video was taken), from Crested Butte to Marble (goes past the Crystal River Mill)
Taylor Pass, from Taylor Basin to Aspen CO
Tincup Pass, from Buena Vista to Tincup

Cottonwood Pass from Buena Vista to Taylor Basin completed paving a month or so ago, so it's a nice fast way to get to/from the trailheads if you're basing out of Crested Butte.

Jim, have you seen anything about Pearl Pass this year? TO says it's partially open, Taylor Pass only opened last month after some avalanche clearing work.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
There are numerous trails in close proximity to Crested Butte, only a few of which are really challenging, and there are generally several options on how to get to many of the trails. The trail in the video is the one that goes from Crested Butte over Schofield Pass, through Crystal to Marble. The section shown in the video is referred to as the Punch Bowl. We usually do it by going over Kebler Pass from Crested Butte to where it intersects the highway (133), then over McClure Pass to the turnoff to Marble. From there we head east past the turnoff to Crystal to Lead King Basin, which is truly spectacular. The trail makes a loop back to the Schofield/Crystal trail. We generally head back to Crystal before we head to Crested Butte so everyone can see the Crystal Mill. We then backtrack and go up through the Punch Bowl to Schofield Pass, then back to CB (either through Gothic to Mt. Crested Butte or through Paradise Basin and Paradise Divide). The BBQ place in Marble is a great place to eat. There are any number of other trails in the area. Pearl Pass & Taylor Pass are always fun (Pearl is closed on the Aspen side this year). The loop is considerably easier if done clockwise. The Pine Creek Cookhouse is a fabulous place to eat if you do the loop. It's just north of where Pearl hits the Ashcroft highway and in between the turnoffs to Pearl and Taylor off of the same highway. Cement Creek/Reno Divide/Italian Creek (either Upper or Lower)/Flag Mountain to the Taylor Road is another fun one. Upper Italian is reasonably challenging and usually gets everyone's attention if you take that option. Tincup Pass from Tincup (close to the Taylor Reservoir) to St. Elmo is another fun trail. From St. Elmo we take Hanc*ck Pass back to Pitkin. There are 2 very challenging options off of Hanc*ck. The Grizzly Lake trail and Iron Chest. Both are out and back trails. Once you get to the end of Hanc*ck you can take a left to Pitkin or a right, which will put you on the Cumberland Pass trail. Close to the top of Cumberland you can take a right and hit Napoleon Pass, which eventually hits the Cumberland Pass trail again just before you get back to Tincup. Between St. Elmo and Highway 285 (the intersection of that road and 285 is south of Buena Vista) you can do the Mt. Antero trail. The trail system up there is the highest trail system in the US. There's nothing really challenging about it but the views are fabulous. There are numerous other trail options but these are some of the 'must do' options.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In the above post I referenced Upper Italian Creek Trail (sometimes referred to as Upper Reno Divide). Here are a couple of pictures from one of my outings on that trail. The first one is approaching the spookiest portion of the trail and the second one gives you some perspective as to how far down it is from that point should you make a mistake:
 

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Do you post up a notice anywhere when you do these runs? I would love to join you sometime. I have been to Crystal Mill and explored some of the area around Crested Butte but have not done all of Schofield. Would prefer to do it with someone experienced the first time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for the info @Jim_D looks amazing! I’ve hiked the wilderness area adjacent to the Maroon Bells (gorgeous) and traveled by passenger car to many towns and passes in the general area but had heard there were some really good/gnarly trails in Crested Butte. Curious if many of them are similar to Italian Creek and Punch Bowl (and my hiking experience near Maroon Bells) as far as lots of loose skri? That can be nasty as it shifts and rolls under your wheels which can be spooky, as you said, when close to a sheer drop off :surprise Is this the “gnarlyness” people speak of, or are there ledge obstacles like on Chinamans Gulch?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do you post up a notice anywhere when you do these runs? I would love to join you sometime
Our group here usually starts up early in June and runs through most of September. We do have an email list and send out what the plan for each week is on Fridays during the season. Im heading back to Dallas this weekend and the other person that coordinates the runs has been tied up this summer/fall in California with family matters so last Monday was the last outing for this year. If you want to get in touch with me next June I'll be glad to put you on the list so you'll know what we're up to over here. It's only about 2 hours over here from Ridgeway and could be less, depending on what we're doing and where you might want to meet us. As far as your question Deb about the condition of some of the trails, although a lot of what we do does include shelf roads with steep drop-offs on one side, the condition of the edges is generally very stable. Our group has been doing this for quite awhile now and even though most of the group doesn't have a great deal of experience we've never had any serious incidents. The worst outing we've had was going over Taylor Pass and back over Pearl Pass a few years back and there was something like 13 or 14 instances of folks getting high-centered. No real damage though and totally a result of not really knowing how to address the terrain in a vehicle. As far as hikes around Crested Butte, there are lots of terrific hikes very close to town. I can walk out my front door and do any number of killer hikes. With only a short drive there are numerous other great options. As far as ledges on some of the trails, yes there are some but nothing particularly challenging.......other than the first obstacle on the Grizzly Lake trail. It's exceedingly challenging, to put it mildly. As far as that vehicle below the trail on Upper Italian goes, there are all sorts of stories about how it got there and I have no idea which one is accurate. It does create a good deal of anxiety among most folks since it's directly below the most challenging part of that trail, and it is a LONG way down from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Plenty of lodging but the trail distances are too far to have everybody home by dinner
In all the runs I've done here, getting back in time for dinner has only been a problem once. And that was a result of going out with a bunch of the Rising Sun guys that had done Marble/Lead King/Crystal/Crested Butte the day before and were going to head to Aspen (and then Denver) via Taylor Pass. We met up with them and took them via Cement Creek/Reno Divide/Upper Italian Creek/Italian Creek to Taylor Pass and then took Pearl Pass back to Crested Butte when they peeled off to head to Aspen. We hit the top of Pearl just as the sun went down and drove all the way down Pearl and back to CB in the dark. Kind of fun actually. Other than that one outing we've never had a problem getting back to CB before dinner time. The time a few years back I mentioned previously that our local group did Taylor & Pearl we got back in plenty of time for dinner.
 

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As far as that vehicle below the trail on Upper Italian goes, there are all sorts of stories about how it got there and I have no idea which one is accurate. It does create a good deal of anxiety among most folks since it's directly below the most challenging part of that trail, and it is a LONG way down from there.
I noticed a lot of passengers in the group I ran with get out and walk that part of the trail, my wife included >:D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I can't tell you how many 'pep talks' I've had to give to individuals in our group when we got to that stretch to assure them I could get them through it without incident. More than a few were determined to turn around. The only thing that concerns me about doing it without knowing the conditions ahead (prior to tackling it) is if there's a blockage due to rock slides over the winter, there is absolutely nowhere to turn around and I would really hate to have to back up through that stretch. That would be a real challenge.
 

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Sounds like fun :grin If I get out to my cabin in Rollinsville early next year I’ll see about joining you guys. How to get on your email list? I’m usually in a rush to get to Moab but we’ll see - I’d love to spend a couple days wheeling some of those trails (the pucker ones) :rocker:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Which trails are open at what point during the summer/fall months is totally a function of how much snow happens during the winter/spring months. Things are a bit different around here as compared to the Ouray area when it comes to the 4-wheeling trails getting cleared. Since so much of the tourist industry over there is dependent on drivable 4-wheel trails they make sure to get them open ASAP. That's not the situation here in CB. We just have to be patient inasmuch as many of the better trails aren't drivable until the snowmelt dissipates naturally. We therefore can't do many of the trails until late July or August. Plus, some of them we won't do by choice until the fall colors happen. The Aspens have just begun to change here in the last day or two and it's supposed to be a terrific fall color year. Anyone who's interested in what we'll be doing next year just needs to get in touch with me after the first of June and I'll have them put on the mailing list for the group.
 
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