Bikes Replaced Wildflowers in Crested Butte

butterfly flower

The couple flowers on hike

Last year was the first time I had ever been to Crested Butteand I was astonished at the colorful varieties of wildflowers that covered the fields and hills.  Hoping to capture more impressive landscapes of wildflowers, I invited my mom to go back with me this year.

Unfortunately, due to the drought, the wildfires, and the lack of much snowmelt the previous winter, the wildflowers were sparse. Well pretty much nonexistent. Still, we enjoyed the town and went on a few hikes and lounged at the hotel pool. Crested Butte still offers magnificant vistas and hiking trails even without the wildflowers.

However, since it was Bike Week, most of the people we encountered travelled on two wheels. Scheduled as a week to celebrate all things bike-related. The type that doesn’t have an engine and flies down mountains. Walkers and hikers were significantly in the minority.  Ants of mountain bikes replaced the yellows, reds, and purples that dotted Mount Crested Butte last year.  Hiking was futile.

Crested Butte Bike Week Appealing for Mountain Bikers

Bike Week Crested Butte

A "black" mountain bike trail

If you are into mountain biking, this is the place to be during the month of June. Or really anytime in the summer. With the exception of  Beijing and Amsterdam, I have never seen so many bikes in one city in my life. Correction, I have never seen so many mountain bikes – anywhere.

Many of these are pretty advanced mountain bikers competing in a race and not afraid to ride 40 miles an hour down a steep mountain. Many of the trails are rocky, rugged, and fast. With trails named Psycho Rocks, you can imagine the adrenaline rush.

On Mt. Crested Butte, the chairlifts carried bikes up to the top with their owners in the chair behind the bikes. Mom and I were the only two in the long line at the chairlift that did not have the intention on riding down the mountain.

The first day, they were practicing for the race the following day. Bikers of all ages and genders. Brave souls flying down double diamond runs. I’m glad helmets were mandatory.

Psycho Rocks Trail

Psycho Rocks Mountain Bike Trail

Places with Less or No Mountain Bikes

Crested Butte

Trail Near Gothic

If you prefer to hike without moving to the side of the hiking trail every twelve seconds, I wouldn’t recommend visiting this week – wildflowers or not.  You may find yourself stepping aside on the sidewalks, parking lots, or courtyards.

While it is entertaining to watch the races down the mountain, after awhile the bikers start to get annoyed. Maybe it is just me.

I would like to add though, in the town, there were people riding all types of bikes up and down the streets, creating a lively atmosphere. That part was fun.

The downtown area had plenty of restaurants and shopping to entertain you without fear of a two-wheeler encroaching your space.

If you do happen to be there during this time, there are a few places you won’t see mountain bikes. Or less of them.

  • Take the Silver Queen chairlift – no bikes.
  • Head into Gothic and a couple miles past to hike – less bikes.
  • The Secret Stash or The Ginger Cafe  (Fantastic restaurants in town).
  • Swim at your hotel’s pool (if it has one – recommend Grand Lodge)
  • Zip Line Tours – definitely no bikes.
  • Relax at the Elevation Spa – no bikes in here.
  • The Trailhead Children’s Museum
  • We even stopped off and took in some oxygen at a spa for fun.
  • Shopping in Dillon or downtown Crested Butte
  • Bench Sitting – yes, a popular activity and a great way to people watch.

Crested Butte is a popular place all summer for bikers. Legend is that it is the birthplace of mountain biking. But don’t let that stop you. The people are exceptionally friendly and it has a cool vibe. And plenty of stuff to do. I am still hoping the wildflowers will be in full bloom when I make my next visit.


13 Responses to Bikes Replaced Wildflowers in Crested Butte

  1. I Like Mountain Bike!!!

    websurfer July 11, 2012 at 2:50 am Reply
  2. Awesome vacation activities there! I would like to try it by myself.

    loadtips July 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm Reply
  3. Forest or garden are the best places for biking.

    Tour Explora August 9, 2012 at 12:23 am Reply
  4. It looks like an amazing playground, but wildflowers and other plants have been hit all over the world this year.

    David Real in Algarve August 27, 2012 at 10:44 am Reply
  5. Awesome! I’m going there on my winter vacation). Thanks

    howtomakegirllaugh October 5, 2012 at 1:43 am Reply
  6. Crested Butte is one of my favorite destination.

    India Tour October 22, 2012 at 5:19 am Reply
  7. You need to be in excellent shape for this kind of bike tours.

    There is nothing like the mountain air if you are in good shape! November 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm Reply
  8. Mountain-biking is the best way to explore these kind of places.

    bilete ieftine avion November 27, 2012 at 5:39 am Reply
  9. nice info. like to go to the place once in my life.

    Free tips December 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm Reply
  10. that is definetly my sport in tukey , i love Mountain-biking

    marmaris turkey February 6, 2013 at 5:06 am Reply
  11. What a great trail idea, thanks

    video production February 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm Reply
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    hyperbaric chamber July 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm Reply
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    what is hyperbaric oxygen therapy July 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm Reply

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