East of Crested Butte, the Eccher Gulch Trail is a lesser-known singletrack in the Crested Butte area and for good reason. Any way you cut it, it involves a pretty hardcore mountain bike ride. Also known as the Granite Basin Trail, the main Eccher Gulch Trail is a 5 mile route with a very steep 1,800 feet of climbing one-way. It starts at the main trailhead (unsigned)...
East of Crested Butte, the Eccher Gulch Trail is a lesser-known singletrack in the Crested Butte area and for good reason. Any way you cut it, it involves a pretty hardcore mountain bike ride. Also known as the Granite Basin Trail, the main Eccher Gulch Trail is a 5 mile route with a very steep 1,800 feet of climbing one-way. It starts at the main trailhead (unsigned) on SR135 just south of the CB South turnoff, and terminates at the Roaring Judy cutoff trails towards Jacks Cabin. From the main trailhead, the Eccher Gulch Trail climbs very steeply on the way to the Granite Basin Pass. Over the pass, the trail narrows and descends steep before a rolling, winding route to Roaring Judy. After connecting with Roaring Judy, those trails are also quite steep with some dropoff exposure.
If you're looking for a long day in the saddle without having to do an out-and-back on Eccher Gulch, try starting from the Deadmans Trailhead off Cement Creek Road. Start with a stout climb the Deadmans Gulch Trail up 1,100 feet over 1.5 miles. Just over the summit, turn right on Cement Mountain Trail for another 500 feet of climbing over a mile. The next 3.5 miles roll through alpine meadow and pine forest with about 400 feet of ascent. At the Rosebud Trail turnoff, the Cement Mountain Trail start a hardcore, rocky ascentfor 0.6 miles up 600 feet to a pass at 11,600 feet. And, just as hardcore, the trail descents 1,400 feet over the next two miles. While still descending, watch closely for a minor trail veering off to the right which leads to the Eccher Gulch Trail. After a brief climb, this side connector trail drops 500 feet over a mile with some exposed rocky sections. Again, unsigned, turn right on the narrow, partially overgrown Eccher Gulch Trail. It will wind and roll for 2 miles through aspen forest with steeper and steeper ascents climbing 500 feet of vertical on the way to the pass at 10,050 feet. Finally, there's main part of the Eccher Gulch Trail which descends 3 miles through pine and aspen forests on the way to the main trailhead. Hopefully, you've done a car shuttle to have one vehicle at the main Eccher Gulch trailhead and one at the Deadmans trailhead. To reach the Eccher Gulch trailhead from Crested Butte, head south on SR135 for 8.5 miles passing Crested Butte South. The small trailhead parking area is on the left.
To reach the Deadmans trailhead from Crested Butte, head south on SR135 for seven miles to Crested Butte South. Turn left heading east on Cement Creek Road (FS740) for 6.5 miles to the Deadmans Trailhead parking area on the right.
Overall, Eccher Gulch Trail is the 120th most popular mountain bike trail of all 189 mountain biking rides in Colorado. Several of the better mountain bike trails are nearby Eccher Gulch Trail including Deer Creek Trail, 401 Trail, Teocalli Ridge Trail, East Brush Creek / Trail 400, 409 - Point Lookout Loop and Timberline Trail.
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