North of Crested Butte and Gothic, the Trail 401 provides the ultimate test of bike handling while running an exposed narrow ridge line along the Maroon Bells Wilderness boundary.
To reach the mountain biking trailhead for Trail 401 from town, follow Gothic Road (FS317) north through Gothic to the NFS Gothic Campground parking area (near Rustlers Gulch Road).
Continue riding on FS317 northwest for several miles. Just past Emerald Lake at Schofield Pass (10,700), Gothic Road becomes Schofield Pass Road leading down along the Crystal River into Marble. At the pass, Trail #401 begins climbing north onto the shoulder of Mount Bellview. Due to altitudes above 10,600 , romping through snow fields is typical until July. After this healthy ascent which crests to a panoramic view of the Bells, the Trail 401 begins a long rolling descent with many switch-backs through shoulder high wildflowers and skunk cabbage. There are unparalled views down the East River Valley toward Mount Crested Butte. At Rustlers Gulch Road, the trail crosses and proceeds for several miles down to Gothic. At Gothic, climb back up FS317 to the parking area.
Wanting more -- then consider a mountain bike ride up Trail #403 from the parking area to the vistas near the old Painter Boy mine.
How about another twist -- shuttle up to Schofield Pass to mountain bike ride the 401 and then in Gothic, pick up the Deer Creek Trail.