East of Crested Butte, the Deer Creek Trail is a awesome 10 mile singletrack trail along remote mountain ridgelines east of Mount Crested Butte on the other side of the East River. The trail runs from West Brush Creek southeast of Crested Butte to the Gothic townsite northeast of Crested Butte. It rolls through wildflower meadows and aspen forests on the western ridges of White Rock Mountain. There are several steep, challenging climbs along the way, but the forest and wildflower fragrences help pass the time. Plus, keep an eye out for the black bear that frequent the region. The trail is at its best in late June and early July. In late July, there is cattle grazing in the region and the trail gets quite messy and smelly, to say the least.
To reach the southern trailhead off West Brush Creek Road from Crested Butte, head south on SR135 for 2 miles. Turn left heading east on Brush Creek Road (CR738) for 5.5 miles (the first mile is paved, the latter is well maintained gravel/dirt). Park at the intersection with West Brush Creek Road, which veers to the left. The trail starts about a mile up West Brush Creek Road.
To reach the northern trailhead in Gothic from Crested Butte, head north on SR135 (aka Gothic Road) for 7.5 miles (the first 4.5 miles are paved, the latter is well maintained gravel/dirt). Just across the bridge over the East River, there is an unsigned dirt road on the right. There should be some roadside parking here. The trail begins about 0.5 miles down this dirt road.
Most mountain bikers ride Deer Creek as a 28 mile loop starting from Crested Butte instead of driving to either trailhead. First, ride to the Brush Creek Road parking area via SR135 (or take the Tony Trail to Upper Loop Trail) and follow West Brush Creek Road up to the trailhead. Then, follow the Deer Creek trail northwest for 10 miles to Gothic. There are 3 serious climbs on the trail. In Gothic, turn left heading south on SR135 (Gothic Road) and head back up toward Crested Butte.
On the way back to town, if you still have energy, at the top of the climb, the Snodgrass Trail is on the right. Or, just past the mountain village of Mount Crested Butte, the Upper Loop Trail is on the left. If youre hardcore, toss in Ferris Trail or Teocalli Ridge Trail to the start.