This four-day event, held in Crested Butte, Colorado, is an opportunity for those passionate about mountain biking to enjoy trails and other cycling-related events. Taking place at the end of June, participants can enjoy unparalleled weather to maximize their time outdoors at Crested Butte Bike Week.
The Chainless Downhill Championships and a Scavenger Hunt are among the featured activities, and each day has its own events. Recreational mountain bikers can enjoy leisurely bike tours while those who want to race can partake in more challenging events.
Other activities include clinics, expos, a classic bike show, and film screening. Every day there is plenty to keep you busy from morning until evening, and you get to do it all surrounded by mountains and greenery. Activities usually take place in the Town of Crested Butte and further up the road at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
Bikers of all ages and abilities can enjoy Crested Butte Bike Week. It is a way for bike lovers to get together and celebrate their sport with something for everyone, including the casual observer. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate being able to camp in the surrounding communities throughout Gunnison County, Colorado.
Each event is ticketed, and prices vary, but most are quite affordable, often between $5 and $30. Some of the races have early registration and prices go up as you near the day of the event. Day of pricing is also somewhat higher but not by much.
Overall, this event is very affordable, and you can pick and choose the activities you wish to participate in according to your age and interests. Children 12 and under receive discounts, and there are some many free activities.
Some events allow you to register as a group so you can save money by attending those with friends. Others are free but charge for food and beverages or just request a donation for fundraising.
It is not necessary to purchase tickets in advance for most of the daily events. If you wish to race though, you will likely need to register before the beginning of June to get the best discounts and ensure you get a place.
Crested Butte Bike Week is held in Western Colorado between regions of the Gunnison National Forest. A few main roads will help you reach the town from the north or south. Your route to Crested Butte may include Interstate-70 to the north, US-50 to the south, and possibly US-285 if you come from Denver. Motorists will want to keep in mind that some routes will only be accessible via with four-wheel drive; ensure that you choose a route that includes paved roads unless you are fully equipped.
In this part of the state, there is minimal traffic because it is outside of major cities. However, these roads can have significant elevation changes and many tight curves. They are often only a single lane in each direction, and there may be limited places to pull over or pass slower vehicles.
To ensure you arrive on time, check local traffic reports, and leave early to allow yourself extra time since traveling by RV can be slower than by car. As you approach Crested Butte, there may be some congestion because it is a small town and this event will attract many tourists.
Crested Butte is a small, rural mountain town that does not have a lot of spacious parking areas that are convenient for large RVs or trailers, but campervans and smaller rigs are often seen. There are a few free lots and some paid parking near the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. If you camp in town, then you can get around quite easily without moving your RV because the city is very walkable.
Crested Butte offers a free bus called the Mountain Express so you can get around if you don’t want to walk or bike; this is also very helpful for going between the resort and the other portions of the community. It is convenient because the town is rather small and has access to popular areas. Buses run every forty minutes in the summer and operate year-round.
If you decide to camp in Gunnison, there are Rural Transit Authority (RTA) buses which provide serves for a very affordable fee. Make sure to check the schedule in advance, so you don’t miss the last bus back to your campsite.
Crested Butte Bike Week activities take place in multiple locations across the community, including local trails, parks, and businesses, but the event does not directly offer camping options. Guests will want to plan to camp in the nearby in Crested Butte, Gunnison, or the forestlands in the vicinity.
Crested Butte is a very small town, so anywhere you choose to stay may put you close to the event. There are several places for RVs to camp within the town, but many do not have hookups or dump stations. One designated RV campground is available, but you will want to make reservations in advance to guarantee a spot.
Areas around Crested Butte are popular for camping, so you can also search outside the town for more secluded options. The Gunnison National Forest is located nearby, and there are some campgrounds in Almont, Colorado which is 17 miles away. Some campgrounds have few spaces, no hookups, and limited amenities, but the view makes up for these variations. Larger rigs may best find a home a bit south in RV resort options near Gunnison or even as far as Salida, but smaller setups are likely to find a place to camp almost anywhere.
Crested Butte Bike Week is a multi-day event with activities taking place at various locations throughout the town. Because the town of Crested Butte is so small, you can get around it quite easily by walking or cycling. Some activities may also be located along town streets that offer a focus on foot and two-wheeled traffic. Those who are in town for this event will more than likely use their bikes as their primary mode of transportation.
The average high temperatures in June and July reach the high-60s to mid-70s with lows in the mid-30s. Even in the middle of summer, the weather is likely to be mild and cool, so you will want to pack layers and have warmer clothes on hand. The city sits at an elevation of 8,909 feet which contributes to this and the mountains surrounding can bring storms into the area.
Because of the high elevation, the sun can be quite powerful, so bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. It’s not unusual to get rain in the late morning or early afternoon so a raincoat is also a necessity. You’ll probably do a lot of walking and hiking, so comfortable, supportive shoes are a must.
Those who want to make the most of their trip may want to bring any unique supplies that may be needed. You will drive through rural, mountain terrain before you arrive at your destination and while you may find some new favorites, specific gear pieces may be limited. Make sure you have all your biking gear with you, including helmet, and elbow or knee pads. Don’t forget any gear that will be necessary to repair your bike, such as spare inner tubes and a bike pump.
Crested Butte is a mountain town, and it is quite remote, so should you have an emergency, it may take several hours to reach larger cities. The elevation can also cause problems, and some people experience elevation sickness. Make sure to take it easy as you acclimatize and drink plenty of water. The sun can be intense at higher elevations, so be mindful of the symptoms of heatstroke and dress in layers so you can cool down easily. Bring a first-aid kit and any medications you will need with you because it will be difficult to find them on the road.
Each campsite will have its own rules and regulations for cooking outside of an RV. Many campgrounds do have fire rings or grills so you may be able to make meals outside. Just make sure to check ahead of time when making reservations so you can bring enough supplies. However, with limited hookups, you will want to be mindful of using your resources such as gas and electricity; check your camper's fuel and water tank levels before arriving. Grocery store options in Crested Butte are limited, but the tiny town does support a few healthy food sources within the community.
Although you will be in a small mountain town, there are still many options for eating out. You can find traditional favorites like pizza, burgers, and steak, along with Colorado-specific dishes such as elk and buffalo.
There are also Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Italian, French, and Japanese restaurants to try, too. Coffee shops, juice bars, and cocktail lounges line the streets and are within walking distance of most other prominent locations in Crested Butte. Some restaurants are closed on Mondays while others open just for dinner, so look up the hours before you head out for a meal.
There are some vendors at the event, and most provide fair-type foods like pizza, ice cream, and beer. Other vendors may be on hand to showcase their mountain biking gear or sell merchandise. However, there is no designated area providing food and drinks throughout the day, so you will need to bring your own water and snacks. Local restaurants are also a good option for meals if you have food sensitivities or do not want to attend the food events.
Crested Butte is a very safe town with a crime rate that is usually much lower than the national average. With a total population of fewer than 2,000 people, this is a town where many know and trust their neighbors. However, you will still want to make sure to lock your RV and not leave valuable items unattended. If you will be riding your bike during the event, bring a bike lock and do not leave it unsecured. Local police may cycle through the event or be available on foot or by car; contact them for assistance if needed.
Crested Butte Bike Week happens during the last weekend of June and the weather is often the hottest in June and July. Still, the mountain locale means temperatures are mild and rarely go above 80 degrees. The nights can be cold, even in the summer with the average lows in the mid-30s. Rain is not uncommon so you should bring appropriate clothing and leave the windows up in your RV. It can also be quite windy so if you have an awning or other gear, make sure it doesn’t get blown over if a storm does blow into the area. It is not uncommon to have an in or two of snow even in the summer in this portion of the Rocky Mountains.
Should you have a medical emergency or experience an injury, there are two medical centers located nearby. One is downtown and the other is closer to the ski resort. There are also several clinics although they may have limited hours. The closest large hospital is in Gunnison which is 27 miles away. Make sure to bring first-aid with you, especially if you will be riding trails or participating in races. There may be medical staff or EMS on hand for some events but make sure to have your own supplies just in case.