Cement Creek Road, located in South Crested Butte, is a great out and back training ride. It is a steady climb encompassing tree lined hillsides and meadows, terminating at the basin just below Mt. Tilton.
I (ReeseR) have ridden 11.5 of the 13-mile climb. Thus, the Dirty Freehub Team has not put tread on the entire route and the reason for Bandit Route status.
The route is very straight forward, in that it is one road, but after 6.5 miles in, the road begins to narrow and becomes much more technical. For the first 5 miles, you are mainly in a valley, with trees encompassing the road. The road is wide and frequently trafficked by cars/cyclists heading to trailheads along the road. Soon, the road opens up to a beautiful meadow and offers up great views of the mountains all around.
Shortly after mile 6, you will see a trailhead for Cement Creek and the road you continue on has a few short switchbacks. The views from this point on were my favorite. If you don’t make it to mile 13, at least go to mile 7 or 8 for maximum views.
When I rode Cement Creek, this section was fairly technical due to recent rains and people driving through the mud. It is short and you can easily hop off your bike and walk if it’s too rutted. There was a small water crossing after the switchbacks.
As you continue on, the road rolls up and down for the next several miles. You’ll encounter a few water crossings depending on the time of year (I rode this the first week of September over Labor Day.) The road does get very choppy and rocky at some points, but only for short sections. If you ride the full 13 miles, all generally uphill, you’ll finish in a basin underneath Mt. Tilton to the north , and Lambertson Peak. Roads do go up part way of both of those, but I can not verify their conditions, though I assume they are fairly steep and rocky. The road dead ends in this basin. Simply flip around and head back down.
I recommend at least a 40 mm tire for this route.
If you’re looking for a bigger adventure, take a look at the Tilton Traverse on Bikepacker.com.
Adventure / Gravel Route
– Out & Back: 30 miles / 3200 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 100% gravel
– eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: ~ 15 min southeast of Crested Butte, CO
– Published: December 2019
Difficulty / Strava Metrics
– Moderate+. While this is just an out and back, the max elevation of 11,600 feet does present challenges, physically and with weather conditions. The route also has several rocky sections that can be difficult to ride.
– ReeseR ride data.
Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
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