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The Ultimate Running Bucket List

Wildflowers in Crested Butte

The Ultimate Running Bucket List

The Ultimate Running Bucket List

By Olympian Emma Coburn 

Breathing hard, dirt under my feet, wildflowers up to my hips, winding in between Aspen trees. This is Crested Butte. This is my happy place, and this will be your new happy place too.

Crested Butte, Colorado is my favorite place in the world. It is also, in my opinion, the best place in the world to run. Sitting at 9,000ft with endless trails and dirt roads, Crested Butte is a runner’s paradise. I was lucky enough to grow up in Crested Butte and fell in love with running on the trails here. There is a spirit of adventure in Crested Butte that seeps into every part of life. I grew up biking, hiking, skiing and playing and as I got older, I started running and grew to love running thanks to the beauty and challenges of Crested Butte trails. This is my ultimate Crested Butte running bucket list.

  • Lower Loop: this trail sits on the west side of Crested Butte and runs close to the Slate River. Only one difficult hill and epic views of the Paradise Divide and Mt Crested Butte. Beautiful, not overly technical.
  • Upper Loop: it runs on the base of Mt Crested Butte and weaves through Aspen trees. Its an adventure. I start my run at Mountaineer Square in Mt Crested Butte, and run about a mile to the start of the trail. The trail ends in Skyland, south of Crested Butte. I usually plan for a ride to pick me up at the end, but if you are feeling strong, flip and run back up to Mountaineer Square. This trail is a bit technical.
  • Lupine Trail: starting from Mountaineer Square in Mt Crested Butte, run down the bike path to the Saddle Ridge subdivision and up to the trailhead. Once on the trail, you will be blown away by the wildflowers and views. This trail is hilly, but not technical. The trail ends on Slate Rive Road and you can either run into town from there or get a ride (I usually plan for a ride). Any time you end a run in town, you can take the free bus back to Mountaineer Square.
  • Snodgrass: I start on Washington Gultch Road at the trailhead. From there, its 3.5 miles to the other end of the trail, net uphill on the way out, and then I flip and turn back to make a 7 mile run. The trail runs through aspen trees and gives amazing views of Mt Crested Butte. NOTE: Snodgrass is closed for the summer season. 
  • Brush Creek: This is my favorite dirt road to run on in Crested Butte. Brush Creek Road has one big hill, but other than that, it’s an easy run with great views of the back of Mt Crested Butte and Whetstone mountain.

These runs need to be added to your running bucket lists ASAP! You won’t find better running, better views, and a better community anywhere in the world. You can thank me later!

Make sure to register for Emma Coburn's Elk Run 5K benefitting Living Journeys on September 29! The registration fee will go up on September 1!