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Pearl Pass

Average Rating:    (4.25 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 4

Long, VERY long dirt road up to the summit of Pearl Pass. Connects CB with Aspen. This is by far the crowning acheivement of any mtn biker!!! It's a 15 mile or so uphill to the summit, with breath taking views and lots of gasping for air. The road twists and winds its way up the mtns and puts you at the summit, which is 12,700 ft! And then it's a fantastic descent into Aspen. Beware of 4x4's...we only ran into 3 of them, but they do take up the whole road. Bring plenty of water and PowerBars.
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Latitude
38.87018
Longitude
-106.98578
Trail Directions
Trail Length
40 miles
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Fire Roads
City/County
Crested Butte and Aspen
   


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

Review Date
June 7, 2013

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Maroon Bells Shuttles ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I ride this thing a few times a year and keep snow condition updates at http://maroonbellsshuttles.com . Once things get close to melting out I'll have some better updates.

If your riding one way, then check out the website. MB Shuttles transports your vehicle between Crested Butte and Aspen for people biking and hiking between the two towns.

Evan
www.maroonbellsshuttles.com

Recommended Route:
Bike over Taylor Pass instead and shred some single track!



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Review Date
October 5, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: isaacstokes ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This is the mega classic and everyone should ride it at least if they have the opportunity.

That being said the previous reviewer is correct in saying that there are lots of other better rides in CB (or Aspen)... 401, Deer Creek, Gov' Trail, Rim Trail, etc. But for cache you can't beat Pearl Pass... the legend first ridden in 1976 by CB locals on 50lbs Klunkers with coaster (!) brakes.

One of the best options for riding Pearl is to join the annual Mt Bike Hall of Fame (located in CB) ride. It is usually the 3rd week in September when the aspen colors are booming! About 20-30 friendly locals head out from Elk Ave around 9am charge up toward the 12705ft pass... the charging eventually turns to pushing but no matter. You will be (and I don't care who you are) pushing you bike the last 30 min to 1 hr. There is also a notorious false summit, so fair warning.

The website is mtbikehalloffame.com. There is no cost to join their ride and no sign up - just show up. They organize a shuttle that will take a bag of clean clothes to Aspen where folks spend the night and then ride back via Taylor and Star Pass the next day. Taylor and Pearl offer different and stiff type of challenges so you won't be bored... to say the least... just worked over and super satisfied when you return/stagger back to CB. DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!



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Review Date
June 23, 2001

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Shred-Head , from Austin, TX

Summary:
True epic ride. If you are like me and only get to taste the MTB sweetness of Colorado 2-3 weeks a year, this would not be my first ride to do. The enjoyment is not as high as measured in smiles per mile as some other trails, but it may be remembered for a lifetime. Scores high on nostalgia factor. Be prepared! Bringing an extra set of brake pads is not a bad idea, a 20 mile descent in the mud can chew a set of pads to bits. And bring jackets and tights no matter how hot it is when you leave town, and long fingered gloves may be a god send if things get ugly. Descending at 12,000+ feet in the rain is cold, and you may not pedal for an hour so there is little body heat generated. We went from in town CB to Aspen, spent the night and returned the next day. (I know true hammer heads like my CB local buddy do it all in one day). It rained the WHOLE way from the top back into CB on the return trip. By the time we made it back I had no brakes, only a couple gears, packing up tires, one cleat would not release from pedal, etc. The last few miles to the summit is like the surface of the moon. Picture nothing at all but softball, basketball, and football sized rocks comprising the trail. It is rideable, but in the back of your mind you know if you go down it is gonna be bad. My local CB buddie was harshing me for expressing my concerns. Sure enough a month or two later he went down and cracked some teeth and ribs. And then you still have a 20-mile ride back into town. The views from the top are indescribable, although when we summited both ways it was during thunderstorms and you are VERY exposed to lightening, so we had to look fast. I cannot remember much if any single track on either side. The climbs do go on for hours, but the summit is very rewarding and the descent is fast and long and can be technical when you are flying and do not have every section memorized. As I said in my humble opinion I would do some other local rides first like 401, Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadmans, Dyke, Doctor Park, or even over to the Monarch Crest/Rainbow etc first as they contain more buff singletrack. You may not enjoy this ride quite as much while you are doing it, but if/when you have survived it and later on thinking back you will be very glad you did it. A true mental and physical test for those that are not true mountain goats. (ie flatlander-lunged texas chumps like me. In my defense I am from Austin, which is not Houston or Lubbock). Even though I was ill-prepared (ie not enough clothing and tires that do not shed a ton of mud very well) I look back on this as a very kick ass ride, although when I go back this summer I will probably not do it. It is hard to give up twisty buff single track for jeep roads when you only have 2 weeks to shred.

Recommended Route:
Either way - CB to Aspen and back or vice-versa. Go from town to town for most fulfilling ride (ie. do not drive part and then ride rest). Can also go over Star Pass, more singletrack?

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Anything in the area or state for that matter as long as the roving motorcycle clubs have not just been there destroying the trails. Respect the trails!



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Review Date
February 21, 2001

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Jason , from Washington, DC

Summary:
We started out about 7:30am, after leaving the vans along the side of rte 135. It's a fun rolling dirt road for the first 3 or 4 miles. Then you start climbing...and climbing. Seemed like we climbing for an eternity. Once we got the tree line, we knew we were close to the summit. Ran into a coupld of 4x4's on the way up...one was an older couple, gave us some extra water. Very nice. We lso ran into a couple of guys who drove to the summit to go snowboarding. Views from the top were SPECTACULAR!!! Like nothing I have ever seen. It was by far the most beautiful vista. Definitely bring your camera - you'll want to get a picture of the Pearl Pass Summit sign that proves you rode to 12,700 ft. The downhill is sweet...as good as 401 is, this is that much better. Just beware of 4x4's driving up...and make sure your brakes are well adjsted and working properly. Might not be a bad idea to bring a cell or 2-way radio in case you get in trouble. I would recommend this trail to anyone who wants to push htemselves to the limit. However, make sure you are physically and mentally fit enough for it. 15 miles uphill to 12,700 feet is exhaustively demanding.

Recommended Route:
Start in CB and ride it to Aspen. Then treat yourself to a fine dinner at the Chart House!

Other recommended trails in the same area:
401, Teocali, Dyke...CB, man!



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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)
 


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