Trail Run Project Logo

black Grand Traverse Mountain Run

  4.0 ( 7 ) Favorite

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store


40.7 mile 65.4 kilometer point to point
88% Runnable


Ascent: 6,197' 1,889 m
Descent: -7,072' -2,156 m
High: 12,323' 3,756 m
Low: 8,027' 2,447 m


Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 35% (20°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

The course of the Grand Traverse Mountain Run.

Kristen Arendt

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This route retraces the fabled Grand Traverse ski race across the Elk Mountain Range! Dual Sport division offers multi-sport athletes the opportunity to run from Crested Butte to Aspen on Saturday, then retrace their route by racing the GT Mountain Bike back to Crested Butte on Sunday!

Runner Notes

Recommended Gear
Each participant should carry at a minimum:

  • Buff or light hat
  • Dark sunglasses
  • Wind shell with hood
  • Collapsible Cup (aid stations will not have cups)
  • Hydration Carrying System (enough storage capacity to sustain you 2-3 hours between aid.)

Run Aid Locations:
  • AID #1 (FULL AID): Juct. FS Trails 408 & 738.2A - Mile 9.4
  • AID #2 (Limited AID): Juct. FS Trails 400 & 405 - Mile 16.5
  • AID #3 (FULL AID): Taylor Pass - Mile 23.25
  • AID #4 (Limited AID): Barnard Hut proximity on Richmond Hill Road - Mile 28.8
  • AID # 5 (FULL AID): Aspen Mountain Boundary - Mile 35.3


Crested Butte to Star Pass
The race start will take place on the 200 block of Elk Avenue in Downtown Crested Butte (in front of the Post Office). Departing easterly down Elk Ave, competitors will encounter dirt within .5 miles of the start when they meet the McCormic Ranch subdivision road. In another .3 mi., racers will join Tony's Trail, embarking on 3 miles of singletrack trail connecting to the Upper Upper Loop (FS-435.1). This section poses a technical 200 climb, followed by a 400 descent to the trails junction with County Road 738 (L-Turn). The race will remain on this dirt surfaced road for 2.2 miles, resuming singletrack at the junction with Trail 408 (R-Turn), also known as the Canal Trail (1st water crossing of the course ).

Mildly ascending for 2.3 miles racers will encounter their second wet stream crossing at Brush Creek, which promptly delivers them to AID #1 (Full Aid Mile 8.5). The course briefly continues on a narrowly sketched singletrack through the Death Pass escarpment. Racers will remain on the East Brush Creek jeep road (FS 738.2B), crossing Middle Brush Creek (3rd. wet crossing).

Racers must be vigilant NOT to diverge onto FS 738 (L-Turn) along this route - DON'T go towards Pearl Pass!

Forest Service road 738.2B eventually becomes TR 400, further ascending to one more wet crossing over East Brush Creek, leading racers shortly thereafter to AID #2 (Limited Aid Mile 14.5)

Departing AID #2 racers will switch back up onto a climbing traverse, roughly 1 mile to the top of Star Pass (12,336).

Beyond the summit, a gradual singletrack descent connects to Taylor Pass Divide Road (FS 761.A). This primitive doubletrack road skirts the eastern slopes of Taylor peak, exponentially gaining altitude until attaining Taylor flats where the route continues a gentle ascent to the broad summit of Taylor Pass and AID #3 (Full Aid Mile 22).

Star Pass to Aspen
From AID #3 gradual climbing continues, mixed with an intervening descent before once more climbing to the routes second highest elevation point at 12,306. From here the course begins its incremental drop in elevation, joining Richmond Ridge Road, leading racers onto Aid #4 (Limited Aid Mile 27). From this second to last aid station, racers will be subjected to a 7 mile rolling traverse out Richmond Ridge Road, delivering them to Aid #5 (Full Aid Mile 34) at the top of Ajax Mountain!

Entering the Aspen Ski Company boundary, racers will embark upon a 3,200 elevation loss over 3.6 miles, delivering them to their finish at the base of Lift 1A. The descent will utilize both utility roads and singletrack trail within the Aspen Mountain trail network.

IMPORTANT: All information is subject to change. For the safety of racers and volunteers, weather or other environmental conditions may require a change in the race start time or location, the official course, or race rules or may lead to cancellation. The registration fee is non-refundable.

History & Background

The Grand Traverse operates under a Special Use Permit on the Gunnison and White River National Forest.


Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In


Sep 1, 2018
Michael Reschly
Grand Traverse 2018. 40mi
Sep 1, 2018
Tim Lowrimore
40mi — 9h 03m
Sep 2, 2017
Bradley Nicholson
Sep 2, 2017
Eric Thomas
Grand Traverse

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 7 votes


  4.0 from 7 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Colorado


316 Views Last Month
16,981 Since May 24, 2016
Difficult Difficult

Will Davis
Denver, CO
Will Davis   Denver, CO
This race course is beautiful and takes place in the early fall as the aspens are changing. The point to point aspect makes it unique and fun. I highly recommend it! Dec 18, 2017

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running