“A Crested Butte classic with a variety of terrain.”
— Adam Kagy
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views
The Dyke Trail should be high on everybody's list of runs to do when visiting Crested Butte. In only a little over 5 miles in length this trail throws just about everything at you from smooth singletrack, loose rugged descents, a leg and lung burning climb in the middle, several small water crossings and fantastic views of the Ruby Range and the Anthracite mountains.
There are any number of ways to run The Dyke. You can run this one from town if youre feeling fit. With the development of the new Wagon Trail paralleling Kebler pass road it makes the run from town a bit more interesting. If youre short on time or just dont want to mess with the road, drive toward Kebler Pass to the junction with the Irwin Lake Road. Park there and run toward Irwin Lake Campground, staying left at the split.
Run past the lake and keep bearing left at road intersections. Wind around and climb up to a sign for The Dyke Trailhead. Stay left on this doubletrack and run out to a small turnaround and a sign for The Dyke Trail.
This first part of the singletrack is immediately downhill! Watch out for a few surprise creek crossings and some rough sections. Otherwise, enjoy the romp through the forest. The trail weaves around the contours before climbing up and over The Dyke, which is a very distinct rib of rock at the top of a set of lung blowing climbs. Enjoy the aspen and the views through them. Youll be staring straight up at the Upper Dyke and the Ruby/Owen range. On the left at the top is a short trail to a great viewpoint and lunch spot.
From here get ready for a great finish! Enjoy a terrific downhill through what must be some of the most beautiful aspens around. If you picked the right day, the light filtering through a golden canopy fifty feet up will seem surreal as you make your way through it.
Make a sharp left where a sign points right to the wilderness area. Continue with the run and eventually come out in a saddle and parking area at the Dark Canyon trailhead. Turn left down the doubletrack and a quarter of a mile later, you'll hit Kebler Pass Road.
Another option if you're even shorter on time and have a friend is to run this as a shuttle, parking one car near Lake Irwin and another at horse ranch park off of Kebler pass. Highly recommended running in the fall time when the aspens are changing.