Crested Butte – Perhaps this is Nirvana?

We arrived in Crested Butte to boondock (stay on Bureau of Land Management Land with no power, water or structured camp sites).  Washington Gulch is a gorgeous area with a rutty dirt road entrance and beautiful flower fields as a reward.  We stayed just in the shadow of Gothic Mountain near our friends Jase and Lauri (Wanderwasi) and Kurt (Kuhl Odyssey).  Our location was amazing and ranks as one of our top camping sites ever!

Washington Gulch – amazing boon docking with friends

We camped in the shadow of Gothic Mountain

With flowers everywhere!

Hiking with friends is always more fun!

Or hiking through fields of wildflowers – beautiful!

Yup a push me pull me bicycle for the chainless race…

In 12 days we managed to hike, ride bikes, float the river, participate in the bike festival with a movie and chainless race (viewing only, of a crazy annual race where they coast down the mountain in fabulous costumes), 4 wheel, listen to a band at a free mountainside concert and take in a few beers and tasting the local food and paddle a lake.  

Tiffany and Nick (Whereverbound) spent a night camping near us and catching up. We hadn’t seen them since Bend last year and enjoyed hearing about their winter experience.  They are currently living in Crested Butte and loving it. We had a great time hearing about all the fun adventures they are having in CB. Check out their blog for some great winter camping information.

We also met Jen and Randy from (Peddle Adventures) whom ended up right next to us at Washington Gulch.  I had been following them for years on instagram and noticed a picture that looked just like my view. Turned out they were parked near  us. We had a few evenings of catching up and hearing about their travels (international biking and living in Ridgeway).  Always fun to meet up with everyone on the road in real life!

Setup time for the flotilla

Lake picnic and floating around Lake Irwin with all 5 of us and 2 dogs was another fun afternoon.  We dodged the rain, enjoyed the sunshine and had a great time.  Who knew you could fit so much in a truck!  We had 5 people, 5 chairs, 3 boats, 2 dogs a grill and dinner/drinks for 5 people in one truck.

Floating down the river was a hoot. Kurt, Dave and I were able to do a car shuttle for the pickup.  Otherwise I think we could have put a bike at the takeout point and peddled back to the car. It was a great lazy afternoon with the swift current doing most of the work.  Definitely something I would like to do again!

Riding through waist deep wild flowers.

For biking we did both downhill at the mountain and a few local trails.  The mountain was very fun and had some amazing areas of wildflowers, views, scary hairpin turns and varied terrain. Kurt, Dave and I all had a great afternoon. I may have had a little too much fun and blown out my front bike shock. CB is the home of mountain biking – with heavy emphasis on mountain and not as gentle as the cross country mountain biking we enjoy in Bend.

Just a little of the local color in the town of Crested Butte.

We ended up really enjoying the town of Crested Butte, it grew on me each time we visited.  I had expected the typical chi chi ski town attitude. But instead, CB is very down to earth and enjoyable.  Not even a Starbucks! The people are nice and it wasn’t all touristy and crowded. Of course the prices are high, but that is to be expected.

We did a little exploring in the Jeeps and found this amazing campsite – can you just imagine the amazing waterfall sound all night long!

Some of the higher passes and trails were still covered in snow.

Views for days, wildflowers everywhere, endless biking trails and sunshine, paddling and great place to stay with fun friends.  It was all a girl could ask for!  I can’t wait to go back again…

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