What an awesome trail, but you have to work for it! Over 1000′ of climbing starts this ride but the single track you reach is well worth it. All of this trail is single track and most of it is tight. Depending on the time of year, the trail will be lined with thick foliage, and the last part (Canal Trail) will be lined with clump grass and sage brush.
Typically we start riding from Brush Creek Rd. (there is a small turn out to the right about a half mile past the Brush Creek TH parking lot and past the old ranch located on the left side. Park at this turn out and ride your bike about another 1/4 mile up Brush Creek Rd. On the right is a gate (could be open or closed) that starts your ascent to Strand Bonus and eventually Strand TH. This is a jeep road with steep and sometimes loose grades. Don’t forget to take a rest and enjoy the views of Mt Crested Butte and Whetstone Mountains.
Trail Name: Strand Hill / Canal Trail
Location: Crested Butte, Colorado
Type: Narrow trail (< 30"), Start and end at the same point (Out-and-Back)
Rating: Adaptive Level 05
Length: approx 5 miles.
Steepest Section: Moderate – between 10-30º
Most Off-Camber Section: Mild – under 10º
Terrain: Mostly hardpack, minimal loose sections
Obstacles: Root exposure, Brush and/or other growth, one or two areas of large rocks that you will have to negotiate but should be doable with a little help.
Help Needed? Nope
Directions to Trailhead
From the Town of Crested Butte, head South on Hwy 135 less then 1 mile and turn left on Brush Creek Rd (Skyland subdivision). Drive through Skyland and eventually Brush Creek Rd turns into dirt. Proceed past Brush Creek TH on the right, cross over the East River and park on turnout that is on the right side.