Jul 16, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Grin and Bear It Trail Run

620 2nd St

Crested Butte CO, 81224


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Entry Fee $50
(Lowest or Early Registration)

Entry Fee 2 $65
(Highest or Late Registration)

Prize Money: no


  • 15K
  • 25K

Type: Mountain

Participant Limit: 150

Course Map: Download Map

Starting Elevation: 8900

High Point: 10600

Percent of the course on un-paved trails: 95%

First Year of the Event: 1982

Men's Record: Cam Smith & Timmy Parr (15K) 1:03:12 / Timmy Parr (25K) 1:59:16

Women's Record: Najeeby Quinn (15K ) 1:18.18 / Sarah Carter (25K) 2:38:35


For three decades The Grin & Bear It has stood as Crested Butte’s oldest trail challenge,
historically run as an out-and-back sprint from Town, to Green Lake and back.

In 2020, this classic event has evolved to offer a 25k Loop course option, while still maintaining the traditional 15k Classic event.  Both events are produced to benefit the Crested Butte Junior Nordic Team.

This course starts & finishes in the open gravel area in front of the ​CB Nordic Center (620 2nd. Street).

Start facing to the ​North West​ (towards the grove of cottonwood trees). Depart the open gravel area which rapidly transforms into singletrack as you depart the trees. Singletrack continues for approximately 100 yards, here the trail makes an abrupt ​U turn​ directing you onto an elevated traverse back the direction you just approached from. You will now be running southward above the start area you just departed from.In less than .25 miles the singletrack intersects a primitive rocky road, turn ​RIGHT​. Climb the very short incline to where the double track intersects a dirt graded subdivision road (Journey’s End Rd.). Turn ​RIGHT​ on to Journey’s End Rd. (look for municipal signage pointing you to Green Lake)Less than .5 mile up this road, another sign will direct you to turn ​LEFT​, at the Green Lake trailhead where singletrack recommences.

Switchback your way up through dark timber and a rolling traverse until getting dumped out on to another primitive double track road. At the top of this climb, you will again intersect a dirt graded subdivision road. Here a sign directs you to turn ​RIGHT​.  About .5 mile running the graded road, another sign directs you to resume the singletrack trail, turning to the​ LEFT.

Wind your way up through more dark timber and intermittent meadows. The trail gets a bit more rugged on this upper singletrack portion. Stay ​STRAIGHT​ at the intersection for ​Trail 436​. Continue past an initial pond for .3 mile to arrive at the majestic emerald Green Lake shore.After tapping the towering ​ponderosa pine​ standing at the bank of the lake, ​racers make an about-face, setting themselves on a 4.5 mile melee, descending 2,100 feet back to the Nordic Center

25K Loop –
The race Starts and Finishes at the Crested Butte Nordic Center – 620 2nd. Street, in downtown Crested Butte.

A mass start commences from the Nordic Center, climbing directly up to Journey’s End road, where racers turn LEFT continuing downhill to the junction with Highway-135. Racers proceed south paralleling the highway for a 1/4 mile, before arriving the Baxter Gulch trailhead. Here runners are routed onto single track, starting a series of sharp switchbacks climbing 600 feet through shaded aspens. This climb eventually opens up, transitioning to a climbing traverse. (Don’t forget to look over your left shoulder to view Mt. Crested Butte’s imposing presence over the valley!)

This initial climb tops out at 9,431 ft, before providing competitors a momentary 200 ft. downhill respite. Upon crossing a bridge across Baxter Creek, steady switchback climbing again commences for the next mile. After making a second crossing of Baxter Creek, elevation gain levels off, climbing more moderately through open meadows and surprise views of Mt. Whetstone. Moderate climbing continues until around mile 5.25, where 450 feet is more steeply gained in less then 1 mile. This push delivers runners to a high saddle at 10,700 ft, and a sneak peek view into the adjacent Ohio Creek valley drainage.

Here the course embarks on a brief .5 mile descent, intersecting the Carbon Trail #436 where runners make a RIGHT turn and begin their final 545 feet of climbing to the course high point at 10,983 ft. Here runners are treated to panoramic views of the high peaks spanning the Elk Mountain Range to the east, in addition to the expansive valley bottoms of the upper Gunnison laid out below. The trail becomes consistently rougher throughout the next 2.5 mile portion of course. This section of trail is either traversing or descending, but is utterly rock strewn throughout all the way until meeting the Green Lake Trail intersection.

At this juncture, racers are routed up a .3 mile spur to the Green Lake checkpoint and an opportunity for a refreshing alpine lake dunk. After tapping the towering ponderosa pine standing at the bank of the lake, racers make an about-face, setting themselves on a 4.5 mile melee, descending 2,100 feet back into the Town of Crested Butte. Downhill running is shaded and very enjoyable, as technical trail is only sparsely punctuated.

At mile 12.5, Green Lake Trail intersects a private subdivision road, runners make a right hand turn, running the road for .4 miles, then making a left hand turn to reconnect with the Green Lake Trail single track. From this juncture, 2 miles and 623 feet of elevation loss remain, returning racers to the finish line back at the Crested Butte Nordic Center.



Past Event Dates

Held on Jul 16, 2022

Held on Jul 24, 2021

Held on Jul 18, 2020

Held on Jul 13, 2019

Held on Jul 14, 2018

Held on Jul 15, 2017

Held on Jul 16, 2016

Held on Jul 18, 2015

Held on Jul 19, 2014

Held on Jul 20, 2013

Held on Jul 07, 2012

Held on Jul 16, 2011

Held on Jul 17, 2010

Held on Jul 28, 2007

Held on Jul 22, 2006

Held on Jul 23, 2005

Held on Jul 26, 2003

Held on Jul 27, 2002

Held on Jul 28, 2001

Held on Jul 22, 2000

Held on Jul 24, 1999

Held on Jul 25, 1998

Held on Jul 26, 1997