One of the classic loops close to town with some of the best scenery and great trails to boot. If you feel like you don't have the legs and want to cut out some of the climbing from town, hop on the free shuttle bus which has bike racks. The bus will drop you off up at Mt. Crested butte and from there it's an easy ride to the beginning of the Snodgrass trailhead.
This ride is great for the simple reason that it's easy to bail after Snodgrass or Lupine if weather is chasing you or if your legs just aren't feeling good.
If starting from the 4way parking area in town, ride east out Elk ave. until you hit the rec path. Follow the gravel/paved Rec path uphill for several miles. The path eventually ends up near the ski area entrance. From here ride Gothic road another couple miles. When you get to the end of the paved road you'll see the sign for the Snodgrass Trail #590
. Just after the holding pond, take a right on Teddy's Trail
and soon regain Snodgrass Trail #590
after an easy climb.
Along the way you'll come to a few intersections. Follow the Snodgrass trail out to Washington Gulch road. Admire the scenery, revel in the flowy downhill and the wildflowers.
When you get to Washington Gulch Road, take a left and ride this all the way back down to Gothic Road
. Once on Gothic you'll ride maybe a 1/10th of a mile and take a right into the Saddle Ridge subdivision. Ride uphill and enter the Lupine trail at the end of the road.
Follow the signs on Lupine and eventually you'll end up on Slate River Road. Take a right on Slater river Road and ride another 1/10 of a mile and take a right on the unsigned singletrack (this is a shortcut). If you miss it, no big deal as the road will take you to the same place. If you took the singletrack you'll have a quick downhill then re-join the road again. The singletrack is maybe another 1/10 of a mile long.
After about a mile on Slate River Road, the road will fork to the left and you'll see a sign for Gunsite Pass. Take a left here and follow the singletrack or road down to the river where there will be a pedestrian bridge. Go across the bridge and follow the doubletrack until that forks. Now you'll have a choice. You can either go left on Lower Loop
or you can take a right for a short climb on Gunsite Pass road. At the second switchback look for a trail and a sign that will be heading east back toward town, this is Upper Lower Loop
Follow Upper Lower Loop
until it connects with Lower Loop
, then follow that back into town. For a bonus/alternate route, mid-way through Upper Lower Loop
look for a trail junction/sign for Budd Trail
going up to the right. Ride Budd Trail
until it connects back up with Lower Loop
and back into town.
Take a left on 1st street, and a right on Elk Ave. to get back to the 4 way parking area. Now revel in a Crested Butte classic and congratulate yourself with some beers on the Brick Oven patio.