Located on the outskirts of downtown Crested Butte, the Lower Loop is one of the best introductions to mountain biking in the home of mountain biking.
You can literally ride right from Elk Avenue to Peanut Lake Road and out to the start of the Lower Loop. When you reach the y in the road, stick to the right and look for the kiosk telling you about the Lower Loop. You’ll have a choice at this point to either ride the Lower Loop singletrack or double track. The double track is adaptive, handcycle friendly and great for people learning to ride. Both trails are rated green circles and have very few rocks or bumps along the way.
The Lower Loop runs along the Slate River, with the double track eventually turning into an out and back while the singletrack continues. Enjoy the flowers and the views of the Slate River as you ride the mostly flat trail. Be aware that this is a popular link with the Lupine Trail as well as an out and back, so you should expect two-way traffic.
Or, you can take the Upper Lower Loop when it heads off to the left for a little bit more climbing and more challenge. It’s still rated a blue, so it’s a nice way for intermediate riders to loop the system rather than just doing it as an out and back.
The Upper Lower tees into Gunsight Pass Road where you can go down to link back to the Lower Lower and ride back to town, or you can go left and up the road a bit to connect with the GB Loop Trail. The GB offers a stunning view of the Oh Be Joyful Waterfall, but definitely has a little exposure on a sidehill. So be aware if those things make you nervous. Ride the GB Loop back to Gunsight Pass Road and then pick up the Lower Lower to head back to town.
Or, more advanced riders can pick up the Budd Trail from the Upper Lower. Beginners are discouraged from getting on the Budd. It’s hard and has some pretty serious switchbacks and rocks. But, it’s a great way for a group to all ride in a similar area but get varied terrain. Or you can warm up with a lap on the Upper Lower and the Lower before climbing the Upper Lower a second time to pick up the Budd Trail.
The Budd Trail will pop you back on the Woods Walk, which is also the best way to ride back from the Lower Loop system to maximize your singletrack time. The fastest way back to town is to drop off the Woods Walk when it intersects with Peanut Lake Road and then make for the apres scene in downtown.
Or you can explore the rest of the Woods Walk. It’s beautiful in there and keeps you on dirt track for even longer.
The Lower Loop system links up nicely with the Lupine Trail to bring you back to town on dirt. Or you can link Snodgrass, Lupine, and the Lower for an even longer ride.
Watch for cattle later in the summer and be respectful of the Gunnison Valley’s ranching heritage.
Trail Heads 2
- Lower Loop Trailhead
- Peanut Lake Road Lower Trailhead
- Budd Trail
- GB Loop
- Lower Lower Loop
- Upper Lower Loop
- Woods Walk