The Upper Loop trails are some of the most accessible trails from town. As the Upper Loop trail wraps around the base of Crested Butte Mountain, it gives you a fun, flowy descent and panoramic views of the valley.
There are a variety of different ways to enjoy a quick ride along the base of Crested Butte Mountain, and you can ride for a quick 30-minute pedal to an hour plus loop.
The most common – and arguably the most fun – way to ride Upper Loop is starting from the Upper Loop trailhead on Hunter Hill Road. You can either ride up the rec path from town or take the town bus to the Hunter Hill bus stop, and pedal about a ½ mile up the road. At the first switchback, the trail will be on your right. The first ¼ mile will climb with some moderately technical moves over rocks. After the climb, the trail is a mix of technical rock gardens, tight corners and flowy, fast, singletrack all the way to Tony’s Trail. If you’re tight on time, you can take a right on Tony’s Trail and follow the McCormick Ranch road all the way back to town. Please keep in mind that pups are not allowed on the McCormick Ranch Road or on Tony’s Trail.
Tony’s Trail is another popular starting point for the Upper Loop. Starting from town, pedal out McCormick Ranch Road. The trailhead will be on your left. Take Tony’s Trail to the t-junction, then take a right on Upper Loop. After a quick pedal, you’ll have the choice to take a right down Divine or a left onto Upper Upper Loop. Take a left here. The Upper Upper Loop has more technical climbing than the Upper Loop, but just in short bursts with some rocks and roots. It’s a fun and challenging combination of classic cross-country mountain biking.
After a couple miles, you’ll notice another trail intersecting on your left. If you need to cut your ride short and head to town, turn here for a fun, swoopy descent on Bridges. It has some super fun banked turns and small rock gardens. If you want to keep going, continue straight until you hit the Whetstone Vista intersection. Take a right here for a fun, rocky, technical descent to the Brush Creek Road. Whetstone Vista is definitely more technical than Upper Upper Loop, so if you were concerned about the rocks up until this point, double back to Bridges.
After you descend down Whetstone Vista you have three options, you can take a left on Brush Creek Road and head towards Strand, or if you’re a sucker for punishment, Teocalli Ridge. You can also take a right turning back towards town. If you have a little bit left in your legs, turn right at Skyland Drive, then left on Country Club Drive. At the end of the cul de sac you will find Divine, and can connect back to the Upper/ Upper Upper Loop junction and cruise back down Tony’s to town. If you’re legs are toast, follow Brush Creek back out to Highway 135 and pedal on the bike path back to town.
If you really want to suffer, you can pedal past Whetstone Vista all the way up Upper Upper Loop. It’s steep, rocky, and challenging!
Sufferfest x2 would be riding up Tony’s Trail to Upper Loop, ending at Crested Butte Mountain.
For Upper Loop to Tony’s Trail to town – give yourself 45 minutes
For Upper Loop to Upper Upper Loop to Whetstone Vista to town – give yourself 1 hour 15 min. + -
For Upper Loop to Upper Upper Loop to Bridges – give yourself 1 hour +-
For Tony’s Trail to Upper Upper Loop to Bridges – give yourself 1 hour +-
For Tony’s Trail to Upper Upper Loop to Whetstone Vista to town – give yourself 1.5 hour +-
For Tony’s Trail to Upper Loop to MT CB – give yourself 1 hour +-
Trail Heads 2
- Brush Creek Main
- Visitor Center
- 409 1/2
- Canal Trail
- Ditch Trail
- Farris Creek
- Point Lookout
- Strand Bonus
- Strand Hill Road
- Teocalli Ridge
- The Wall
- Waterfall Creek