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Contour Trail -> Canal Trail Loop

Crested Butte



A beautiful loop hike accessible directly from the outskirts of Gunnison.

Hiking Easy

7.3 km
69 m
69 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.4 km
High Point
2.4 km
Contour Trail -> Canal Trail Loop Map

Accessible directly from the city streets of Gunnison, Colorado, is a growing network of singletrack known as the Signal Peak Trails. While the nearby trails at Hartmans Rocks have been around for decades, the trail development at Signal Peaks has only truly kicked off in the past few years. Trail construction is still ongoing. This trail system is home to a slew of sinuous singletrack trails, including a mellow, scenic route known as the Contour Trail.


The Contour Trail begins at G Hill above the Western State University campus. After a short ugly climb to get to the start of the trail, this non-technical singletrack flows along the hillside for over 6 miles one-way. As you might imagine from the name, the trail doesn't gain or lose hardly any elevation along its length. It follows a contour line along the hillside, swooping in and out of the gulleys as it works its way to the east from the campus.

While you could choose to hike this as a 12-mile out-and-back, combining the Contour Trail with the Canal Trail creates a scenic 4.5-mile loop. After heading out on the Contour Trail, descend the Cemetery Connector to reach the Canal Trail. The Canal Trail is a flat, wide gravel path that winds its way along a canal with willows and reeds providing a delightful change from the dry sagebrush.



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between April and November


  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area