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A quick pedal up the pavement from downtown Crested Butte brings you to the beginning of the Lupine Trail: a flowy, scenic singletrack benched high into a hillside overlooking the Slate River Valley and the town of Crested Butte.
As the trail winds its way along the hillside, you'll be faced with a choice: slow down and enjoy the incredible views of the region, or focus on the singletrack and get into a flowy groove? It's a win-win—which will you choose? The Lupine Trail can be looped in a variety of ways, and the original (and shorter) option drops down to the Slate River Road, following the dirt road back to Crested Butte.
The route mapped here is longer and requires a bit more pedaling and climbing, but the additional singletrack is well-worth it! The main reason to complete this longer loop option is the relatively new descent down the Gunsight Pass Connector Trail at the far end of the loop.
This sweet, sweet stretch of singletrack swoops and flows through a thick aspen grove on the loamiest black dirt you may every ride! Swooping turns and undulating singletrack drops the rider all too quickly down to Slate River Road.
From there, you can choose to climb to the Upper Lower Loop or take the Lower Lower Loop back to downtown Crested Butte.
Both are great options, but one requires a bit more climbing, and the other is flatter and mellower. While not a true beginner route, the Lupine Loop from downtown Crested Butte is a very approachable ride that forgoes the gnar and extended climbing of most long-time Crested Butte classics, yet still feels very rewarding once you sit down at the bar afterward.