Crested Butte Trails: Lower Loop

In Hiking guide by Josh Futterman

These creatively named trails are close to town, relatively easy, and offer mountain views as they follow the Slate River through the valley. A popular choice for mountain bikers as well as hikers, Lower Loop connects with a few other trails, providing alternate routes such as Woods Walk and the Budd Trail along the way. There are also a few benches on the trail inviting you to sit, relax, and enjoy the scenery.


Highlights:Mountain views, Wildflowers
Difficulty:Easy
RT Length:6.4 miles
Approx. Time:3 hours RT
Elevation Gain:640 feet
Max Elevation:9,096 feet
Trailhead Elevation:8,904 feet
Travel Time to TH:5 minutes


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Directions

From the town of Crested Butte, drive west on Elk Avenue and turn right on First Street. Make a left at the end of First Street onto Butte Ave. This turns into a dirt road and Peanut Lake road. Park at the clearly designated area [1] on the right side of the road just ahead. There is also a restricted parking lot another 1.2 miles up the road with wheelchair access.  Map


Route

This follows the loop counter-clockwise: From the parking lot, follow Peanut Lake road up the valley past the old mining structure called the Gronk [2].  Take in excellent views  of Gothic Mountain, sometimes perfectly reflected in the calm waters of Peanut Lake [4]. Pass the alien shack [5] on the right side as you get closer to the end of the road. Bear right at the junction and choose your path at the sign[6].

From there, the trail meanders through some trees and past a few benches [8]. This is a good point to turn around for a shorter option. Continue bearing right at junctions to stay on Lower Loop and take. There are some helpful signs along the way in case you lose your bearings. Encounter another sign at Gunsight Pass road and take a left. You’ll follow the road up a few switchbacks until you see the trail again on your left. Walk through the fence posts and continue back via the Upper Lower Loop. Just over a mile in, bear left at the Budd Trail junction and continue until the trail intersects Lower Loop once again. Follow this back to the parking lot.

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This is a popular bike trail, watch out for bikers. If biking yield to horses, hikers, and uphill riders. Don't ride trails when muddy and bike to the trailhead if possible. Be considerate to other users, the land, and local landowners.

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This is a pet friendly trail, abide by the leash law at all times. Yield trail right of way to all others when hiking with your dog. Tread lightly on the trail to avoid damaging the ecosystem and remember to pack out all doggy doo.

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Trail Map & Profile




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Enjoying this trail? Help support the people who maintain it. Donate to the Crested Butte Conservation Corps