Crested Butte Trails: Skyland-Bridges Loop

In Biking Guide, Hiking guide, Trail by Kryptonite Creative

The Bridges trail can be accessed from either town, or via Whetstone Vista trail. This is typically one of the first trails to thaw out in the early spring thanks to beautiful west facing views and low elevation. Take in views of Whetstone, and leafing aspens in spring, or orange and red aspens in the fall.

Highlights:Wildflowers, Aspen
Difficulty:Moderate
RT Length:4.6 miles
Approx. Time:2 hours
Elevation Gain:443 feet
Max Elevation:9,213 feet
Trailhead Elevation:8,918 feet
Travel Time to TH:10 minutes

Click photos to view multi-season gallery

Directions

Hiking from town: Follow Elk Avenue south until it becomes a dirt road. Continue along this dirt road until Tony's trail meets it on the left about two hundred yards before the end of the road. At the top of Tony's take a right onto the Upper Loop and follow it until the Upper Loop meets the bridges loop (there is a small gate here). At this gate two trails can be seen going up the hill to the left. This is section [7] of the route described below

Driving: Take route 135 south 2 miles and make a left onto County Road 738 (Brush Creek Road). Continue another mile to the trailhead on the left side of the road. The is parking on the right side of the road across from the trailhead: Map

Route

From Brush Creek road head up Whetstone Vista trail [1] for one mile. The trail goes up a few steep switchbacks, crosses a road [2], and continues to snake its way up the mountain to a junction with the upper upper loop trail [3].  From this junction follow the upper upper loop left as it meanders through aspens, leading to a fork in the trail [4], stay right for the bridges trail. The climb  gives way to views of Whetstone and Lake Grant [5].  Once the climb ends two miles of mellow, flowy descent awaits [6] with some minor rock sections. The decent ends at a gate with a junction of the bridges trail and the upper loop [7] Heading back up the hill on the other trail will take you back up the the fork with the bridges trail, great option if you want to take a few laps of the bridges trail.  Heading right at this junction on the upper loop will take you to Tony’s trail and then back to town. To complete the loop head left [8] and down a few switchbacks before connecting with country club road. There is a path that follows the road down to brush creek road, take a left on brush creek and it is a quarter mile back to the Whetstone Vista trail head.

The route described is the local favorite direction to ride the loop, however it can easily be ridden the other direction if a longer climb and less descending is desired, however personally we enjoy the smooth and flowy downhill available on the Bridges Trail.


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Trail Map & Profile


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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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This is a popular bike trail so watch out for bikers. When riding, 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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Enjoying this trail? Help support the people who maintain it. Donate to the Crested Butte Conservation Corps.