New for Summer 2011 is the Lupine Trail, located just beyond downtown Crested Butte. It doesn’t take long to figure out why this trail is named the Lupine Trail… there is lupine everywhere (see photos below, taken on July 6, 2011).
The trail is great for either hiking or biking, but hikers may want to arrange for a shuttle as cars are not allowed to park at the trailhead.
Access the trail from the Saddle Ridge subdivision culdesac off Gothic Road. No parking is permitted at the trailhead, so please respect this rule. Riding from town, take the Rec Path up towards Mt. Crested Butte. Cut over to the road when you reach Washington Gulch (there will be a short, steep shortcut on the left). Head back south on Gothic Road for just a short distance and look for the entrance to Saddle Ridge neighborhood on the right. Follow the road until it ends and you will see the start of the Lupine Trail. You could also ride singletrack up via the Upper Loop and then catch Gothic Road to Saddle Ridge.
There is a short ascent on singletrack, and then the rest is downhill. The trail ends on Smith Hill Road. Turn left on Slate River Road and then right on Gothic to get back to town. Or turn right on Slate River Road and connect to the Lower Loop trails.
Check out the new Lupine Trail next time you are in town. You won’t be disappointed!