Why I Love It
Lupine is always one of the first trails to melt out so can be ridden early season (early June). In late June, you'll learn where it got it's moniker -- as it is covered in lovely lavender Lupine blooms. They actually have a really nice (but subtle) scent too. It's an easy ride when you don't have a lot of time, or you can combine it with a myriad of other trails to turn it into a longer ride. If you just ride Lupine 1 and 2 (vs. continuing on to Gunsight Connector - also fun!), the final descent to Slate River Rd. is a swoopy blast. You have good views of Mt. Whetstone (if you look behind you) and the wetlands around the Slate River below you. And it's a beginner friendly trail that is fun for all levels.
Unless you're doing an out and back, definitely ride this trail starting from the Saddle Ridge subdivision and end at Slate River Rd to make the most of the swoopy downhill. There is ABSOLUTELY NO parking in the Saddle Ridge subdivision, so get your warm up on by pedaling up from town. I like to connect this trail up as follows (all starting from town, or put your bike on the free shuttle and get off at the ski resort or Snodgrass):
- Snodgrass - Lupine/Gunsight Connector - Lower Loop back to town, straight to the Brick Oven Pizza for a patio beer
- Meander - Columbine or Hotdogger or Luge - Lupine - Lower Loop back to town, straight to the Brick Oven Pizza for a patio beer
- Tony's - Upper - Lupine/Gunsight Connector - Lower Loop back to town, straight to the Brick Oven Pizza for a patio beer (do you sense a theme here?)
If you don't have the legs for Gunsight Connector (there's a few legit climbs, so you need some gas in the tank), but you still want a scenic, mostly flat ride back, you can bust out to Slate River Rd. from Lupine 2, but instead of taking the road back to town, turn right and keep going up the road. After about 500 feet or so, before the road tops out, you'll see an unmarked trail to the right - you can take this cutoff, then continue on the road until you see the parking lot at Gunsight Bridge - head down, cross the bridge and hook up with the Lower trail - this is the easiest scenic option. Be sure to stop and look behind you for stunning views of Paradise Divide with the Slate River. Another option it to take the Upper Lower - if you do, don't miss the short but super scenic Gunsight Bridge Connector. It isn't marked, but there's a double track that heads down from the gravel road. This trail takes you to a scenic overlook of the lower Oh Be Joyful Falls! I lived in Crested Butte for 5 years and never knew this trail existed! Download the CBG Trails App (Android), (Apple), to more easily find this trail.
Lori's Favorite Photo Spots
- Between the first and second cattle guards, there's generally a good concentration of Lupine in late June.
- Looking back after going through the first aspen grove, with Whetstone in the background.
- At the top of the climb up the road - good views into the Slate Valley and surrounding peaks.
- If you're willing to stop on the fun descent at the end... near the top you double back and there's a good view of Whetstone.