Tucked in the picturesque Crested Butte, Colorado, Upper Loop to Upper Upper Loop is a versatile network trail with a little bit of everything. This trail serves as a great connector to other trails in the area, while also standing out as a fine ride itself. With everything from punchy technical climbs to fast, smooth downhill sections, it's the ideal trail for riders who seek variety and a genuine Crested Butte experience.
Starting from the east side of Elk Avenue in Crested Butte, proceed until the paved road ends. Cross the cattle guard onto private ranch land—stick to the road, please! After about a mile, signs for Tony’s Trail and the junction to Upper Loop appear. Take the single track until you reach the Upper Loop Junction.
Upon reaching the junction, riders face a choice: left or right? Go left to climb through aspen trees and open sage fields, until reaching a road that leads to Mt. Crested Butte trails. Turning right and following the signs to "Upper Upper Loop" and "Whetstone Vista" offers a different flavor, connecting to multiple trails around Brush Creek.
The trail is one long rock garden sprinkled with bursts of open fields adorned with wildflowers. It's a technically challenging ride, featuring plenty of rocky whoop-de-dos and steep, intricate climbs. Though the trail is graded as 'difficult,' the technical elements warrant this classification.
First and last parts of this trail are fast and smooth. When descending from Upper Upper Loop towards Elk Avenue, riders are treated to a quick, non-technical ride loaded with well-engineered berms. Similarly, connecting from Upper Loop to Brush Creek, Strand Hill, or Deer Creek trails yields a rock-littered downhill segment that’s nothing short of exhilarating.
If there's a single trail deserving a five-star rating for condensing a wide variety of terrains and experiences into 7 miles, this is it. Highly recommended for riders seeking a challenging yet rewarding experience, Upper Loop to Upper Upper Loop delivers the quintessential Crested Butte ride. Enjoy the ride!