The Lower Loop is a local and visitor favorite, starting right from town and going all the way out to Gunsight Bridge. From the bridge, you can connect to the Oh-Be-Joyful Campground via the Coal Train Trail, the Slate River Road, and much more. Alternatively, the Lower Loop Trails are a great way to finish up a Lupine Trail bike ride right back to town. This beautiful recreational area also includes the iconic Peanut Lake, groomed Nordic trails in the winter, and the Land Trust’s summertime StoryWalk™ and Letterboxing programs.
Peanut Lake is one of the first things you’ll notice as you head out from town along the Lower Loop. It’s beauty and wildlife are iconic in the warmer months, but remember not to recreate or allow dogs to swim in the lake! A large mining operation surrounded the lake in the 1800’s and wasn’t cleaned up until over 100 years later. Despite all the work that went into making this area accessible, safe, and beautiful, mining waste in the form of heavy metals still lies at the bottom of Peanut Lake, making it unsafe for swimming or fishing. Additionally, only a thin, man-made land barrier, maintained by the Land Trust, separates the contaminated Lake and the Slate River. If the land barrier were to break or overflow, contamination and flooding is likely and the lake itself could be drained, diminishing this critical habitat and natural amenity.
Please recreate responsibly around Peanut Lake and ensure our community can enjoy this local feature safely for years to come.
The Lower Loop area is maintained by the Crested Butte Nordic Center in the winter months. You can ski or snowshoe to the Magic Meadows Yurt, out to Gunsight Pass, and around Peanut Lake right from Town. Please remember that our neighbors have private property bordering the Lower Loop area in the winter just like in the summer, and respect private property while recreating nearby. Dogs are allowed on some Nordic trails in the winter and must have a Nordic pass just like their two-legged friends. Click below to learn more about the CB Nordic Center, winter use on Land Trust property, and to view winter maps of the area.
Stroll along the Lower Loop widepath and enjoy a new story each season or travel further afield to find all of our letterboxes hidden in town and along the trail system. Click below to learn more and get outside!
Since the early days when Land Trust staff reopened the Lower Loop to the public straight through to today, we’ve worked tirelessly to conserve the recreational and scenic values of the Lower Loop area for over 30 years.
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