Mountain Biking in Crested Butte

As soon as I cruised into Crested Butte, I made a b-line for my favorite pizza place in the universe, the Secret Stash. Now, I have heard that their traditional pizza is amazing, but being gluten and dairy-free, I wouldn’t know about that. It didn’t matter. I knew exactly what I wanted. The Killer Vegan with gluten-free crust and sausage (because I am not vegan!). I’m just sayin’, if you are gluten and dairy-free, then you have to drive to Crested Butte just for the Pizza. Owner extraordinaire Kyleena has mastered the perfect pizza for people who can’t have cheese. Her ability to blend flavors and textures with such skill is like culinary alchemy. I digress. I am actually here to go mountain biking. Since it is the beginning of the season for me (it was still snowing in Breck a couple of weeks ago),  I planned on doing my usual Snodgrass Loop. But as fate would have it, my waiter happened to be an old friend of mine, Pete Gianinni and he suggested The Lupine Tail.  After stuffing myself with pizza, I wasn’t all that excited about climbing halfway to Mt. Crested Butte at the beginning of my ride, but boy, was it worth it. There were endless fields of purple Lupines everywhere you looked, and the smell was amazing! I must have stopped 10 times to try to capture a photo that did this trail justice, but I couldn’t capture the spectacular essence. So, you will just have to check it out yourself.  To get there: park at the Visitors Center. There is allegedly a bike path to get there, but I took the road to Saddleridge and climbed to the trailhead. After a short, steep uphill, the trail turns into a rolling, mostly smooth single track through Lupine fields and Aspen forests. There is a way to end up on the Lower Loop back to town but I missed it and ended up riding back past Nicholson Lake on CR-734. It was nice and flat with not too many cars.