The Gothic Road to Emerald Lake Adventure

 

Taking Gothic Road outside of the Town of Crested Butte will lead you up to the ski area or Mt. Crested Butte. From here you’ll continue through Mt. CB to the old town site of Gothic. Gothic has a unique vibe with the Rocky Mountain Biological Institute, which has been established since the late 1920’s, and conducts a slew of scientific studies on the bio-diversity which makes this area special and world famous for the abundancy of wildflowers.

 

As you pass through Gothic the road becomes more rough, muddy and tight in some places. Go past the Rustler’s Gulch trail, which is another great option, until you reach the snow pile. There is an area just before Emerald lake where two avalanche paths meet and usually piles up with snow and debris. Due to having a big snow year last season, this area is still not safe to pass on top of with a Jeep. Therefore we recommend parking the vehicle and walking the less then a mile to the lake.

Gothic and Schofield Pass

Schofield Pass sits within the Sawatch Range of the Elk Mountains between Crested Butte and Aspen.  The pass tops out at an elevation of 10,707 between the town sites of Gothic and Marble.  Once the snow melts, many of our renters travel what we call the big loop which encompasses Slate River Road, Paradise Divide, Paradise Basin, Schofield Pass and ending with the town site of Gothic before heading back to Crested Butte.  Timing wise this usually puts you back in town for a late lunch or to re-supply before heading back out for more off-road adventures.

 

Schofield Pass continues beyond the point imaged in the photo, where a large sign warns drivers of the ensuing danger of The Devil’s Punchbowl.  For safety purposes our vehicles do Not go beyond this point.

 

This area is world renowned for its wildflowers and there is a reason why we have an entire festival dedicated to the flowers. If you’ve ever dreamed of being surrounded by wildflowers in a high alpine meadow, like in the movie ‘Sound of Music,’ then this is your spot!  Hikers have many options to choose from as well, if it’s the infamous 401 trail, hiking to Judd Falls, the 403 trail, Rustlers Gulch, Deer Creek, Copper Trail, the many offerings in the Snodgrass area or even the West Maroon Creek Trail to Aspen.

Washington Gulch Road to Paradise Divide

Bullet up close2

Every year I make the trip up Washington Gulch Rd. located in between the Town of Crested Butte and Mt. CB.  This mellow road turns into more of a trail just prior to entering the town site of Elkton.  Wandering up this jeep trail gives you a quick gain in elevation making for a steep section with switchback turns leading to the ridge line.  Many stop here to hike the trail up Mt. Baldy, but with a lifted Jeep is where it starts to get a little “sporty.”  Continue on and the road verges into Slate River Rd. (734) traveling through a drop off section to Paradise Divide or where the trail tops out at.  This beautiful and amazingly scenic viewing point of the Paradise Mountain Range, Slate River Valley, Paradise Basin and so much more is one of my favorites in the world.