Customer’s often ask when will the leaves turn or be at their peak and I usually say the climax is around September 25th to the 27th. However, not this year! With cooling temps and the added moisture that the Fall brings, this year it’s already happening. The leaves are turning, the landscape/view is turning surreal and there’s a certain chill to the air. Personally I love wearing sweaters in the morning, but not for long as the powerful sun clears out the valley floor and brings warmth to us all. If fewer crowds and epic views are what you yearn for, then we surely have your fix.
The Slate River Road provides access to the Oh-Be-Joyful zone, which is a very popular camping area. There is a regulated and paid campground of Oh-Be-Joyful, but having rented a specialized Jeep, you have the access to drive further down the valley. The further you go from the town of Crested Butte, the quieter, more peaceful and beautiful it gets. Drive past the town site of Pittsburgh and Daisy Pass, you will find an elevated mesa if you will which hosts many designated campsites which include fire pits. Our specialized Jeeps easily provide access to camp in this beautiful playground and much more.
One of the more quiet and peaceful adventures in our zone, the West Brush Creek and Pearl Pass Roads trails provide hours of quality Jeeping. Starting only a few miles out of the Town of Crested Butte, Colorado the pavement ends at the private airport and neighborhood Buckhorn Ranch. Motoring on the dirt road, it is important to keep an eye out for bicyclists, cows and nice old friendly ranchers and their wiry dogs. A few miles back you come to a sign and turn-off as shown on the photo. West Brush Creek Road is to the left. Start here and take the next left about a mile past these signs for a dead-end scenic overlook. This is a great spot to walk out to the ridge and take a few photos. The gate keeps vehicles from continuing into the wilderness area. So turn around and continue North or left on the West Brush Creek Road. It is recommended to turn on the 4WD in the high setting until you reach the flats towards the end of the trip. This will aid you as you cross the creek and gain in elevation and other hazards. There is a large mud hole towards the top 1/3 of the trail. I tell people to take it on the left and stay out of the large potholes. Once you come to the end of the road, stop and let the vehicle cool down and don’t forget to smell the roses! This trail provides access to an amazingly beautiful overlook underneath the Teocalli Mountain, so get out and take some photos.
After a break, turn around back to the turn off in the photo. Take a left onto Pearl Pass Road and go slow as soon you will be on an overhang with no room to turn around. This section mandates concentration, focus and a cool head. Luckily it doesn’t last long and after a deep (at times) creek crossing you’re cruising again. This section is a scenic stretch of beaver ponds, fishing holes and world class single-track trails.
To keep our customers and Jeeps safe, we allow customers up until the third creek crossing. This keeps it simple, the first two creeks are ok to cross if the water levels are low and you have our permission at the time of pickup. This way we all have the current trail conditions to help make better decisions and route finding. In no way are our Jeeps to attempt to cross the third creek!
All of our renters are given a map, detailed instructions and current trail conditions to best serve our customers and keep everyone safe.
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.
Well it has surely been a wet and wacky spring up here in the high country. Luckily warm weather and plenty of sunshine, just what we’re used to this time of year, has arrived. Access too many of the amazing hiking and mtn. biking trails is open and specifically access to the Paradise Divide and Schofield Pass is open on the Crested Butte side to Jeeps. Oh yeah and the wildflowers have just starting to pop, making our little piece of paradise open for business.
According to the Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce and the Gunnison County Public Works, as long as “everything holds (today) and we do not have any more issues due to saturated soils we will open Kebler at 4:00 PM. Cottonwood will open at 4:00 PM as well.” McClure Pass will be closed today between 11:30am and 3:00 pm. Which means the fast and easy route to Aspen is open and the short cut to Denver is a go!