Paradise Divide

4.8/5 (30 reviews)
Crested Butte, Colorado (Gunnison County)
Last Updated: 11/24/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Paradise Divide is an easy and remarkably scenic loop in the vicinity of Crested Butte, Colorado. It traverses two river valleys and crosses Schofield Pass near the loop’s northern apex. The area supports an abundance of wildlife including moose, elk, deer and black bear. The road serves as a connector to numerous other 4WD roads, opening opportunities for many outdoor pursuits such as cycling, hiking, fishing, and camping. Autumn colors in this region are among the best in the Centennial State, so put Paradise Divide on your Fall travel agenda!

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.8/5 (30 reviews)
Todd
Official Crew
104550
Status: Seasonal Closure
Visited: 11/24/2022

Closed for the season! See you next year!
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/03/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Beautiful drive but not a 3 on difficulty.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/01/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

I would rate the difficult of this trail as a 1 or 2. No obstacles if just doing the loop. A few switchbacks. Plenty of pullouts and space for oncoming vehicles to pass. Got to see all the fall colors and sit above the clouds as we reached the fork for Schofield Pass and Paradise Divide. Plenty of stock vehicles and sedans on the trail. A lot of opportunities for photos. We hit all 4 seasons on this trail and it was breathtaking. Drove through very minimal snowfall, hail, rain, towards the summit we had heavy fog and cloud coverage and slick road and mud the entire trail. The lightning show at the end of the trail when we reached Emerald Lake was phenomenal. The only "real" obstacle in my opinion was the incline/decline - steep hill that leads into switchbacks (depending on which was you are going).
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/01/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Great loop in the mountains. I would consider the rating to be a but high normally. There's no obstacles but the shelf roads can get tricky, especially when wet. I drove it in the rain/snow/fog and wouldn't want to see inexperienced folks heading up toward Paradise Divide when wet. That said, when dry, I'd say this is a 2 (and perhaps even a 1 but a few narrow shelf road sections could bump it up).
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/27/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Beautiful trail with incredible views but I'm confused by the rating; I saw several minivans and small crossovers that had no issues doing the whole thing. It's basically just a dirt road with the occasional bump or two. There were good opportunities for camping with most campsites being occupied even on a Monday (probably because I was here during peak fall-color season). I ended up camping somewhere else and still had some incredible views and solitude.

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