Paradise Divide

4.8/5 (31 reviews)
Crested Butte, Colorado (Gunnison County)
Last Updated: 11/24/2022

Trail Information


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 (31)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/02/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Open, but impassible. Last gothic there was a snow drift. Attempted to make it but it was too slick and deep. Decided to turn around and go up from waypoint 1. Tried making it to the 403 trail to hike. Made it to waypoint 5 and ran into deep snow drift just past Pittsburgh. Give it a few more weeks and it should be fine. Between waypoint 4-5 there was a very significant washout that dropped to the ravine but was passible.
Official Crew
Seasonal Closure
Visited: 11/24/2022

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

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

I would rate the difficulty 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).
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).

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