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Paradise Divide

Saturday & Sunday, July 28-29, 2012

On Saturday morning, Amanda and I took a leisurely drive over Kebler Pass to spend a nice and relaxed weekend in the Elk Mountains just outside of Crested Butte.

On our way, I stopped a few times along Kebler Pass to take photos of the many aspen trees found here.

Aspen Chaos by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A view along Kebler Pass Road. It’s been a few years since I came this way to photograph the fall colors, so I think I might need to return again in a few months…

Kebler Pass Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After reaching Crested Butte, we continued through town and then followed the Slate River up to the Paradise Divide. This was where we were planning on camping, so we found a spot and setup our tent before the afternoon storms started. We had a great view from camp!

Paradise Camp by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After setting up camp, we took our time and drove down into Paradise Basin and then continued over Schofield Pass and then to Gothic. When we made it back to Crested Butte we stopped at The Brick Over Pizzeria for an early dinner and then drove back up to camp to relax for the evening.

As we drove back up Paradise Basin, I stopped for a photo of the dramatic light on Mount Baldy.

Paradise Basin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were a lot of clouds in the sky blocking the light at sunset, but some light did manage to peek through for a few minutes…and I was there waiting to catch it.

Mount Baldy Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the beautiful light striking Mount Baldy.

Mount Baldy by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

While waiting to see if the sun would make another appearance, this rainbow appeared over the Slate River Valley, and I was able to catch it’s reflection in the pond.

Rainbow Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s another Mount Baldy reflection I took before hiking away from the small pond for the evening.

Another Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The last light of the day strikes the Red Lady (Mount Emmons) across the Slate River Valley before I hiked back to camp for the night.

Red Lady by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After a decent night of sleep I was up early to take a few more photos as the sun was coming up. I hiked back down to the small pond for another reflection shot.

Paradise Morning by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The first light illuminates the Purple Mountain and part of the Ruby Range.

Ruby Range by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There was even the appearance of another rainbow over the Ruby Range.

Ruby Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I took a lot of reflection photos this weekend, including this one of Cinnamon Mountain after the sun had come up.

Cinnamon Mountain Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before getting ready to break down camp and start our journey back home, I decided to climb the 12,293 foot Cinnamon Mountain which towered above our campsite. I started following a trail that looked like it might take me up to the peak, but it ended after just a short distance.

Here’s a photo looking back down on Paradise Divide from the trail I started following. If you look closely, you can see our tent.

Looking Back by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Once the trail disappeared I had to find my own route up to the peak. As I was hiking across the mountain I came across this open vertical mine shaft. I’m not sure how deep it was, but it was filled with water.

Mine Shaft by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

To reach the final ridge I had to walk up this loose and steep slope.

No Path Up by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Once I gained the final ridge, it was easy walking with great views on both sides to the top of Cinnamon Mountain.

Cinnamon Mountain Ridge by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A view of Purple Mountain from the ridge with Yule Pass in the notch to it’s right.

Purple Mountain by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Treasury Mountain is found on the other side of Yule Pass.

Treasury Mountain by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After hiking back down, we took down camp and left Paradise Divide to start the drive home. Cinnamon Mountain is behind my Jeep in this photo and you can see Yule Pass to the left.

Leaving Paradise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We drove back through Crested Butte and took Kebler Pass back again. I stopped at this nice view of East Beckwith Mountain and think I might return to it in the fall for a photo when the colors are going off.

East Beckwith Mountain by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

An aspen grows out of a large patch of bright green ferns.

Green & White by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Surrounded by aspens on our drive home.

Under the Trees by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It was another nice weekend spent camping and relaxing in the mountains. It doesn’t hurt that there was also some nice light and a few cool rainbows, too!

>> Paradise Divide Photo Gallery


  1. Andrew
    Andrew August 6, 2012

    Recently found your blog. Great material and gorgeous photography. Keep up the great work!

  2. Randy Langstraat
    Randy Langstraat August 7, 2012

    Thank you, Andrew!

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