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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
A closer look at the beautiful light striking Mount Baldy.
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.
Here’s another Mount Baldy reflection I took before hiking away from the small pond for the evening.
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.
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.
The first light illuminates the Purple Mountain and part of the Ruby Range.
There was even the appearance of another rainbow over the Ruby Range.
I took a lot of reflection photos this weekend, including this one of Cinnamon Mountain after the sun had come up.
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.
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.
To reach the final ridge I had to walk up this loose and steep slope.
Once I gained the final ridge, it was easy walking with great views on both sides to the top of Cinnamon Mountain.
A view of Purple Mountain from the ridge with Yule Pass in the notch to it’s right.
Treasury Mountain is found on the other side of Yule Pass.
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.
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.
An aspen grows out of a large patch of bright green ferns.
Surrounded by aspens on our drive home.
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!