This driving loop gets you up into the mountains offering spectacular views. This is my favorite driving loop in the area during the mid summer. Most SUVs can do this loop as long as there is no snow and you are comfortable driving along steep drops. I have been doing this loop over the years in my Subaru Outback, but cannot recommend it to fellow owners being that I scrape my front and back end through several sections of the road. That being said, the trip starts in town and heads up Gothic Road past the ski resort where the road turns to dirt. As you continue up the road you will pass the old mining town site of Gothic, several trailheads and even a beautiful lake called Emerald because of the color it receives from the snow melt. Once you reach the pass on Gothic (known as Schofield Pass) you will take a left to head into Paradise Divide. At Paradise Divide you will have great views of several surrounding mountains, including Purple Mountain in which this Crested Butte Bed and Breakfast was named after. You then can continue on heading back by taking the only road off to your left. This road winds down along a steep drop off that can bother some folks. Once you have passed this section in the road you have a choice of taking your first left and coming back Washington Gulch Rd. (my favorite way because of the views) or continuing down in which you will drive down a series of switchbacks until you get to Slate River Rd. Either way will lead you back to Gothic Road which, with a right hand turn, will bring you back to town. On this day I happened to see a deer which you can see in the bottom left-hand picture. If you do not feel like driving this I am happy to help you set up a 4x4 guided trip. Some guests who like to mountain bike on dirt roads also enjoy this loop for a ride.
For more information on Crested Butte Trails click here