Emerald LakeThis route is based on the Treasury Mountain Group Combination and is the starting point for it. However, it is OK to use this just to approach Mount Baldy.
This route gives you a great perspective of the area. You will be starting at stunning Emerald Lake which is located at the bottom of Paradise Basin. As you are hiking up you are veiw mostly the Raggeds Wilderness and the Gothic quadrangle and on the summit you are looking at the Oh-Be-Joyful quadrangle and the most of the Ruby Range around Crested Butte. If you plan on just hiking this route for Mount Baldy and nothing else, it would be a short day hike and a good opportunity to view the area.
From Buena Vista, make a left onto US 285. From there make a right onto US 50 up and over Monarch Pass and continue onto Gunnison. From Gunnison go North onto US 135 to Crested Butte. From here, go into Gothic and follow the winding road until you get to the one lake along the way. You will see a road to the left which leads to the front of the lake. You can park here. A passenger car would do fine on the Gothic road until you make the left turn into Paradise Basin. From here it is considered to be 4WD road but I'd recommend driving until you get to a spot where you question if you will be safe going over it. The road has many pull offs so you could park anywhere on the road.
Visual of the route
Once your at Emerald Lake. You should start at the mini parking area at the front of the lake and head towards the tree line to the west. You will be going through mild trees for about .4 miles. Now you are on the ridge. You will encounter 3 brutal false summits on the way. The distance from the end of tree line/the beginning of the ridge to the summit is roughly 1 mile.
The terrain coming up is made mostly of shale rock and combined with the steep slope makes this route a Class 2+ but for people who are used to this kind of terrain, it would be just a mild Class 2.
Make sure you follow the tree line to the ridge, if you just decide to go up the East face, you are not on a specified route and your encountering Class 3-4 slopes so I'd recommend following the specified route it I were you.
If you are doing the Treasury Group Combination, from the summit descend down the west ridge to Paradise Divide. From here the trail up Cinnamon Mountain B is visible.
Standard hiking boots and basic hiking gear would be essential.