4 Wheeling and Jeep Trails
CAUTION: The road between Marble and Crested Butte (CR3 via Schofield Pass) can be treacherous.
The old mining road (circa 1890’s) between Marble and Crystal City, including Lead King Basin and the Devils Punchbowls, ranks among the top 4-wheeling locations in the State of Colorado. Sections of the road are challenging to even the most experienced drivers. Jeep, ATV and other off-road vehicles frequent the road from May to October. Activities include fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and sightseeing. Please keep in mind you are surrounded by wilderness areas so please stay on the established roadway and pack out what you pack in.
A favorite pastime of locals is telling stories about unfortunate tourists and other unsuspecting drivers, following their GPS or MapQuest routing, who attempt to take Gunnison County Road 3, via Schofield Pass. Many of which end up with a sizable tow truck bill before getting back on the right track.
For a map of the trail go here: http://www.crystalriverjeeptour.smithfamilycolorado.com/Graphics/Route.htm
Hiking the Jeep Trails
If you decide to attempt the road to Crystal City or Lead King Basin, please keep in mind the following: It is a very rough road and you need to be prepared. Please make sure you pack water, food, a jacket, sunscreen, hat, etc. This is a 6 mile jeep trail that is steep and rocky. You will be walking on the road and will need to keep an eye out for ATV's and traffic.
If you decide to attempt the road to Crystal City or Lead King Basin, please keep in mind the following rules of off-road etiquette.
Right-of-way. Please yield the right-of-way to hikers, horses, bicyclists, and vehicles going up hill.
Leave no trace. Pack it in, pack it out. If you see trash on the trail, pick it up.
Do not go off the trail and do not widen the trail. Millions of acres that once were available to off-roaders are now closed because of improper use. Every time someone misuses a trail it puts everyone that much closer to losing more ground. Please respect the area you are in and try to enhance the image of off-roaders, not erode it.
When you really have to go, bring a shovel. Solid waste should be buried at least 6 inches deep and 100 yards from any campsite and/or water. There is a public outhouse in Crystal City behind the store.
Air down your tires. This improves traction and helps prevent punctures (20-25 psi recommended).
Don’t harass the wildlife. And don’t let your pet do it either. Keep them under control. By law all pets must be leashed while in the White River National Forest areas.
Do not speed. Excessive speed, and the noise and dust that go with it, is no ones friend off-road. Our drivers average 2.5 mph on the trail and rarely spin a wheel. If you do not have four-wheel drive, you probably should not attempt this road. If you want to ride a motocross or race off-road, find a track.
Be prepared. Water, food, spare tire and jack come to mind. Sensible footwear and dressing in layers helps as well.
Read this web page: Tread Lightly responsible recreation.