10 hours ago
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Have you ever had one of those places you go visit every year and you never get tired of seeing it
We have been 4 wheeling over Schofield Pass and into Lead King Basin for years and never does it look the same. We usually do this day trip in late August or September. It is at it's best during the fall colors as there are so many aspens up around there.
The day starts with a 20 min drive from our house, and we are always amazed that we live in such a beautiful place that we can pack a lunch and drive a few miles and have the most gorgeous scenery almost at our doorstep. We park at Beaver Lake which is right past Marble Co.The road past Beaver Lake changes dramatically within a few miles and this would be no Sunday afternoon drive with the family in the Jeep Cherokee. I feel safe on a 4 wheeler, but you do see some major 4 wheel drive vehicles on this road. And Occasionally a tourist that has gotten bad information and thought they could get over to Crested Butte in their SUV. These tourists are usually trying to find a spot to turn around and there aren't many of those once you get past Lizard lake.The worst part of this section has a steep cliff on your right side heading up, and if you look down towards the river crashing through you will see an unfortunate ending to a Sunday drive.The town of Crystal and the Crystal Mill which is one of the most photographed places in Co is about 5 miles past Lizard Lake and you can't get enough pictures while your there. The Mill is a pretty awesome place to take pictures. There is so much energy there with the river crashing around the old Mill. While we were there this year there was a crew renovating the mill so pictures were a little different on this years trip.The town of Crystal is also interesting and so full of history. This is a picture of the Crystal Club Saloon which was a gentlemans club in the towns heyday.At the top of Schofield Pass the Crystal River (which is the same river that runs through my backyard by the way) crashes down into what is called the Devils Punchbowl and the road up there is the most dangerous section, I've heard there have been quite a few jeeps that have gone over into the punchbowl and a few deaths. The road is pretty darn scary on a 4 wheeler so I can't imagine being in anything bigger.Lead King Loop is just a short drive up the road from the town of Crystal. You take a sharp left at the fork or go straight to Schofield Pass. Lead King Basin is just incredible views every direction you look.
Before you get to the basin there are some campsites next to the North Fork of the Crystal River. A great place to stop and have lunch next to one of the many waterfalls crashing through that section of the river.Then you continue over the loop and the views just get better the farther you go. You end up on the main road right before Beaver Lake.
Another great day spent in this beautiful country, and this year we were able to share it with my brother and his wife.