Devil's Punchbowl Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Every year, thousands of tourists drive their SUVs to the famous Crystal Mill and the historic town of Crystal. Only the most serious four-wheelers continue up through the Devil’s Punchbowl. Drivers with some experience, who don’t wish to tackle the Devil’s Punchbowl, can loop back to Marble via Lead King Basin. This should not be attempted when the trail is wet. Both the Devil’s Punchbowl and Lead King Basin are open to ATVs. Stay on marked routes at all times. The first portion of the trail to the Crystal Mill is rocky but doable in a stock 4x4. East of the town of Crystal, the road becomes extremely narrow as it climbs steeply along the daunting vertical walls of Crystal Canyon. You may have to back up a long distance if you meet an oncoming vehicle. Rock slides are common and occasionally close the trail. Snow lingers in the shadows of the canyon most of the summer. There have been years when this part of the trail has not opened at all. The group with which I traveled included a stock Cherokee. It struggled in spots but managed, with an experienced driver, to complete the entire trail without damage. (Note: Several fatal accidents have occurred on this trail, including the worst in Colorado history. In July of 1970, nine tourists died when their vehicle plummeted off the ledge above the Devil’s Punchbowl.)"