Devil's Punchbowl

Total Miles
10.6

Elevation

3,268.34 ft

Duration

2 Hours

Technical Rating

5

Difficult

Best Time

Spring, Fall

Trail Overview

This route takes you over Schofield Pass. You're sure to run into some tourists around Crystal Mill, which is a very popular tourist destination. The run through Crystal Canyon will take you to Devil's Punchbowl, a swimming pool of water underneath a majestic waterfall.

Photos of Devil's Punchbowl

Devil's Punchbowl
Devil's Punchbowl
Devil's Punchbowl

Difficulty

Difficult. First portion of trail to the Crystal Mill is rocky. East of Crystal, the road becomes extremely narrow as it climbs steeply along the daunting vertical walls of Crystal Canyon. Dangerous backing required to pass. Rock slides and lingering snow can close the trail at any time. Novice drivers should avoid section between Wpts. 03 and 04. Although not recommended for stock SUVs, experienced drivers can reach the town of Crystal but should not continue. Low-range, skid plates are a must.

History

Crystal, a silver mining camp in the 1880s, served many mines in the area and once had a population of more than 400. Silver was mined from crystalline quartz, after which the town was named. Several historic buildings still remain. Several fatal accidents have occurred on this trail, including the worst in Colorado history. In July 1970, nine tourists died when their vehicle plummeted off the ledge above the Devil's Punchbowl.

Technical Rating

5

Status Reports

Andrew Johnson
Nov 08, 2023
2022 Ford Bronco
Obstructed
Deep Snow
Tom Fuchs
Oct 21, 2023
4x4
Obstructed
Deep Snow
Dusty Curtis
Sep 17, 2023
4x4
Open
Normal
Charlie Primm
Aug 31, 2023
2017 Jeep Wrangler
Open
Rough/Deteriorated

Access Description

From Glenwood Springs: Take Highways 82 and 133 south past Redstone. Follow signs east to Marble on F.S. 314 before McClure Pass. Zigzag through Marble on 314 until you reach the parking area (not staging) next to Beaver Lake. From Crested Butte: Follow directions for Paradise Divide, Trail #28, and turn left on F.S. 317 at Schofield Pass.

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