ON THE EDGE
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
At Colorado Backcountry Trailers we take our motto “Go Where Others Can’t” seriously. We believe that our packed-full-of-features Timberline trailer can out perform any comparably equipped trailer on the market today. To prove that point we are going to search out some of the toughest 4-wheel drive trails in Colorado and test our trailers capabilities. On the Edge will feature where we went and how we did. For the most difficult trails we will be pulling the trailer behind our Polaris RZR 1000 or Ranger 900. For the others we will use a Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road. If you do try to follow us up the trail, do so at your own risk and only if you are an experienced off-roader.
Our first journey takes us from Crystal Mill to Lead King Basin along the old Lead King Basin Trail. This is 1.5 miles of expert only 4-wheel drive terrain, not the dirt road alternate. The trail is rocky and narrow, full of ledges and big boulders. At times the trail drops off shear cliffs several hundred feet to the stream below. It is not for the faint of heart; or the sanest of us. Getting to the falls at Crystal Mill is the easy part. Heading east out of Marble, Colorado you follow a gravel road for approximately 1.2 miles. There is a sign pointing down for the Town of Crystal 4 miles away. The road is still very passable for most 4-wheel drive vehicles. After spending a few minutes soaking up the beauty of the falls and the cool mill ruins we continued east thru the Town of Crystal. This town dates to 1860’s and still has a few occupants most of the year. When the weather is good check out the books at the bookstore. We go slow through Town as people live here during the summer months.
Just east of Crystal is a junction in the trail. The right heads east toward Crested Butte but we turned north to the old Lead King Basin Trail. The bright yellow “expert only” sign on the right was worth reading. Once we started up it is almost impossible to turn around (especially with a trailer) and we needed to keep going all the way up to Lead King Basin. We found going slow over the rock ledges and speeding up over the loose rock was the best way to take the trailer along for the ride. We had difficulty at one ledge that ran diagonally across the trail tipping the trailer perilously close to a long drop-off. With Morgan getting out and holding the right side down we were able to navigate the ledge and arrive safely at the Basin.
Setting up camp for a few days of hiking and enjoying the Colorado Mountains was a breeze. Setup only takes a few minutes and after a hike up to Geneva Lake we were eager to cook a full meal on the 3 burner stove. Since I usually draw the short straw I also like have instant hot water to do dishes.