Along The Aspen Marble Detour
CRYSTAL RIVER JEEP TOURS
“We don’t bounce, we rock!”
“Open from June 1 to October 1. For more information or reservations call (970) 963-1991. Email or visit our website crystalriverjeeptour.smithfamilycolorado.com
Crystal River Jeep Tours is located in Marble, Colorado, where the pavement ends and the beauty begins. CRJT was established in 1951 and ranks among the oldest adventure tour operations in the state. Take one of our guided tours to historic Crystal City and the Crystal Mill, experience the breathtaking views and wild flowers along the Lead King Basin road or the valley panorama from the top of Sheep Mountain. Overlook the Yule Marble Quarry from Treasure Mountain, or experience the Devils Punch Bowl at the foot of Schofield Pass.”
“Our guided tours are an experience found nowhere else in the world, which skirt the edge of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness area in the White River National Forest. The road to Crystal City and Lead King Basin follows the trail blazed by settlers, prospectors and miners over a century ago, and is still today as pristine. The upper Crystal River Valley is ranked among the top locations in the state for viewing wild flowers and fall colors.
Let our tour guides negotiate the difficult terrain in our heavy duty Jeeps, while you ride along and enjoy the grandeur of the Crystal River valley. We also provide transportation services for photography, hiking, fishing and hunting. Bring your gear, we’ll get you there and back.”
“CRJT Drivers All of our drivers are retirees. We call it the “antique tours with the antique drivers” because we figure if you are over 50, you are an antique. Especially when driving one of the antique Jeeps. And if we drive the road correctly we should rock you more than bounce you. We don’t bounce, we rock…”
“CRJT is dedicated to giving our customers the best tour experience possible — safely, courteously and knowledgeably. As a business CRJT has not changed its rates appreciably since its founding, thus drivers do not make much salary. As retirees our goal is to supplement our retirement incomes doing something we love. If your tour guide is safe, courteous, knowledgeable and at least a little entertaining we encourage you to leave a tip.”
GUIDED TOURS DESCRIPTION AND PRICING
“Crystal River Jeep Tours: Crystal Mill For an adventure off the beaten path, come to the Marble area with its mining past, historic towns and dramatic mountain scenery. We operate well maintained, heavy duty Jeeps and our tour guides are all experienced off-road drivers with a broad knowledge of the history and geography of the area, and trained annually in CPR and first aid procedures.
We recommend you bring a coat or wind breaker, hat, water, tennis shoes or hiking boots, insect repellent, sun block, and that you dress in layers. Don’t forget your brown bag lunch if the tour requires it. Don’t forget your wallet for the Crystal Store and Crystal Tale Books.”
“Our vehicles are open Jeeps equipped with first aid kit, fire extinguisher, ponchos and a tarp for safety and protection. Weather at high altitudes is unpredictable — mountain storms form with little notice (our tours range from 8000 to 11000 feet elevation).
Storage is limited – small 12-pack sized coolers and day packs only please (each Jeep is also equipped with one small cooler (24 pack) and ice packs if you do not have your own). Be prepared for a rocking, dusty ride over the same trail our fore-bearers blazed when they settled the area. Above all, do not forget your camera and binoculars.”
“All tours depart from Marble. We recommend you arrive 15 minutes early to make payment, sign waivers and get loaded in your Jeep. Note that we DO NOT transport pets, however we may have a pet sitter available.”
“Reservations recommended. Walk-ins are welcome. For reservations call (970) 963-1991. For the 2018 Season: Open from June 1 until November 30. Depending on snow melt and snow build up. Oct/Nov by reservation only. All Tours: Children under 5 free, age 5-9 half-price, age 10 and over full fare. We DO NOT allow car seats or pets. All Tours: If you want a private tour, let us know. Otherwise, we will fill the Jeep with strangers. It’s part of the adventure.”
“Crystal Mill Tour: $125.00 per person (1 passenger). $100.00 per person (2 passengers). $75.00 per person (3 or more passengers). This tour takes you to the historic Crystal Mill and Crystal City, 20 minute stops at each site. Your Jeep will traverse the mountain road blazed by settlers in the late 1800’s, which is still in about the same condition. See Lizard Lake, overlook the Crystal River from the shelf roads, see natural spring water falls, wildlife, the Sheep Mountain cliffs towering 2000 feet above and the unmatched beauty of the Upper Crystal River Valley.
Lead King Basin Loop Tour: $150.00 per person (1 passenger). $120.00 per person (2 passengers). $100.00 per person (3 or more passengers). Departure Time: 10:00 am. Duration: 5 hours. This 18 mile, 10,500 foot summit, loop tour includes incredible wildflower covered alpine meadows, panoramic views of the valley and peaks, 20 minute stops at Silver Creek, Coors Falls (lunch stop), Crystal City, and the historic Crystal Mill. The road borders the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area in the White River National Forest. Brown bag lunch recommended.
Silver Creek Trailhead: $210.00 per person (1-2 passengers). $195.00 per person (3-4 passengers). Duration: 7 hours. The Lead King Loop tour on steroids, also called the ‘antique tour with the antique driver’. Ride in one of our antique Willys Jeeps, or any other Jeep in our fleet. Numerous photo stops, plus experience a side trip to the Devils Punchbowl. Brown bag lunch recommended.
Sheep Mountain Tour: Crystal City from Inspiration Point: $130.00 per person (2 passengers). $100.00 per person (3 or more passengers). Duration: 5 hours. Sheep Mountain is a ridge that extends 4 miles up the valley, peaking at 11,500 feet. From the summit we will take you on moderate hikes to Inspiration Point (overlooking Crystal City, the Old Mill, and Lead King Basin), and the narrow west ridge overlooking the Lower Crystal River Valley at Marble, and the numerous peaks surrounding the valley. A panoramic view of the Crystal River Valley. Brown bag lunch recommended.
Trailheads: Lost Trail: $60.00 (2 passenger minimum). Silver Creek: $80.00 (2 passenger minimum). Geneva Lake:$100.00 (2 passenger minimum)
Transportation for photography, camping, hiking, hunters and outdoorsmen. We will drop you off at the trailhead or campsite, and comeback and get you at a prearranged time. We do not use Jeeps for this service. We are currently using a 6-seat Polaris giving us 5 passenger max.This service is offered only with an early morning departure and late afternoon pick-up. Call for confirmation and rates. Bring your gear, we will get you there and back. One overnight backpack per passenger. Other baggage additional charge.
Fall Colors Additional time: $50.00 per hour per person. Groups: 10% discount for groups of more than 10. Maximum 15 at one time.”
When to Come?
“Early June the road to Crystal will have only recently opened. The Lead King loop may or may not be open early. The river, creeks and falls will be running high and fast, shedding the runoff from the previous winters snow fall. You will see alpine wild flowers beginning to bloom, including Columbine, the state flower. The mountain peaks will still have heavy snow fields on their summits.
Late June through July the alpine flowers will be in full bloom, carpeting the hillside on the Lead King Basin loop as we skirt the wilderness area. The river will be running clear as crystal, back to a normal flow. The road to Sheep Mountain will have opened allowing unprecedented views of the upper valley. Much of the high mountain snow will be melting.
Throughout the spring season the climate will be cool mornings and evenings, and temperate days with daily rain showers. Note that opening day depends on the snow melt.”
“Summer, July to September
July through early August the flora and fauna of the area will be in full swing reproducing and reestablishing itself in hopes of surviving the winter soon to follow. In August the fall perennial flowers will still be blooming. In September you may experience snow flurries in the high country and the trees may be turning colors preparing for autumn which generally begins mid-September. Prime fishing begins as the waters recede. Rains are generally short showers.
Fall Colors, Autumn, September to October
Mid-September to early October see the autumn colors in the Rockies. The Crystal River valley is among the top areas in the state for fall colors. Gold and red-tinged aspen groves, russet oak, orange mountain ash, green pines and more. Rain, mixed with sleet or snow, could occur anytime. Dress warmly in layers.
Winter, October to November
Tours during this period are dependent on snowfall and road conditions to Crystal City. We chain up all four tires and the road is actually smoother because the snow packs down over the rocks. We will not put tops on the Jeeps, dress accordingly. We highly recommend you call ahead during this period, because if there are no tour reservations we will shut down for the season.”
CRYSTAL RIVER JEEP TOURS
“We don’t bounce, we rock!”
. . .
Along The Aspen Marble Detour
. . .