COVID-19: At REI, we encourage you to get outside responsibly. Stay local, avoid recreational travel, practice social distancing and check ahead for area and facility closures. Learn More
Trail Run Project Logo

Lead King Loop



12.9 mile 20.7 kilometer loop
86% Runnable


Ascent: 2,411' 735 m
Descent: -2,458' -749 m
High: 10,883' 3,317 m
Low: 8,576' 2,614 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Katie Stookesberry

A 13-mile jeep rd loop near Marble, that traverses to the Lead King Basin, Crystal City Ghost Town, and the Crystal Mill

Katie Stookesberry

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This a challenging loop that can be done as a trail run, long day hike, or mountain bike route. The trail begins close to Marble, and traverses through forests, valleys, open mountain areas, and along streams and rivers, on two unmaintained jeep roads. The trail gains a little over 3k feet.


The route is made up of jeep roads (Road #315 and #314), with a few switchbacks and portions of the road that are made up of very loose rock. In the early summer, you'll most likely come across at least 3-5 large stream/river crossings, and possibly some leftover snow from the winter.

If you start the loop going towards Lead King Basin first, ending with Lizard Lake and the Crystal Mill, the first 2 miles of the loop are steep and move up in elevation fast. The second 2.5 miles are more of a gradual build up to the peak at about 4.5 miles.

The mountain and valley views are fantastic from about 4 miles in until around 7 miles in. This route goes through the Lead King Basin, past the Lead King Mine, then through Crystal City ghost town and the famous Crystal Mill. The portion of the road from Crystal City back to Marble will be more dense with people and 4WD vehicles.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background


Rate This Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In


Jul 7, 2019
Chloe Ward
12.9mi — 3h 30m
Sep 15, 2018
Melissa Galvin
Most beautiful views in September. Steep ascent in the first 5 miles. 16mi — 3h 01m

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes


in Marble


  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Run Rankings


in Marble


in Colorado


26 Views Last Month
5,497 Since Jun 19, 2017



The Crystal Mill
Dec 6, 2014 near Crested…, CO
Lizard Lake
Dec 6, 2014 near Snowmas…, CO
When traveling clockwise, after topping out, you'll arrive to these views.
Sep 13, 2019 near Snowmas…, CO
Lead King Basin is expansive and beautiful.
Jun 19, 2017 near Snowmas…, CO
Crystal Mill
Jun 7, 2018 near Crested…, CO
Michelle takes in views of Snowmass Mountain during the spectacular descent into the Lead King Basin.
Sep 2, 2014 near Snowmas…, CO


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running