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HomeHikingCrystal Mill Hike: Iconic Colorado

Crystal Mill Hike: Iconic Colorado

You’ve doubtless seen the photograph, however might not have identified find out how to attain it: Crystal Mill. The legendary Outdated West construction, in-built 1892 in the course of the silver growth, stands tall – but precariously as ever – within the beautiful again county of the White River Nationwide Forest. The Crystal Mill stays one of the photographed locations within the state, and seems on many High 10 lists for the mountain west, weaving its means into the guts of locals and vacationers alike.

The storied mill carries its thriller into the current day. Efforts are underway as of 2021 to protect it. Up till now, the landowners and waves of volunteers carried out small repairs to stabilize it. Greater than only a fairly photograph spot, this Instagrammer’s dream additionally helps layers of the native economic system. When visiting, you will note a donation field for a possibility to contribute to its preservation. Additionally, if you wish to proceed past the rope on the web site, you should pop into the Common Retailer in Marble to safe and signal a waiver (as of this submit, it price $10). Please be respectful to the non-public property house owners alongside everything of FR314.

Discover the total Crystal Mill Hike profile under for path map, driving instructions, and extra suggestions and particulars that will help you take pleasure in this basic Colorado web site!

Path Snapshot: Crystal Mill Hike

crystal mill in winter

Crystal Mill: A Colorado Treasure

Parking & Trailhead Info for Crystal Mill

From Denver, heading west on I-70, take exit 116 towards Snowmass/Aspen, which is State Route 82. Comply with 82 East for roughly 12 miles to the flip off for State Route 133, showing on the appropriate. Comply with 133 South by Carbondale and proceed for roughly 21 miles. The street passes by Redstone, the place curious vacationers can go to the historic “Coke Ovens”. (Nope, this isn’t the comfortable drink or the narcotic!) Shortly after, flip left onto County Highway 3. About six miles down CR3 the street enters Mable, CO.

County Highway 3 turns into Park Road; curve left (north) onto West 2nd Road, then proper (east) on West 2nd Road. Flip left (north) onto West 1st Road, then proper onto Predominant Road. Flip left (north) on East 2nd Road, then proper (east) on Silver Road, heading towards and round Beaver Lake. (If all of that sounds remarkably complicated, relaxation simple. Marble may be very small, and there are indicators indicating the route towards Crystal Mill. It’s less complicated than it reads!) After the lake, at what visibly seems like the tip of the road, there’s a small car parking zone on the left. An indication designates the remainder of the street is appropriate for top clearance autos, solely.

Word: Alongside the way in which, about 18 miles after the turnoff onto 133 South and simply past Redstone, the Hayes Creek Falls Waterfall graces the facet of the street. This non-obligatory cease offers a burst of refreshment from the drive — or from the 9-mile Crystal Mill Hike!

The Hike: Crystal Mill

From the car parking zone, the path begins by persevering with straight up the street to the east. Barely past the three/4-mile mark, the street splits. Up and to the left results in Lead King Basin; the Crystal Mill hike follows the street to the appropriate and down the hill, alongside Forest Highway 314 (search for the small brown signal with “314” aligned vertically), a.okay.a. CR3.

crystal mill FR314

Turnoff onto FR314

Now, set the cruise management. The stroll from right here clocks just below 4 miles one-way. Through the summer season, the trail typically attracts ATVs and 4×4 lovers; the autumn brings breath-taking aspen colours and their followers. This submit paperwork a winter trek, on which a single snowmobile handed by. Inside this blessed solitude, the river basin, Crystal Mill, and the ghost city of Crystal stood frozen in time and silence. On that word, sensible hikers will double-check the Colorado Avalanche Info Heart previous to stepping out in journey. Whereas this route sometimes poses minimal threat, be alert to the slopes above the street and be taught the indicators of compromised snow fields. On the 1-1/4 mile mark, the path wraps round the appropriate facet of Lizard Lake, typically a vacation spot in itself.

lizard lake

Lizard Lake

From the southeast finish of the lake, the path drifts leisurely on a ridge above Crystal River. Regardless of the season, the river valley flooring sparkles. With light elevation adjustments and no threat of taking a fallacious flip, mountaineering the remaining 3-1/4 miles is pure delight. Upon reaching the mill, the awe-inspiring nature of this historic landmark is not possible to overlook. And if time and climate allow, these with power and curiosity can proceed up the street one other a couple of paces to the precise city of Crystal. Through the summer season months, this typically serves as an outpost for impromptu picnics. To return to the trailhead, reverse the route.

crystal river road and valley

The Crystal River

Crystal Mill resides on my Mother’s all-time “Should see!” listing in Colorado. Whether or not by foot or 4×4, I hope she will get to see it and take 1,000 photos.

Ideas & Sources for Climbing to the Crystal Mill

  • TIP: Whereas the distant location deters some, the sheer reputation of the location beckons individuals from throughout. The small car parking zone fills quick in summer season and autumn, and even within the winter it may be full. Think about a mid-week go to or plan to go early.
  • Path Map: Crystal Mill Hike
  • Packing Listing: At all times pack the ten Necessities. Obtain our Climbing Information to get the listing and dayhiking packing guidelines. Moreover, take a while to evaluate our 10 Winter Climbing Ideas.
  • Colorado Highway Circumstances: Colorado Highway Circumstances
  • After the Hike: Get some again nation BBQ at Sluggish Groovin’! Simply word rigorously that they function from Could 1st – October thirty first.


Map & Driving Instructions

Click on for Driving Instructions



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