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Crystal Mill

Marble

Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado

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Crystal Mill

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  • Beaver Lake is just outside of Marble.- Crystal Mill
  • Beginning the initial ascent up Co Rd 3.- Crystal Mill
  • The road travels up fairly quickly.- Crystal Mill
  • Trail junction. Turn right to go to Crystal Mill. - Crystal Mill
  • Creek crossing. - Crystal Mill
  • Lizard Lake. - Crystal Mill
  • Co Rd 3 is narrow and exposed in sections. - Crystal Mill
  • The road to Crystal Mill.- Crystal Mill
  • Crystal Mill.- Crystal Mill
  • Crystal Mill.- Crystal Mill
  • Crystal Mill.- Crystal Mill
  • Crystal Mill.- Crystal Mill
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Scenery. Historical interest.
Cons: 
Only accessible via rough four-wheel drive road.
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Region:
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, CO
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Points of Interest:
Historical landmark, Viewpoint, Waterfall
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Clear throughout the day.
67°F
42°

Thu

Drizzle until afternoon.
54°F
37°

Fri

Light rain until evening.
49°F
34°

Sat

Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening.
44°F
28°

Sun

Mostly cloudy starting in the evening.
45°F
21°

Mon

Mostly cloudy starting in the afternoon.
51°F
25°

Tue

Light rain starting in the afternoon.
53°F
29°
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Perched atop a rock outcrop above a waterfall on the Crystal River, Crystal Mill was constructed in 1893 and used a powerhouse water turbine to generate compressed air for silver miners nearby. When the Sheep Mountain Mine closed in 1917, the mill was shut down. It was then placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

One of the most photographed sites in Colorado, the mill is located 6 miles east of the small town of Marble and is accessed primarily by four-wheel drive vehicles, although hiking and mountain biking are also possible.

The journey begins at Beaver Lake, and the road quickly shifts to a steep uphill grade beyond the lake. Hikers will feel their heart racing within the first few steps. Mountain bikers will likely shift down to their smallest gear as they roll over rough terrain. Perhaps the smartest travelers hire a jeep guide out of Marble to venture down the steep, exposed, narrow road.

After about 1.5 miles, take a right at the intersection with Lost Trail Road and descend a half mile to Lizard Lake between Sheep Mountain and Hat Mountain. The road’s profile rises and falls as it follows the river another 4 miles back into the canyon where history and nature collide at the mill.

 

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(14 within a 30 mile radius)

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