We encountered a lot of hikers with dogs, dirt bikes and side by sides on the trail down to the bridge, after the bridge it’s definitely not as narrow and scary but the first section after the bridge had a small washout along the drop off.

From Marble – You’ll need a 4×4 with high-clearance to reach Crystal. I'm sure in peak season you'll run into more vehicles, but when we visited in off-season, we only saw 2 vehicles during the whole 9 miles. I understand why you feel this way, but I don’t agree. - AllTrails lists this hike as 6.3 miles, but my GPS said 9 miles from parking to the mill and back. Its placid waters beckon to come back again for a li'l kayaking adventure. Next, you'll walk through Crystal, CO, an old ghost town on the upper Crystal River in Gunnison County. In less than a mile, you'll find yourself at a second stream crossing. The road was rocky, for sure, with a water crossing or two in places, but any high-clearance, 4WD vehicle could manage it in fair weather conditions. Its rugged appearance gives it a ghostly haunted feel. I used hiking poles but Derek didn't, so that part is personal preference. This ensures that if you meet another vehicle, one of you can maneuver mostly out of the way and let the other pass. The mountains provide a picturesque backdrop and aspens frame the Crystal River as it courses down a small waterfall and edges the side of the mill before continuing on to Marble, farther down the valley. The actual mill lost its battle with nature many years ago.

There might have been 2-3 feet to work with in a Jeep Wrangler for that part. This isn’t actually the mill (even though that’s the common name for it), it’s actually the powerhouse for the mill. If you skip the first trail that branches off left and take the next one, then work your way down the steep rocky incline, you'll find the log crossing easier. Of course, there are other remote campsites around in the general area, but all of the property around the Mill is private property, and camping is not allowed.

Duration: 5 hours, 55 minutes, and 57 seconds This trail is on top of the list of beautiful places I have ever seen. While you can take a Jeep tour to Crystal Mill, Colorado, you can also drive it yourself. The varied terrain, ranging from woods, aspens groves, canyons, and meadows make it well worth the journey. We had planned to camp at an RV park we located on the map in town. These conditions are a normal part of driving back roads in the mountains so, while manageable, these roads are not for the faint of heart! Maximum Elevation: 10727 feet

What it's like to drive alongside the Crystal River from Marble, Colorado, to Crystal Mill and the ghost town of Crystal in the beautiful Maroon Bells. I liked the message they had printed on the bottom of their menu (see the pic below). So, be prepared for a several-hour adventure, especially depending on your mode of transportation. Required fields are marked *. The smashed cab of the ancient truck I saw lying at the bottom of one of the ravines didn’t help to quell my nerves any! It's only about 50 yards from the trail, so you aren't committing to a long side trip but it's a great start to the hike. The BBQ in Marble was awesome. We were able to using hiking poles for balance and hop across some taller rocks, but if the flow were any higher, I would imagine you would have to take shoes off and roll your pants up. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Howard, there are not a lot of parking spaces, but I think you could find a place there to park; there are always people stopped there and other places along the way, in turnouts or what have you.

We parked just shy of one mile from the beautiful Emerald Lake. You can see where some modern cables and wood have been added for stabilization, but it still looks like it could fall over and into the water below at any moment. Dogs are also able to use this trail. It presses on with one purpose, to obey the demand of it’s master, to continue on to where the call of gravity slackens. All in all, it was a bit longer than we anticipated, but well worth all the views and adventure. Crystal Mill is not a secret place. Beautiful Crystal Mill. This trek to the Crystal Mill was definitely one for the Bucket List. Views are amazing though and leaves we’re changing end of Sept. Map includes the Crystal Mill, Devil's Punchbowl, Schofield Pass, Lead King Loop and Gothic Trails. I have been to Crystal and loved it. The po... Read all 80 reviews. Along those same lines, pack a spare tire or two or three. Totally beautiful and amazing place! There was only one, truly nerve-wracking moment when we were forced to hug the edge of a cliff as we waited for a, ATV to pass us. Schofield Park to Crystal Mill on a MTB I’m visiting from CB for the third time and I always wanted to visit the Crystal Mill.

How many eons has the rock that forms them been in existence?

At one point, you'll come to a fork in the road where you can decide to go on toward Lead King Basin or you can turn to your right, then take a sharp left past a mountainside house toward the mill.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. There’s a reason why this is one of the most photographed sites in all of Colorado.  The smashed cab of the ancient truck I saw lying at the bottom of one of the ravines didn’t help to quell my nerves any! Rode today in 2 side by sides. The river swirls and flows to the side and around to the front of the mill. Dropped Pin

The difficulty arose when you met people coming the other way on this one-lane, two-way, shelf road! We would recommend having proper hiking gear (as you always should!) Cons: Sunday July 5th had a LOT of traffic, tons of pulling over in some not great spots, past Crystal Mill the trail gets a bit narley. This one we had to take off our boots and roll our pants up in order to cross. Got to the summit sign snow-free. )  It’s a struggle for me, particularly with my anxiety, but I’m always trying to be more Present…not rushing from task to task, not constantly being worried about how the next item on the list is going to get accomplished (or even what it is); just “groovin'” through the current moment.

They are charging $10 a head to go down to the water under Crystal Mill. After experiencing summer in Colorado for himself, Derek agreed that we should move to Colorado.  We happened to arrive shortly after the most scenic campsite in the entire campground became available, early. We parked just shy of the summit of Schofield Pass. No good areas to pull over to allow passing vehicles except one spot before the super rocky off camber section where there was a large boulder in the middle. This hike is a difficult down then return uphill trek.


Schofield Pass to Crystal Mill – Our Favorite Hike This past weekend we took a long weekend off work and camped in Crested Butte for a few days. Continue through town and in about another 50 yards, you'll see the viewpoint for Crystal Mill. I was being a little conservative, but with no cell service, it wasn't worth the risk. The road continues on through the town of Crystal and winds its way to Crested Butte via Schofield Pass. At one time, the Crystal ghost town, Colorado (just around the bend from Crystal Mill), had 400 residents, most of whom were miners and their families. I’m Mel Lockcuff, the creator and writer behind Adventures of Mel and Flour on My Fingers.
but this one didn't. My tip is that you can avoid the water crossing described by others as being pretty deep. If you care about your car, I don't recommend navigating the rough part, unless you have 4wd. Came over the 4-wheel drive road from Crested Butte to Marble via Schofield Pass. Exploration by foot or mountain bike are recommended alternatives. It’s about a 10-mile, round-trip excursion from Marble to the mill, and then the ghost town of Crystal, beyond. Fortunately, this was an area with a bit of a turn-off where the road “widened” to about 1 1/2-lane width, so it was actually the perfect place to meet an oncoming vehicle.

I liked the message they had printed on the bottom of their menu (see the pic below). It turned out, merely 20 minutes down the road, we came upon a National Forest campground that was nestled against the Crystal River and found, what ended up being, one of our favorite campsites of the entire trip (have I mentioned National Forest campgrounds are AWESOME?). Viewing vast expanses like this, for me, is a transcendent experience.

I’m so happy you’re here.

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