Crystal River Mill & Ghost Town
373 2nd Street, Marble, CO, USA
Crystal River Mill & Ghost Town Marble Reviews
Colorado Beauty @ it's finest Apr 11, 2010
Every summer, I pull off the hard top from my jeep, zip in the soft top and head to the Colorado mountains. I love to explore 4-wheel drive trails and historic ghost towns. One of my favorite places to go is the little town of Marble, about 30 miles south of Carbondale. Through Marble and up a rocky 4-wheel drive trail is the historic ghost town of Crystal. The big draw is the Crystal Mill, one of the most photographed places in Colorado. Considering the road is somewhat difficult to navigate, that is quite an amazing statistic. The mill is set precariously on the ledge of a waterfall overlooking the beautiful Crystal River. Back when the ghost town was a booming mining town, the mill provided power to the mine underground. Today the power wheel has since crumbled away, but the mill is still quite a sight to be seen!
A little bit further up the trail is the little ghost town of Crystal. It is a well preserved town. The structures are still standing, though some of the cabins are privately owned. There is even one year round resident in the town.
Returning back to Marble can be somewhat treacherous. For inexperienced drivers, I suggest you return the way you came. You may also select to loop around on Lead King Basin, or if you're really brave, you may opt to tackle the Devil's Punch Bowl and Schofield Pass. Use EXTREME caution when traveling this way. It can be very dangerous.
If you are visiting Colorado, do not own a four wheel drive, or just don't feel comfortable driving the trail, there are outfitters in town that offer tours to the mill. The jeep excursions can be pricey, but in my opinion it is worth the cash to get up and see the town!
The entire area is a beautiful place. There are numerous lakes and hiking trails if you have time. The Elk mountains are a wonderful and breathtakingly beautiful place to explore.
Note: use extra caution when the trail is wet. Most of the road is rocky and shale, which can be dangerous and slick when wet! Also, if you can manage, try to explore Marble and Crystal when the Aspen trees are changing. The added colors make the experience that much more memorable!
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