Crystal Mill

MODERATE 56 reviews

Crystal Mill is a 8.2 mile out and back trail located near Marble, Colorado that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1040 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

river

wildlife

hiking
1 month ago

Many times our experience is based on our expectations. I knew this was going to be a pretty hike. What I didn't know is that this isn't a hiking only trail, it's a road. It's not a bad thing, but just be aware it's a road designed for 4wheel drive/off road vehicles.

There are also no signs. Once you make it through Marble as the app gives directions (download the area of the map on Google maps or bring a GPS: we came through Carbondale and lost service and Data before we even hit Redstone), you could park at the bottom of the hill like another reviewer says (just before the 'No winter maintenance' sign ), or continue up the hill (most cars can make this part). At the top of the hill the road forks and this is where the only sign is. It's just not explicit. Left forks to lost mountain trail. Right says the town of Crystal 4 miles. To the right there is a place for 2 cars to park. If you keep going to the right, even though it appears you are going nowhere, there is more parking (upwards of 6 cars) to the far right. The road/trail then takes a sharp left down a hill.

Driving: any capable 4 wheel drive vehicle you are willing to take off road would be fine, as well as OHVs. We were passed by 3 ATVs and probably 5-8 cars/trucks.

Hiking: most of the trail is flatter, with the steepest hills at the beginning. Except you are going down them first, so save some energy for the end. Being a road there are some rocky areas, but mostly even. If it has been rainy or snowy, there are large parts of the road that turn into a giant pond.

We took our 10, 8, and 5 year old sons. The 10 and 8 year olds had no trouble with the hike. The five year old ended up being carried most of the way but in full disclosure, isn't out of the norm for him. :D We hiked this Oct. 21 and probably saw about 20 other hikers, plus the previously mentioned driver's.

Overall, a very good hike. Beautiful Crystal River, and some great photo opportunities. Just know it's a road and there are no signs to help guide you. Hopefully the above is helpful... every car we encountered was as confused as we were on exactly where to go.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

We got there on Sunday 10/15/2017 9:30am, passed the mailboxes, our 4X4 SUV able to drove up to the trail head, 5MPH. There are about 6-8 parking spots up there. Hiking along crystal river, most the aspen leaves were gone but still very beautiful. Some ups and downs and rocky road. But not hard difficult at all. We were enjoying the views and stopped for pictures, took us 1 hr and 45 minutes to get there. Saw some 4X4s, ATV drove there.

Crystal Mill, that old house was build in 1892, still looked amazing! We hiked down by the river, had some lunch, waited for the better lighting for pictures. Walked around until 1pm.

Imaging with all the golden aspen around this place, it will be much more colorful!

Hopefully will be back here in September next year!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

If you include up Dave's Hill which ads another 1.6 miles round trip, it make it a much more difficult hike. If have the right vehicle, avoid Dave's Hill. The rest of the hike is great. Today's trek was more difficult than normal as 24 hours ago we had 8 inches of fresh snow land. This made the trail slippery, muddy, water pooled, and cool. The destination was spectacular seeing the Mill. Overall we hiked 10.2 miles.

2 months ago

This might be one of my favorite hikes in Colorado I have done thus far. That being said, it makes me a little sad that some people have difficulty finding it! So here it goes.

Start your GPS before you lose service which i would guess is almost an hour before you get to Marble. We used AllTrails for directions and it took us right to where you need to go. We parked by the mailboxes that people talked about. They are 0.5 mile before your GPS will tell you you've reached your destination.
After passing Beaver Lake, the mailboxes are on the right side and the parking is on the left. It's right before a "No Winter Maintenance" sign. We got there right before 9 on a Saturday and there were only a couple cars.
I wanted to see if we could park a little further up the hill, but when I saw the 4x4 vehicle only sign i got discouraged, so we went back to the mailboxes.
I drive a Ford Focus and after hiking up the hill to where the trail officially starts, I think it would've made it. On our way back, we saw a Mini Cooper parked at the top, so with confidence, your little sedan will be fine.
But if you end up taking the mailbox route, know that it is 0.8 miles to the official start to the trail and 4.6 miles to the mill. As others stated, that first leg up to the top from the mailboxes is hands down the hardest part of the hike. (But beautiful mountain views if you turn around!) You will see a sign that says "Town of Crystal 4 miles" and that's when you know the tough part is over.
The rest of the road has a few minor ups and downs, enough to get your heart rate up but not enough to make you question your decision to hike

2 months ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

9/30/17
Stunning!! While we did get rained on I still whole heartedly recommend making this a fall hike! The colors on both the hike and the drive to Marble are absolutely incredible! Even my 9 year old said "totally worth it!"

If you park just past Beaver Lake where there's a line of mailboxes. you'll find the most difficult part of this hike is that first vertical climb up of about a mile. If you have a four-wheel drive you might try to Drive however you want a pretty high clearance for that! at the top of the first mile you'll see a sign that says town of Crystal 4 miles with an arrow.. This is the trailhead. Follow the the left-most trail. after about a half-mile you'll come to a fork at Lizard Lake. I imagine you can take either way to go around the lake. We took the right fork. From there the hike is fairly easy on foot. There are some ups and downs but most of it is level ground. The path follows the Crystal River which is gorgeous and aptly named. If you keep an eye on the far Canyon you'll see many many waterfalls! I can see myself and my family going back to this hike many time and still not being able to capture all we want.. I know there's quite a few pictures that I wanted to get that we got rained out of. we'll definitely be back!! Enjoy and bring rain gear ;-)

2 months ago

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2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

we parked just past beaver creek once we saw the no winter maintenance sign and the boxes mentioned before. the incline from there to the trail head was easily the most difficult part of the hike. after the tail head there's one more hump and then after lizard lake is pretty minor ups and downs. we only saw two other hikers but lots of atvs and jeeps even on a Tuesday. hind site our truck could have made it to the top but we really enjoyed hiking it. we saw so many beautiful things you follow the river high and low the entire way. the water was a Beautiful aqua color. clear and cold. we bundled for bad weather and ended up in shorts and tanks by the end. it was just over four miles there four miles back and completely worth it for how breathtaking the mill is. the town of crystal is just behind the mill not even a quarter mile further and has a gift shop and a couple other private buildings. although this is a well trafficked hike you should still prepare will sufficient snacks water first aid repellent etc. and proper shoes. the return trip down the downhill side of that initial incline you started on kicks your buttons again. it is tough on the knees and ankles. the path was mostly packed dirt mud and gravel into hand sized rocks in areas. but totally comfortable for someone transitioning from intermediate hikes. and again probably one of the most beautiful hikes I've been on growing up hiking in Colorado. With an amazing historical prize at the end. have fun.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago