Explore the most popular trails near Marble with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
8 days ago

Almost didn't go on this hike due to food poisoning the night before, but it was so worth it!

I drove all the way up to the "Crystal Mill 4 miles" sign in my Chevy Cruze. I've been on worse roads, but if you treat your car like its your baby, you may want to park down by the mailboxes where others suggest.

My pup and I started the hike just before 7:30am on Sunday 6/10 and had the whole trail to ourselves pretty much the whole time up until the very end near the Mill. I even had the Mill to myself for quite a while since it was so early! It is absolutely stunning and I'm so glad I checked it out. Checked out the town of Crystal as well, but there wasn't anybody around.

On the way back (between 10-11am), I did come across many ATVs and jeeps, but they were all driving carefully and it was not an issue for me and my pup to hang off to the side of the road while they apssed. The hike is quite shady and cool if you go early in the morning, but on the way back, it was mostly out in the exposure - so definitely don't forget the sunscreen!

hiking
10 days ago

Yes, the Mill is the most photographed place in Colorado, and yes, it is a beautiful site... BUT, as a hike -- not so great, unless you enjoy hiking sun-baked jeep trails with clouds of dust from passing vehicles (as noted by other reviewers). We wondered why the parking lot was so tiny -- people are driving this trail, not hiking it! As Stephanie says, the town, which could be really cool, comes across as very unfriendly.
Just a nerdy note on the Mill. Not really a mill, but a power station, with only that solitary building left. The shaft was used only very early -- water was sluiced down it to a horizontal wheel (to a turbine) to generate air pressure for pneumatic mining drills. Later this was abandoned and the river was dammed for power generators for the mines. The town itself was only "bustling" for eight years before the silver market bottomed out.
Well worth seeing whether you hike or drive!

hiking
17 days ago

GO EARLY.
On the way back out I ran into so many motor vehicles and almost got hit by a dirt bike. Lots of dust kicked up.
The mill is gorgeous.
By the time I was leaving it was flooded with so many people.
The town of Crystal would be much prettier if there weren’t ugly bright “no trespassing” signs on the doors of the ghost town buildings, and camp gear strewn everywhere and unsightly camp chairs everywhere because of people in the cabins. Wish the lady would have bought it to preserve it, not to use it to make money.

hiking
25 days ago

I’ll start with the directions that others posted. Go through the town of Marble and past Beaver Lake staying on route 3. Some people say to park where you see the mailboxes on the right. We kept going up the hill in a Subaru Outback and the road was fine all the way up to the sign that said Crystal 4 miles. The parking there was full (about 4 cars) so we turned around and went back down the hill about 50 yards and parked off the side of the road. The trail is really just following the Jeep road to Crystal. At the small lake you hit within about half a mile stay right. About 3.8 miles in you’ll get to Crystal mill. Definitely go another 2/10 of a mile to Crystal. There is a general store there with snacks and drinks and some postcards. We met a lady there who just bought the whole town and surrounding areas including the mill with her boyfriend from his family. Cool story. They plan on making the cabins in Crystal available to rent. We were there on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. A decent amount of vehicles traveling the road and about 20 people at Crystal mill.

hiking
28 days ago

one of the most beautiful hikes in the state. follows along the beautiful crystal river and the mill doesn't disappoint.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s was amazing. Period.

hiking
1 month ago

Went up on a Mother's Day hike to the Crystal Mill taking the low road in. I let the ladies return the same way, but I completed the Lead King Loop which goes up this road. Above 10,500ft things were still pretty snow-covered. Not impossible without, but wished I had brought my snowshoes. Feet got really wet, glad I brought extra pairs of socks.

The road was completely obscured by snow near the top, so I got a little lost and followed the Silver Creek watershed too far up, had to backtrack. Wasn't too hard.

Many creek crossings, maybe 6-7. I did see fresh bear tracks in the snow and mud about 1.5 miles up into Lead King Basin from the town of Crystal.

All in all, a beautiful hike despite the challenges and discomforts of the early springtime.

off road driving
1 month ago

The Crystal River Jeep Tours is the way to go. They offer a 3-hour Crystal tour, 5–hour Lead King Basin tour to the Crystal Mill. They also offer drop-off and pick-up services to the major trailheads, Lost Trail, Silver Creek and Geneva Lake. Call for reservations 970-963-1991. www.smithfamilycolorado.com/crjt or find us on Facebook.

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely hike. Probably more scenic in summer or fall, but still completely stunning. We were the only hikers on the trail and only saw three vehicles. The hike is pretty easy, especially if you park at the top of the hill. We drove up in a RAV4 and had no trouble. As others have said, set your gps early, there is no phone service for miles.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike, a little difficult due to going after it snowed.

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful, even better in person. If you want to avoid crowds, snowshoe up on a February day and I’ll guarantee you solitude. We were definitely the first people back there in a long time, had to break trail. A long slog back but worth every moment.

on Crystal Mill

off road driving
5 months ago

One of the most annoyingly bumpy trails I’ve ever done, Even with GPS still had to ask locals how to access the trailhead. Not especially scenic until you get to the mill - mostly surrounded very close by trees. Most croweded trail I’ve ever done. Lots of foot traffic. Will not go again, Just had to see it once.

hiking
5 months ago

Boy, it was kind of tough to find the trailhead, but thanks to some prior reviews, I was able to ascertain its whereabouts without wasting too much extra time. The trail was covered in snow, although it was packed down significantly with snowmobile tracks. This was an incredibly peaceful hike along the river, with the only sounds being the water moving. I passed not a soul on the trail, and had the Crystal Mill to myself. Things look very nice covered in snow. After a few photographs, some beef jerky and some water, I made my way back to my truck.

hiking
7 months 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
8 months 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
8 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.

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

hiking
8 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 ;-)

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
8 months ago

Beautiful! I hiked the early morning of 9/20/17. The leaves were changing, it was gorgeous.

I drive a little Toyota Corolla and it definitely wouldn't have made it up the path. Like someone else said on here, there is a little parking spot (fits probably 5-6 cars) across from some mailboxes past Beaver Lake. It is 4.6 miles to the mill from there.

Once you get to the mill if you walk only a couple minutes farther you will get to the "town" of Crystal, that has some log cabins and a book store.

I started my hike just before 7 am, on the way up I passed 2 cars on their way out (people who live in Crystal) and one mountain biker and Jeep going to the mill. Once I was up there a handful more Jeeps made their way up and on my way back down I passed some more vehicles and a couple ATVs. The people in the Jeeps were very respectful of hikers and were driving very slow, the people with the ATVs didn't seem to care they were blowing dust up for the hikers as much.

If I had been a little more prepared I probably would've just rented an ATV to get to the mill because there is a 16 mile loop through another basin back to the cars. But it was still a beautiful hike and definitely worth it.

off road driving
8 months ago

Rough! Took 50 minutes to drive to the end in my Jeep, praying the whole way. Faster than walking, though, and the view was worth it!

off road driving
9 months ago

great trail! Easy riding on a loop around to the crystal mill. Lots of smooth sandy driving at the upper valley. spectacular panoramics. Various forms of traffic (hiking, biking, motocycle, atv, and suvs) so heads up.
DO NOT park in the lake parking lot unless youre fishing.

hiking
9 months ago

We really liked this hike! We drove a Subaru Outback up to the fork in the road without any problems, which cut off about a mile or so from the total hike. The mill itself was beautiful to see and the hike along the Crystal river was as well.

hiking
9 months ago

Some places should just be kept secret, except from me. I drive a minivan, there is no way I would make it to the mill or even that dirt road just past the mail boxes so I just parked at the mail boxes. You will see them, they are right before the No Winter Maintenance sign past Beaver Lake. Which, FYI, right before I parked a bear ran across the street in front of me when about 100 feet from the boxes. That first incline after that is brutal, after that its not too bad. There are a couple decent down hills which obviously means you have to go back up them coming back. Some tree coverage on the way, lots of vehicle traffic too so beware. Absolutely amazing area. Love the mill. I would live there if I could.

hiking
10 months ago

After a challenging start up the first hill from the mailboxes, the track widens out and drops into a beautiful valley as the trail follows the Crystal river. Although the trail for the most part is well worn, some sections are made difficult by recent rock slides and debree. My only problem is the heavy amounts of 4x4 traffic passing along the way, a lot of the time i found myself forced into bushes so some idiot could rev his engine whilst passing.

11 months ago

First off, yes this is a nine mile hike roundtrip if you start in Marble, CO. If you start from the side with Schofield Pass it is MUCH shorter but I have not been that way. I read so many conflicting reviews on the road so we parked by the mailboxes and started up Daniel's Hill. You DO NOT need some insane jacked up vehicle to get up the first mile. There is places to park and turn around. While I would not recommend doing it in a small/low to the ground, four door vehicle (we saw one) I have a Subaru Forester and I know my car could have made it. You come to a fork in the road (go right) and only at THIS point does it become a one lane 4x4 road. You will pass Lizard Lake and then continue your hike to the mill. The hike follows the river the whole way and is very much worth the hike! It does level out a bit after the fork too. Tons of drit bike traffic so be aware! Recent rock slide too so large cars may not make it. Be safe!

11 months ago

Awesome hike on a busy fourth! Had to share road with vehicles and ATVs, but scenery was spectacular!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Beautiful and pretty easy hike

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Beautiful. A bit of an incline in the beginning but fairly flat the rest of the way. Waterfalls everywhere. Make sure you go past the mill and check out the cabins. There were a ton of humming birds flying around a feeder.

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

hiked 6.5.17 the trail was heavily traveled by ATV tours choked some dust but well worth the trip. Awesome views stay right at Lizard Lake to continue on trail

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