As our fall 2020 trip to Colorado and Utah was winding down, we decided to go jeeping to Crystal Mill in Colorado. Crystal Mill has been on our bucket list to see and even though we love to hike, we were glad we could take a 4×4 road there. The mill was just a bit out of our way but between Telluride and Aspen. We left Telluride in the morning with our destination being Aspen by late afternoon. Although Crystal Mills is off the beaten path, it was the perfect place to stop. You can read more by clicking the Crystal Mill Link or you can click the Marble, Colorado Tourism Link.
Driving to Marble, Colorado is a bit out of the way, although it is very pretty. From Highway 133 you will turn on to Colorado Road 3. Continue to drive through a valley and you will arrive at the this quaint little town. Stay on Colorado Road 3 and follow the signs for the ghost town Crystal. Drive through the town and on the other side, you come across a cute country church. Turn right at the church. Follow East Silver Street (Road 3) along Beaver Lake. Stay on Road 3 and drive up hill. Here you will have to park and walk the remainder or drive, if you have a 4×4 high clearance. We choose to drive.
It is about 5 miles to Crystal Mill and jeeping it is bumpy, but such a beautiful part of Colorado to see. It is a one way road so keep an eye out for places to pull over in case you have to back up to a spot to let someone else pass. Note that hikers are also using the road as a trail so watch for them.
Shortly after we started we came across a lovely little lake. Furthermore, Lizard Lake appeared to be a great place for fisherman as there were a few of them there. We jolted along through Crystal Canyon and along the Crystal River. This road is more of a dirt path, in addition, it was pretty rough and at times there was a sharp drop. We did come across other vehicles going down and at times they pulled off and at other times we did. At one point, we had to back up quite a ways to find a safe spot so some ATV’s could pass. All in all though it was a lot of fun.
It is so exciting when the Mill appears. Just like I’ve seen in pictures, this was just a perfect scene. We parked our Jeep and decided to explore It is important to know that this is private property and should be treated as such. In particular, please respect all signs and do not trespass or walk where prohibited as this land is not public land. There is a charge to venture down to the stream, which we did pay for. Without a doubt it is well worth the money.
We took so many photos here as every photo seemed to be the perfect shot. I can’t begin to say how much we enjoyed this area. Fall was a great time to be here.
Crystal Ghost Town
We also walked the quarter mile to the Crystal Ghost Town. This was a fun little part of history to see, along with the Mill, this must have been quite the place back in the day. We visited the General Store and also walked down the street. From my understanding not only can you rent cabins here and camp but you can also take a walking tour. For more information you can click here.
Back on Down
The drive back was mostly uneventful. We did have a fun encounter when we ran into a couple hiking with their baby. The gal and I recognized each other, besides being from Iowa, she attended high school with one of my daughters and now lives in Colorado! It was fun to see her and hear how she is doing. Imagine being in the middle of Colorado and running into someone you know originally from small town Iowa! It is a small world.
On to Aspen, Colorado
After Jeeping to Crystal Mills we continued to Aspen, one of the towns I love in Colorado. We enjoyed wandering around the square and moreover enjoying the Aspen Vibe.
Dinner and Ice Cream
We had a lovely outdoor dinner at a place called Tatanka. Even though it was getting chilly in the evenings it was still comfortable to dine outside. They had a fantastic wine special so I took advantage of that and ordered a bottle (took most of it back with us). We had nachos, sandwiches, salad and fries. All fantastic.
Furthermore, as if we hadn’t had enough to eat for dinner, we decided to find an ice cream place. We indeed found a great one called Paradise Bakery. While eating our ice cream, we continued to explore the down town area, and walk off the calories!
Jeeping to Crystal Mill and seeing the Colorado beauty surrounding it was 100 percent perfect. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Although next time I would take the time to explore the little town of Marble and eat at the BBQ place we had passed there! We also loved stopping in Aspen for the night and having a relaxing evening.