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.
Follow more of our Colorado adventures at these links:
Silver Lake Telluride October 2020
Odessa and Fern Lakes Aug 2020
St Mary’s Glacier Hike Aug 2017
Our Rocky Mountain National Park Trip Aug 2018
My Favorite Colorado Road Trip Aug 2016
37 thoughts on “Jeeping to Crystal Mill, Colorado”
That is quite possibly the prettiest setting for a mill I’ve seen. And the fall colours really add to it! It’s probably good that the road is so bad or it would be busier.
It is really beautiful!! Busier than we thought but not too busy! I had been wanting to go here for awhile and glad we made it!!
A beautiful part of the world for sure and that road looks like a real adventure. Love the fall colours and the bright sunshine. Thanks for taking us along for the bumpy ride, Lori. Allan
Anytime, Allan! It was a very bumpy ride! I was more sore from bouncing around in the Jeep than from any of the hikes we took!! Thanks for reading!! Lori
Gorgeous photos! Seems like a lovely place to roam around. I love that mill.
It was a lot of fun!!!
Wow!!! Looks amazing, Lori ~ I really like the front steps of the Mill, too 👍
It was amazing and so picturesque!
I have a picture of the mill in my bedroom! I think I bought it at Walgreens eons ago. Fun to see it in your blog!
I think I have seen puzzles of this as well!!
I’ve been dying to visit the Crystal Mill! Maybe this year…
You would love it!!!
what a wonderful way to explore such a beautiful spot. and the dinner and the ice cream seemed alike a perfect way to tend the day…
It was lots of fun! I am always up for a good meal and I’ve cream!
especially when you’ve earned that meal after a day of exploring…
Your first picture is stunning! Love aspens.
Thank you. There is something magical about aspens!
Looks gorgeous. I love those aspens. And I love Aspen, too! Such a great town.
Aspen is a great town. Fun just to wander around!
And shop, shop, shop!
Looks like you went at an opportune time to Crystal Mill; the fall colors make the scenery all the more picturesque! Lovely auburn glow, and it accentuates the otherwise old Crystal Mill into a postcard-perfect opportunity. The wine and ice cream afterwards were definitely worth it, especially the latter with a cookie on top! Thanks for sharing this local gem of Colorado. 🙂
Thanks for reading! Crystal Mill is truly a Colorado gem! A great way to wind down our trip!
What a beautiful day and spot to go for a hike. The fall colours are simply stunning! What better way to end the day than by going out for dinner and getting ice cream afterwards!
It was a perfect day! We really enjoyed this area and loved everything about it!
You had me at the yellow trees. Then I saw the structures. And oh, my the food. This post has it all.
I really thought this was a fantastic day! One of the best!! Thanks for reading.
This is definitely on my to do list! I’ve heard the road is terrible… is it really that bad? We have a Subaru so I’m thinking we may have to hike this one.
It was very bumpy and rough. Steve drove very slow and we did not have much problem. We drive a Jeep but it doesn’t have an extra lift to it. There were some people driving all terrain vehicles that I think you can rent somewhere near there.
An iconic Colorado spot! I’ve never made it that far, not having a 4 wheel drive. Interesting to read about how to get in there. Thanks.
We really enjoyed the area!
That is a wonderful place to visit..if can get back to traveling soon.
I hope we get traveling soon!!
I was wondering whether any of your blogs covers the area east of Estes National Park. The fall fire in Granby/ Grand Lake we encountered last fall made us leery of finding places to stay in Colorado blindly.
I do not have anything east of Estes. You can check out Diana’s blog … ‘Handstands Around the World’ or Chelsea’s blog .. ‘Colorado Chelsea’. They are both on Word Press and have a lot of posts from Colorado!
I definitely will. Thank you.