Crystal Mill Road

A thrilling (scary) off road experience to Crystal Mill in CO

Crystal Mill is the name of a wooden powerhouse located in Gunnison County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. The mill is perched atop a rock outcrop above a waterfall. It’s not a drive you’d want to take in a vehicle that’s not made for this kind of terrain.

Can you drive to Crystal Mill Colorado?

Located just outside the small town of Marble, the rough, one-lane road to the mill, historically known as the Sheep Mountain Mill, is called Crystal Mill Road (County Road 3). It’s totally unpaved. Starting at the town of Marble, the road is 9.01km (5.6 miles) long. It’s not an easy road, so make sure to prepare thoroughly. You will need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to navigate the rough and narrow roads. The last 10 miles take almost 40 min to get to, very slow and sketchy drive on sheer cliffs to get there. Make sure you leave well before sunset.

Is the road to Crystal Mill in Colorado open?

It is reachable only in the summer and fall months. This road is usually impassable from late October through late June or early July (depending on snow). The open and close dates all depend on snowmelt and snowfall each year. Please remember cell phone service is spotty in the area.

Is the road to Crystal Mill in Colorado worth it?

Located a few miles east of Marble, just before the ghost town of Crystal, the road, with challenging terrain and breathtaking views, follows the Crystal River. Along the way there are fantastic views of Whitehouse Mountain and the Sawatch Range. The mill is reputed to be one of the most photographed sites in Colorado. It was constructed in 1893 by George C. Eaton and B.S. Phillips, and it fell into disuse in 1917 when the Sheep Mountain Mine closed.
Pic: Chelsea Klein

 

 

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