Troy’s Terrific Trails: Crystal Mill (Take 2)


We did it this time

Safety always comes first.

Back in March, KREX sports director Troy Lynch and Caitrin Assaf tried to hike Crystal Mill, but the abundance of snow and the potential threat of an avalanche made them turn around.

Fast forward to September, the snow has melted away and the trail is much safer to hike. Troy finished the hike and got to see a Colorado hidden gem, that is Crystal Mill.

The Mill has been up since 1892 withstanding mother nature for over 100 years with a little help.

Hike or Ride?

The hike can be completed many different ways. You can walk it, bike it (normal or motor), or drive it with a four-wheel-drive car/ATV/or a trail vehicle.

The trail was crowded with hikers, but mainly people in cars, ATV’s or dirt bikes. You can ride all the way to the mill.

Do not attempt to drive this trail if you have a two-wheel drive vehicle, a vehicle with bad suspension, or that is not made for off-roading.


Crystal Mill is a nine mile hike round trip that takes about 4-5 hours to walk. It will probably take about an 45 minutes to an hour to drive.

The elevation gain is 1,391 feet, so it is a relatively flat hike that won’t tire you out too much.

What to do at the mill?

Once you reach the Crystal Mill you have a couple of options.

You can view the mill from up top behind the ‘fence’ and take your pictures there.

Or you can walk 300 feet to the book store, where you sign a waiver and pay $10 so you can go down by the water, get a closer look at the mill and swim.

You are not allowed to be on the other side, though.

Be warned that the water is all from snow-runoff, so it is very cold. We do not recommend that you be in the water longer than a couple minutes.


  • Water
  • Sun Screen
  • Bug Spray
  • A meal (snacks at least)
  • Water proof shoes (if you have them)

The trail is located in Marble, Colorado which is right next to Carbondale. It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Grand Junction.

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