The Crystal Mill
Snowcatcher and I took a little mountain bike ride out of Marble, Colorado, several days ago. Our route was a jaunt along the narrow 4x4 trail adjacent to the Crystal River. We turned around just beyond the historic 1881 ghost town of Crystal. A handful of buildings still exist and are occupied during the summer months. Enjoy the pics.
During the icy season, getting to Crystal would take some snow sense in terms of safely navigating avalanche terrain. Nonetheless, with copious amounts of snow, Marble is a magnet to backcountry skiers. If you like to earn your turns, check out Louis Dawson's book, Colorado Backcountry Skiing, Cruisers to Couloirs. The book encompasses the Glenwood Springs, Marble, Crested Butte and Aspen area backcountry skiing.
Marble is an intersection of the Elk Mountains to the east and the West Elk Mountains to the south. Two wilderness areas are within throwing distance. The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area lies to the East, and the Raggeds Wilderness Area to the south. Crested Butte may be reached from the north via Crystal Township and the deadly Devils Punchbowl 4x4 route up Schofield Pass, followed by a drop into the busy ghost town of Gothic, just north of Crested Butte.
Evening Primrose family
This jewel requires no introduction!
The Crystal Mill
Sorry about the bad lighting. This mill photographs best with low sun angle and yellow leaves.
Notice the difference in tree heights along the stream and above the stream on each side. In addition to draining Bear Mountain and Little Bear Mountain during warm months, this is an avalanche chute during the winter. The snow slides keep the trees groomed.
The Crystal River
Crystal River Gorge
The view across Yule Creek
Marble bighorn sheep
The quality of quarried marble is supposed to be of excellent quality and is shipped around the globe. The marble has been used in the Tomb of the Unknowns, Washington DC Lincoln Memorial, buildings in San Francisco and the Equitable Building in New York City. As a cost example, the above bighorn sheep carving is about four-feet tall and sporting a price-tag of $7500.00.