Not Many People Know The Story Behind This Iconic Colorado Location
You have seen the jaw-dropping pictures and have maybe even hiked to it yourself, but do you know the story behind one of the most easy-to-recognize and most photographed spots in Colorado? If you are like me, you do not, which is why I am excited to share what I learned about the history of the iconic Crystal Mill!
Located near Carbondale is the beautiful Crystal Mill; a former wooden powerhouse that was built in 1892 and still stands to this day.
Crystal Mill originated as a power plant for the Sheep Mountain Tunnel and was operated by a large waterwheel, which produced compressed air for the nearby miners.
In 1917, the Sheep Mountain Tunnel and Mine (which the mill serviced) closed, which in turn shut down the once vital mill.
Even though it has been closed and deserted for more than 100 years, the Crystal Mill is as beautiful and enchanting as ever, attracting thousands of hikers and history buffs each year.
Crystal Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can be accessed by the public in summer and fall via a four-wheel drive vehicle, bike, horseback, or on foot.
The hike is a moderately difficult, 8.2-mile out-and-back trail, but you'll be treated to the beautiful scenery of the forest, mountains, and river along the way.
Don't forget to bring your camera!
Here’s a handy map to help you find it:
Did you know the history behind this Colorado icon? Have you visited Crystal Mill for yourself? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!
Learn even more about little-known Colorado history by checking out our previous article:
Here Are The 12 Oldest Towns In Colorado… And They’re Loaded With History.
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