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Marble

 

Destinations

Scholfield Pass     Devil's Punch Bowl    Marble     Crystal   

 

Directions:  From Crested Butte head northeast through Gothic, over Scholfield Pass, down the Devil's Punchbowl to Crystal, 8 miles to Marble, out to Highway 133 to Redstone, etc. 

To avoid 4WD, go Redstone on Highway 133 to turnoff to Marble.

Marble is 45 minutes south of Glenwood Springs, just off Colorado 133 on the West Elk Loop. Aspen is only an hour to the north and Crested Butte is 45 miles to the south. Many Marble visitors come from Vail and Summit County. Vail is about 2 hours to the north and Grand Junction is two hours to the west. The closest towns to Marble are Redstone, just 8 miles away, and Carbondale, 30 miles down the Crystal River.

 

 

 

Old Mill at Crystal  

The 'Old Mill at Crystal', which is 8 miles east of Marble (via a 4 x 4 only road) is reputed to be the most photographed site in Colorado, and is practically an icon for Colorado.  There are hundreds of abandoned mines, standing as reminders of the mining heritage.

The 'Road to Crystal', is about 8 miles long, and strictly a 4 wheel drive track.  Travel east out of Marble on the main road - the road starts with a '4 wheel drive only past this point' sign at the bottom of Daniels Hill (the Gold Pan Gallery will be on your left).  

 

 

Old Mill at Crystal  

 

 

Old Mill at Crystal  

The 'Old Mill at Crystal', which is 8 miles east of Marble (via a 4 x 4 only road) is reputed to be the most photographed site in Colorado, and is practically an icon for Colorado. 

 

 

Waterfall at Devil Punchbowl (base of Scholfield Pass)

The 'Road to Crystal',  according to a local website is somewhat dangerous.  Their report follows:   

"The 11 mile loop via Lead King basin, but the full loop  should only be tried by idiots in Jeeps, (Note: Not all Jeep drivers are idiots, and not all idiots drive Jeeps - we refer only to those who do dumb things after being warned.) and then only in a clock wise direction (take the left hand route at the top of Daniel's hill).  Do NOT attempt to take the road past Crystal up to Scholfield Park, unless you both know what you're doing, and you are also crazy.  This portion of the road is known as the 'Punch Bowl', and should be closed.   There are deaths (17 at last count) or very serious accidents every year.  However, if you need Jeep parts, there are two Jeeps, one on top of the other, about a mile east of Crystal, and about 100 feet straight down from the road.  It is best to hike in (park at the bottom of Daniel's Hill, by the Gold Pan Gallery)."

 

Below are the aforementioned "crazy idiots"

Drive to the Devil's Punchbowl (base of Scholfield Pass)

The Devil's Punchbowl section of Scholfield Pass is a rock ledge drive along a cliff of up to 300 feet.  While the road has been tamed recently to be drivable, there are several demanding sections that are unforgiving.  Weather and rock conditions may make this section impassable  due to melting snow drifts or rockslides that narrow the road.   At other times, the ride is relatively easy if you are not afraid of heights.  4WD is needed and experience as a "crazy idiot" makes for a safer drive.  

 

 

 

 

Waterfall at Devil Punchbowl (base of Scholfield Pass)

May people do not remember this waterfall after the terrifying ride through the Punch Bowl, but it really is there.   

 

 

 

 

Marble Quarry in Marble, Colorado

Marble Quarry 

Marble Quarry outside of Marble, Colorado.  The 'Quarry Road', is about 4 miles long, going south out of Marble to the Yule Quarry.  Turn right (if traveling east) at the fire house, which is at the only stop sign in Marble.  There are trail heads off of this road, but be warned that the road is somewhat dangerous, even in summer.  

 

 

Marble Quarry 

Marble, Colorado is  about 17 miles southwest of Aspen, as the crow flies.  At one time it was home to thousands of people, many of them Italian immigrants, working the marble obtained from the Yule Quarry in a finishing mill, which was the world's largest.  The marble for the Lincoln Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and hundreds of other buildings, was quarried and finished here.  At that time Marble was the third largest industrial city in Colorado.  After the mill closed fifty years ago, Marble reverted to the status of a very sleepy mountain community. 

The surrounding area is rich in history and scenery, and is visited by thousands of people every year, generally during the summer months.   The 'Old Mill at Crystal', which is 8 miles east of Marble (via a 4 x 4 only road) is reputed to be the most photographed site in Colorado, and is practically an icon for Colorado.  There are hundreds of abandoned mines, standing as reminders of the mining heritage.   Hiking trails radiate out in all directions from Marble, and generally cross high alpine meadows alive with wild flowers in the summer.

 

 

Marble Quarry outside of Marble, Colorado.    

     Known for its marble mines, this town has furnished marble for the likes of the Lincoln Memorial, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Municipal buildings in New York and San Francisco, and more. This was said to have been the largest marble mine in the world. There is still plenty left today. 

Two other towns, Yule Creek and Clarence started out nearby Marble and eventually grew into Marble. The company that mined here was the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company and the Colorado-Yule Marble Company which J.C. Osgood, of nearby Redstone fame, controlled. The town is still alive today and tours of the marble mine are available. 

At one time the town had 2 newspapers and even a city band that played outside on the bandstand during the 20's.          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marble Quarry Road View                                                         

 

Town of Marble

The 'Quarry Road', is about 4 miles long, going south out of Marble to the Yule Quarry.  Turn right (if traveling east) at the fire house, which is at the only stop sign in Marble.  There are trail heads off of this road, but be warned that the road is very dangerous, even in summer.   
The 'Road to Crystal', is about 8 miles long, and strictly a 4 wheel drive track.  Travel east out of Marble on the main road - the road starts with a '4 wheel drive only past this point' sign at the bottom of Daniels Hill (the Gold Pan Gallery will be on your left).  The road actually makes about an 11 mile loop via Lead King basin, but the full loop  should only be tried by idiots in Jeeps, (Note: Not all Jeep drivers are idiots, and not all idiots drive Jeeps - we refer only to those who do dumb things after being warned.) and then only in a clock wise direction (take the left hand route at the top of Daniel's hill).  Do NOT attempt to take the road past Crystal up to Scholfield Park, unless you both know what you're doing, and you are also crazy.  This portion of the road is known as the 'Punch Bowl', and should be closed.   There are deaths (17 at last count) or very serious accidents every year.  However, if you need Jeep parts, there are two Jeeps, one on top of the other, about a mile east of Crystal, and about 100 feet straight down from the road.  It is best to hike in (park at the bottom of Daniel's Hill, by the Gold Pan Gallery).
The Church at Marble is a very picturesque old white church (it's in some of the cocktail table books), originally built in Aspen around the turn of the century.  It was moved to Marble in 1910, and was deeded to the community by the Episcopal church.  Often used for weddings, services are held each Sunday at 10 AM.
The 'Old Mill Site' is in Marble, about 100 yards south of the fire station, and is the remains of what was once the world's largest marble finishing mill, over 1500 feet long and serviced by a railroad line.  Many old columns still stand, made of marble.  It is possible to walk the length of the site, and is well worth while - it evokes the experience of walking through a Greek temple ruin.
The Marble Historical Society Museum is at 412 Main Street, and is generally open during summer weekends from 2 to 4PM.   It co-exists with the Marble Charter School in the original old high school building.  The building has been restored to its original condition (except for modern conveniences like running water, heat, electricity, and indoor plumbing, mandated by its renewed use as a school).  The building dates from 1910, and was built by local citizens - for that reason it has a marble clad foundation.
Beaver Lake, immediately east of Marble, is oftentimes good for trout fishing.  There is a parking lot on the west side of the lake.
Lizard Lake is about 4 miles east of Marble, half a mile beyond the top of Daniel's hill.  You should have a 4 wheel drive vehicle to get to it.  There is virtually no fishing to speak of since it is no longer stocked.  It is a very pretty alpine lake.  If you have limited time, but want some exercise, walk up to Lizard Lake from the bottom of Daniel's Hill (park at the Gold Pan Gallery) - it'll take about an hour up, and half an hour back.