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Road to Crystal Mill temporarily closed due to debris flows

FSR 314 debris flow 8-2-22 Stuart Gillespie.jpg
Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 16:23:19-04

UPDATE | Friday, 2:20 p.m. — The road to the Crystal Mill and Townsite, Forest Service Road 314, has reopened. The full Lead King Loop is open again.


CARBONDALE, Colo. — The road to Crystal Townsite and the Crystal Mill in Gunnison County is temporarily closed due to debris flows across Crystal Townsite Road.

Earlier this week, monsoonal storms ended with more than a dozen debris flows — some as deep as 15 feet — along four miles on the road (also known as Forest Service Road 314) between Daniel's Hill and the Crystal Mill, according to the U.S. Forest Service. This stretch is now closed.

The Gunnison County Public Works Department has cleared most of the debris, but the road remains muddy and may be easily damaged by vehicles.

“Gunnison County’s work was amazing and has helped ensure the closure will be much shorter than it might have been without their assistance,” said Aspen-Sopris District Ranger Kevin Warner. “We need the public’s patience to prevent damage that could have long-term impacts to the popular road to Crystal Mill.”

FSR 314 Road Work 8-2-22.jpg

Warner added that he expects this to be a "short-term closure."

The Crystal Mill is a popular place to visit and one of the most desired places to photograph. The wooden mill, which was constructed in 1892, sits on a dramatic rocky outcrop above the Crystal River, according to History Colorado. It generated power for mining until 1917.

Crystal Mill_Duffy Patrick

Because the Lead King Loop includes FSR 314, the whole loop is not open for traffic.

Both Forest Service Road 315 and 310 (Avalanche Creek Road) were also impacted by the flooding, but are not closed. FSR 315, which includes the northern part of the Lead King Loop, is passable with high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles. FSR 310 is passable for most vehicles.

For the latest update on this closure, call the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District at 970 963-2266.

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