Crystal Mill … Check!


Crystal Mill has been on my bucket list since moving to Colorado. Apparently it has been on many other photographer’s lists as well. It is one of the most photographed subjects on the Western Slopes. Yes … it has been done but that didn’t discourage me … I wanted to shoot it for myself!  Only accessible by jeep or hiking 4 miles, I had to wait for an opportunity. At an elevation of almost 9,000 feet, hiking uphill with an assortment of heavy camera gear and a tripod would be out of the question for me (unless I could hire a sherpa)! As luck would have it my good friend, having access to a jeep invited me and another friend on this long awaited adventure. We were grateful to have overcast skies which allowed us to capture the scene without harsh shadows and highlights. Spending over 2 hours shooting at the location, I tried many different compositions and camera settings, to make sure I had what I wanted. It was a great day, with good company and I’m happy to be able to check it off my bucket list. Presented here are some of my favorite compositions … I hope you like them!

‘Crystal Mill I’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

‘Crystal Mill III’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

‘Crystal Mill IV’ © Denise Bush

‘Crystal Mill V’ © Denise Bush

54 Responses to “Crystal Mill … Check!”

  1. 1 Deb

    I love them all!! I truly couldn’t pick one that stood out over any other!! What heaven! Would love to have gone here.

  2. 3 Judith B Hazen

    I think it’s listed, (Crystal RIver Mill site) as the #1 photographed tourist destination in Colorado. I love it…have painted the old building and river three times.

    • Considering how rough and rocky the jeep road is I am surprised that it is considered so. Not everyone has a jeep or is fit enough to hike the almost 4 miles (1 way)! But I can certainly understand why it is popular.

  3. No wonder this was on your bucket list. It’s neat! I loved all the images.

  4. Just fantastic images, Denise.

  5. 10 Angela Moyer

    Excellent, just Excellent! Love them all! I had so much fun and can’t wait for our next adventure!

  6. Fantasterrificallyamszinglymarvelous!

  7. Thank you for sharing your images, these are truly beautiful, Denise.

  8. These photos are wonderful, Denise! What a beautiful location!

  9. Great compositions and I also like how you set up the camera to get stream or flowing of water too!

  10. 20 Kathy Lapergola

    Oh my goodness, you’re images are beautiful. So happy you were able to go there, so worth the wait!!!!! Thanks for sharing your images.

  11. These are absolutely fabulous – no wonder it has been photographed so often.

    • Right! We paid $10 and signed a waiver to be able to go down to the water and get some different angles. The money will be used for preservation.

  12. 24 Ken Curtis

    You definitely worked the scene and were rewarded with excellent compositions. Glad you had an opportunity to go there.

  13. Great shots Denise. The wait was worth it!

  14. Crystal Mill II is the Money-Shot. Wonderful. Glad for you.

  15. 30 Elizabeth Jackson

    Eeeekkkkk!!!! I am so jealous but so happy you got to this absolutely awesome scene. I hope you can take me there one day. Super captures.

    • We can go there when I get a jeep. I’m sure you can understand how excited I was! We turned the corner and I screamed ‘there it is’!

  16. Oh, wow! I envy you your patient friends with benefits (jeep!). I find that when I try to combine being with people and photographing, my images really suffer. I’m always rushed, trying to not interfere with others’ experiences, and I end up with images that may have decent composition, but the setting are off, so post production is a big production and never really satisfies. This are fab images.

    • My friend with access to the jeep is also a photographer. She and I go out often and she really likes to take her time too so it works out very well. I understand how you feel though … sometimes it’s easier to get in the zone if you are alone. Thanks for your visit and comment Linda!

  17. Very cool!

  18. 36 Bonnie Rovere

    WOW Such a wonderful set of images. Glad you got to photograph it and to share it with all of us!

    • Hi Bonnie … thank you. You would have loved being there but the jeep ride would have been scary for you! The road was only wide enough for 1 jeep, it was loose rocks & boulders and sometimes we were right on the edge of a cliff. If someone came the other way one had to back up or find a wider spot.

  19. 38 Joe Perno

    This is a really cool subject and you have captured it perfectly Denise.

  20. Well, I’m glad you had someone to go with and the overcast day too, because it sure paid off! What a photogenic place. You did it justice, and more. I like the variety of angles. Looks like you’re having a good summer! 🙂

  21. Simply gorgeous!

  22. There’s nothing like seeing it and photographing it for yourself! And you captured it so wonderfully! Really love how you captured the water. I can almost hear it.

  23. Absolutely stunning! That second one I would love on my wall!

  24. Beautiful captures, Denise!

  25. What an unusual placement for this mill. It looks like it could topple over at any minute. You have used that placement to get some great perspectives on the building and it’s environment.

    • Thanks Rich. My friends and I stayed there for a couple hours getting every conceivable angle! We paid $10 and signed a release to go down the steep embankment and get close to the river.

  26. So beautiful!

  27. This place doesn’t need fairies to be magical… such a beautiful place!

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