Cat and Monte got married surrounded by their friends and family at a beautiful wedding in Marble, Colorado. A few days after the wedding they got all gussied up again and we (along with flower pup Millie!) headed to the iconic Crystal Mill for an elopement-style adventure session! This has to be one of the absolute best places to elope in Colorado and it was SO much fun getting to explore it with them!
The Crystal Mill is one of the most photographed spots in Colorado. I’ve seen hundreds of photos of it – including one hanging up on the wall at my parents’ house. I was a little afraid that the reality wouldn’t live up to the hype surrounding it. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Crystal Mill is four miles outside the tiny town of Marble, up a super sketchy jeep road. I had initially assumed that we’d be hiking it (and was totally fine with that) but Monte thought his truck could make it up the road so we decided to give it a go. I’m not new to these kind of narrow 4wd roads but I’d be lying if I didn’t say my heart was racing at times. There were a few spots where the road was VERY narrow with a cliff wall on one side and a steep drop to the Crystal River below on the other.
It took about an hour to make it up the road and when we finally got to the mine we were all kind of blown away by how cool it was. Its one of the few places that I’ve been that is actually BETTER than the photos. It did not disappoint.
We stopped by the general store, met the author of some books on the mine, and hung around for a while waiting for the light to get good. Once the sun started to get low on the horizon it was go time and we scrambled down the steep, loose bank and got to it!
Between their wedding and the mini road trip we did together for their engagement session, I’ve gotten to know Cat and Monte really well and this was the perfect way to end our “work” time together (although now I consider them friends so they’re stuck with me! ha!). Having this post-wedding session with them worked out really well since rain on their wedding day pushed portrait time back and we didn’t get to shoot as much as I would have liked. Knowing they had this post wedding adventure session coming up took all the pressure off having to get those photos during their wedding day and let them go celebrate with their friends!
I could have shot there forever but we all knew that we didn’t want to be driving back up that road in the dark so as the light began to wane we hopped back in the truck and started making the long (in time but not in distance!) trip back to civilization.
Crystal Mill is a MAGICAL place that would be one of the best places to elope in Colorado for a couple that was truly up for an adventure! I have SO MANY ideas for things we could do up there and I hope to go back and shoot in this place sooner than later!