Pioneer Scenic Byway Spots to Stop
Crystal Park is a unique recreation area at an elevation of 7,800 feet in the Pioneer Mountains. Quartz crystals are scattered liberally through the decomposed granite of the unique 220-acre site that’s been set aside by the Forest Service for the popular hobby of rockhounding. Crystals found at the park can be clear, cloudy, white, gray or purple and be smaller than your little finger or up to several inches in diameter. Also at the site, you’ll find picnic sites with tables and grills, information signs, toilets, and a paved trail with benches and an overlook.
The Grand Vista is just off the Pioneer Scenic Byway. A grand overlook, the area has ample parking, pit toilets, and picnic tables. A boardwalk takes you along the creek for photography or fishing opportunities. Bring your camera, this area has stunning views of tall peaks and the creek meandering through a willow meadow.
Lupine Picnic Shelter
The Lupine Shelter, located at an elevation of 76oo’, sits amid a stand of pines that is surrounded by alpine meadows. In the spring and early summer, the meadows are filled with blooming wildflowers such as lupines. In winter the shelter is used as a warming hut for snowmobilers who travel the road which is unplowed and closed to vehicle traffic in winter. Hiking trails and mountain biking trails can be found in the area.
Elkhorn Hot Springs
Stop in for a brew or a soak at Elkhorn Hot Springs. A natural hot spring, water temperatures coming out of the Earth at about 100 degrees. Operating year-round for travelers or skiers at the nearby Maverick Mountain Ski Area.