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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

COLORADO

“The Centennial State

 

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Colorado

Colorado probably has the second highest number of ghost towns, near ghost towns and ghost town sites in the country (behind California). In the high Rocky Mountains that bisect the state, thousands of gold and silver mining camps were established from the late 1850s through the early 1900s. Most were abandoned when the ores were exhausted, but a few evolved into real towns and then faded. Many of these faded former mining towns still beckon today's tourists as they are on or near main roads, and therefore cling to life. Some of these old towns have turned into ski resorts or have legalized gambling, and draw thousands of tourists a week to their old saloons and new casinos. Others have restored or re-invigorated fading downtowns and have active chambers of commerce. Some of these places include Black Hawk, Breckenridge, Central City, Creede, Cripple Creek, Georgetown, Leadville, Ouray, Silverton and Telluride.

 

Yet many hundreds of towns still remain with a small handful of people, dozens of unoccupied buildings, and a general ghostly air about them. Down on the eastern plains, agricultural and crossroads ghosts dot the map. Old forts, stage and railroad stations, and cow towns rose and faded, and their remains lie etched on the dusty landscape. On the Western Slope, uranium booms in the late 1940s and early 1950s and oil shale in the late 1970s contributed boom and bust cycles to that side of the mountains.

 

Colorado also has some of the best four-wheel drive scenery in the world, and many of those "roads" are old mining trails or roads leading to nearly forgotten old mining camps. When you visit Colorado, stop in any bookstore and pick up a number of books about the state's ghost towns. Some of the best are Robert Brown's series of three (Caxton Printers, Ltd. Caldwell, ID). Also the pair of Colorado Ghost Town Atlas books by Leann Boyd & Glenn Carson are indispensable (WH. Glenn Carson Enterprises, Inc., Dona Ana, NM).

 

With well over 1000 ghost towns in CO, I have only listed a few herein.

 

Some of the vignettes below contain specific words that are listed on our DEFINITIONS page.  If you are unfamiliar with the meaning of the word in a ghost town sense, click on the link and scroll down to that term.  You can use the BACK button on the browser to return to this page.

 

HELP!  (NEW FEATURE) Please check here to find a list of ghost towns that various contacts are looking for.  IF you have any information on these places please e-mail me and I can respond back to those looking for info on these ghosts.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Where photos are indicated on the subject line thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  I was NOT able to add a back-link to the jpg image.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

ABARR

Yuma Co.

On SH 59, 20 miles south of Yuma, which is on US 34 midway between Ft. Morgan and the Nebraska state line. Originally settled in 1922 as Brownsville. The name changed a year later.

 

·        S Sec line 25/26, T2S, R48W, 6PM (Sixth Principal Meridian & 40° Base Line)

·        Latitude: 39.8505439 / 39° 51' 02" N

·        Longitude: -102.7071531 / 102° 42' 26" W

ANIMAS FORKS

San Juan Co.

Former silver mining town is a class C ghost located 4.4 miles north of Eureka, which is 9.5 miles northeast of Silverton. Four-Wheel-Drive-Road ONLY. Was active from 1870s through early 1900s.  Once had over 1000 people.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

 

·        NW¼ Sec 6, T42N, R7W, NMPM (New Mexico Prime Meridian & Base Line)

·        Latitude: 37.9311070  / 37° 55' 52" N

·        Longitude: -107.5714483 / 107° 34' 17" W

AYER

Otero Co.

This forgotten, early 20th Century railroad siding and post office is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

BENT’S OLD FORT

Otero Co.

Located just west of the county line, north of the Arkansas River and south of SH 194, eight miles northeast of La Junta, which is on US 50, 64 miles southeast of Pueblo. This class C/F trading post was established in 1829 by William & Charles Bent.  It burned in 1855 and was reconstructed in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebration.  Now a National Historic Site.  

See our BENT’S OLD FORT page for additional details.

BENTON

Otero Co.

This forgotten, early 20th Century railroad siding and post office is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

BESHOAR

Las Animas Co.

This forgotten, early 20th Century railroad siding and post office is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

BLOOM

Otero Co.

In 2005, this early 20th Century ghost town still had a roofless building shell and cemetery.  It is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

BOGGSVILLE

Bent Co.

This class C cattle town is just off SH 101, three miles south of Las Animas and east of the Purgatoire River. A number of old buildings and rubble remain. Kit Carson is said to have once lived here.

 

·        SW¼ Sec 14, T23S, R52W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 38.0416738 / 38° 02' 30" N

·        Longitude: -103.2127079 / 103° 12' 46" W

BUCKSKIN JOE

Park Co.

On north side of Buckskin Creek, two miles west of Alma, which is on SH 9, 5.7 miles northwest of Fairplay.  This is the real town, not to be confused with Fremont County's tourist town of the same name. The first gold was discovered in 1859, and by 1861 the town had 5000 people. Between 1862-1866 it was the county seat.

 

·        SE¼ Sec 3, T9S, R78W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 39.2930449 / 39° 17' 35" N

·        Longitude: -106.0880751 / 106° 05' 17" W

CADDOA

Bent Co.

Along the Arkansas River, the first site of this town dates to 1888. In the 1940s it was flooded when the John Martin Reservoir was built. It was located several miles north of Caddoa (second site). The second site is nearly abandoned, with only a few people still holding out. It had a population of 35 in 1990.  Located on the BNSF Railroad about 15 miles east of Las Animas.

 

SECOND SITE:

·        Ctr (Center) Sec 13, T23S, R50W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 38.0477853 / 38° 02' 52" N

·        Longitude: -102.9660347 / 102° 57' 58" W

CRYSTAL CITY

Gunnison Co.

500 people once lived in this 1880s silver-mining town located five miles east of Marble, which is 7.3 miles southeast of SH 133 at a point 4.1 miles south of Redstone.

 

·        NE¼ Sec 33, T11S, R87W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 39.0591557 / 39° 03' 33" N

·        Longitude: -107.1011585 / 107° 06' 04" W

DELHI

Las Animas Co.

In 2005, this early 20th Century ghost town still had several standing buildings.  It is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

EARL

Las Animas Co.

This forgotten, early 20th Century railroad siding and post office is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

EASTONVILLE

El Paso Co.

This former potato farming center is located on Sweet Road, ¾ mile west of SH 217, 12 miles south of Elbert, at the north end of the county about 20 AIR miles northeast of Colorado Springs. It is claimed to have once had 500 people. The post office opened in 1872 and closed in 1932.

 

·        S-Ctr Sec 28, T11S, R64W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 39.0611029 / 39° 03' 40" N

·        Longitude: -104.5621927 / 104° 33' 44" W

EUREKA

San Juan Co.

This class D gold-mining town dates to the 1870s, when it had 2000 people. Located on SH 110 (4 x 4 road only), 8.5 miles northeast of Silverton.

 

·        S -Ctr Sec 19, T42N, R7W, NMPM

·        Latitude: 37.8797187 / 37° 52' 47" N

·        Longitude: -107.5550594 / 107° 33' 54" W

FLORESTA

Gunnison Co.

This old ghost town is located on the north side of Ohio Pass, about two miles west of CR 730 (Ohio Pass Rd.), 0.5 miles south of Kebler Pass Road.  It had a summer post office 1906-1919.

 

·        N-Ctr Sec 16, T14S, R87W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 38.8419375 / 38° 50' 31" N

·        Longitude: -107.1228269 / 107° 07' 22" W

FULFORD

Eagle Co.

Lower...10.6 miles east of Brush Creek Road, southeast of Eagle. This was the residential section of the town. It boomed from the 1890s through the early 1900s.

Upper...The business section of town

 

·        S½ Sec line 23/24, T6S, R83W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 39.5149852 / 39° 30' 54" N

·        Longitude: -106.6564233 / 106° 39' 23" W

Georgetown

 

Clear Creek Co.

County seat for Clear Creek County and far from being a ghost town, this class E mining town is one of the most well preserved of Colorado’s gold towns still in existence.  The entire downtown district is one of the most beautiful displays of Victorian architecture still extant.

See our Georgetown page for additional details.

GLADSTONE

San Juan Co.

This company-owned silver-mining town was active from 1878-1910 and once had nearly 2000 people. 7.1 miles north of Silverton on Cement Creek.

 

·        Corner Secs 16, 17, 20, 21, T42N, R8W, NMPM

·        Latitude: 37.8902735 / 37° 53' 25" N

·        Longitude: -107.6503383 / 107° 39' 01" W

GOTHIC

Gunnison Co.

On the East River Road, 8.2 miles north of Crested Butte on the east side of the East River.  Early 1880s boomtown with a peak population near 8000.

 

·        N-Ctr Sec 3, T12S, R86W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 38° 57' 33" N / 38.9591580

·        Longitude: 106° 59' 23" W / -106.9897676

HAHN’S PEAK

Routt Co.

On east shore of Steamboat Lake, seven miles north of Clark and 26.2 miles north of Steamboat Springs. 1864s era gold-mining camp and county seat. It remained the county seat until 1912.

 

·        SE¼ Sec 20, T10S, R85W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 40° 48' 25" N / 40.8069152

·        Longitude: 106° 56' 37" W / -106.9436613

HESTER

Crowley Co.

“I dug a Hester, Colorado beer today in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I find no reference to that town anywhere. All it says on the bottle ‘Hester Colo.’ Any info?”

Eric (January 25, 2004)

 

Hester was a rural post office (and obviously also a brewery) about 15 miles north of Ordway. The post office was active 1905-1912. Crowley County is located on the plains east of Pueblo. It is not listed in GNIS (GBS).

HORSESHOE

Park Co.

An 1880s silver-mining town. Its peak population reached 800. It was on Fourmile Creek, about five miles west-southwest of Fairplay, which is at the northern junction of US 285/SH 9.

 

·        SW¼ Sec 2, T10S, R78W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 39.2038796 / 39° 12' 14" N

·        Longitude: -106.0852966 / 106° 05' 07" W

HOUGHTON

Las Animas Co.

In 2005, this was a barren site and is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

INDEPENDENCE

Pitkin Co.

Also known as Belden, Chipita, Farwell, Mammoth City, Mount Hope, Sidney and Spark Hill, this old mining town is located on the bottom of the “big smile” of SH 82, 15 miles east of Aspen, and just west of Independence Pass. At its peak, some 2000 people walked the streets of this 1880s gold mining town.

 

·        Sec 10, T11S, R82W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 39.1072124 / 39° 06' 26" N

·        Longitude: -106.6058652 / 106° 36' 21" W

KADREW

Las Animas Co.

This forgotten, early 20th Century railroad siding is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

KEOTA

Weld Co.

Established in 1888, this town once had a school, church, fire station, bank, five stores, a hotel and a bustling railroad station. It is located about 40 miles northeast of Greeley in the southwest corner of the Pawnee National Grassland.

 

·        NE¼ Sec 33, T11S, R87W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 39.0591557 / 39° 03' 33" N

·        Longitude: -107.1011585 / 107° 06' 04" W

LUDLOW

Las Animas Co.

“Site of coal miner's strike (1913-1914) and subsequent slaughter of wives and children of the strikers.  Remains of mining town nearby as well as a monument explaining the event, which sits atop of the basement where some women and children were killed.” 

Contributed by Stacey Cornwell (12/10/2001)

 

·        N-Ctr Sec 20, T31S, R64W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 37.3333493 / 37° 20' 00" N

·        Longitude: -104.5833180 / 104° 35’ 00" W

MINDEMAN

Otero Co.

This forgotten, early 20th Century railroad siding and post office is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

MODEL

Las Animas Co.

In 2005, this early 20th Century ghost town still had several standing buildings.  It is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

MOSCOW

Gunnison Co.

On CR 744, at the junction of Doctor and Spring Gulches, eight miles north of Spring Creek Turnoff off CR 742 (Taylor River Rd.)

Not listed in GNIS

NEVADAVILLE

Gilpin Co.

Located above Central City/Blackhawk.  It is a wonderful little class D ghost with a half dozen buildings still standing.  PHOTO! 

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

 

·        SW¼ Sec 11, NW¼ Sec 14, T3S, R73W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 39.7952656 / 39° 47' 43" N

·        Longitude: -105.5324978 / 105° 31' 57" W

OHIO CITY

Gunnison Co.

On CR 765, 12 miles east of Gunnison, then 8.6 miles north, at the junction of Gold and Quartz Creeks. This class D gold-mining town lived from the 1860s, boomed in 1880s, and faded in 1890s. In 1990, 70 people still lived here.

 

·        N-Ctr Sec 26, T50N, R3E, NMPM  

·        Latitude: 38.5666602 / 38° 34' 00" N

·        Longitude: -106.6116988 / 106° 36' 42" W

ORMEGA

Otero Co.

This forgotten, early 20th Century railroad siding and post office is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

PUNKIN CENTER

Lincoln Co.

At the junction of SH 94/71, at the west end of the county, near southeast tip of Elbert County, about 60 miles due east of Colorado Springs. Established around 1918, the old gas station/general store here has a colorful history of armed robberies between 1929 and 1941. According to GNIS, “John Stevens built the first store at the farmers crossroads in 1920. He painted each new building a pumpkin color, inspiring the name. Everything burnt in the 1950s.”  The crossroads is the junction of the four section corners.

 

·        SWC (SW Corner) Sec 5, SEC Sec 6, NEC Sec 7, NWC Sec 8, T14S, R56W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 38.8519383 / 38° 51' 07" N

·        Longitude: -103.7005037 / 103° 43' 02" W

RED MOUNTAIN TOWN

Ouray Co.

This class B silver mining town is located 0.4 miles east of US 550, on the north side of Red Mountain Pass, between Ouray and Silverton. At one time this town had over 10,000 people and 100 plus business establishments.  4 X 4 road only.

 

·        NW¼ Sec 13, T42N, R8W, NMPM  

·        Latitude: 37.9036062 / 37° 54' 13" N

·        Longitude: -107.7025610 / 107° 42' 09" W

RENE

Otero Co.

This forgotten, early 20th Century railroad siding and post office is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

SILVERTON

San Juan Co.

Silverton is a wonderful class E location and still-active county seat.  However, it’s population is much less than it was during its boom years in the 1875-1893 era.  This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

 

·        W½ Sec 17, T41N, R7W, NMPM  

·        Latitude: 37.8119410 / 37° 48' 43" N

·        Longitude: -107.6645057 / 107° 39' 52" W

SIMPSON

Las Animas Co.

In 2005, this early 20th Century ghost town still had rubble and ruins.  It is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

St. Elmo

 

Chaffee Co.

A class D gold-mining town located at the west end of SH 162, 16.5 miles west of US 285 at Nathrop. This is one of my favorite Colorado ghosts. Dozens of buildings still stand, and at our last visit (1997) the store was still open, dispensing colas, ice cream, and lots of free talk!  According to an E-mail I received in July 2009, the permanent population was 3 people year-round.   The temporary population varies.

See our St. Elmo page for additional details.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

STONINGTON

Baca Co.

The first site is a Class A ghost located six miles southwest of the present townlet, west of the Kansas border, along the north side of the South Fork of the Cimarron River.

 

APPROXIMATE:

·        Sec 25, 26, 35, T32S, R44W, 6PM  

·        Latitude: 37.2245877

·        Longitude: -102.2269249

 

The present town is at its second site and is a Class D agricultural town eight miles west of the Kansas border, and about eight miles southeast of Walsh.  It sits on all four corners of the junction, but mostly on the southwestern corner of the junction of CR 49/X. The town relocated here in 1909.

 

·        NEC Sec 6, NWC Sec 5, T32S, R43W, 6PM  

·        SEC Sec 31, SWC Sec 32, T31S, R43W, 6PM

·        Latitude: 37.2936295 / 37° 17' 37" N

·        Longitude: -102.1874017  / 102° 11' 15" W

THATCHER

Las Animas Co.

In 2005, this early 20th Century ghost town still had several standing buildings.  It is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

TIMPAS

Otero Co.

In 2005, this early 20th Century ghost town still had several standing buildings.  It is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

TINCUP

Gunnison Co.

Class D silver-boom town dating to the 1880s. Once had 6000 people. Located at the junction of CR 765 (Grand Ave)/267 (Washington St), 18 miles north of Pitkin, which is 27.2 miles east-northeast of Gunnison. Now popular with summer visitors.

 

·        T15S, R82W, 6PM  (Sections not shown on GNIS)

·        Latitude: 38.7544393 / 38° 45' 16" N

·        Longitude: -106.4783605 / 106° 28' 42" W

TYRONE

Las Animas Co.

In 2005, this early 20th Century ghost town still had several standing buildings.  It is featured on our Exploring US 350 page.

VERNON

Yuma Co.

Established in the 1890s, this rural post office and crossroads community is located at the southeast corner of CR CC/26, four miles west of US 385, at a point eight miles south of Wray. It sits about eight miles northwest of the site of a famous 1868 Indian/white battle.

 

·        NWC Sec 28, T1S, R44W, 6PM

·        Latitude: 39.9463790 / 39° 56' 47" N

·        Longitude: -102.3154743 / 102° 18' 56" W

WHITE PINE

Gunnison Co.

1880s era placer gold-mining camp with a peak population of 3000. Is located on CR 888, three miles north of Crosden, in Tomichi Creek Canyon, between Monarch and Cumberland Passes.

 

·        Ctr Sec 34, T50N, R5E, NMPM

·        Latitude: 38.5416626 / 38° 32' 30" N

·        Longitude: -106.3936374 / 106° 23' 37" W

 

 

In the southeastern corner of the state a batch of ghost towns lie along US Highway 350.  These ghost towns were our featured Ghost Town of the Month for March/April 2013.

 

 

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

 

Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America. Gary B. Speck Publications is in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of “STATE”

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

 

For more information on the ghost towns of COLORADO, contact us at Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line.

THANK YOU!  :o)

IMPORTANT

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in STATE above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

 

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of STATE, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

 

Also visit: Ghost Town USA’s

 

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CURRENT Ghost Town of the Month | PAST Ghost Towns of the Month

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FIRST POSTED:  January 1999

LAST UPDATED: April 07, 2014

 

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