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Spooky Season Ghost Towns

Get on Colorado’s backroads and explore these three abandoned mining towns.

A state steeped in rich mining history, Colorado boasts some of the most fascinating ghost towns in the country. These abandoned communities offer a window into the past, to the height of the gold rush. While they may now be desolate, the stories they bear are as spirited as ever.

St. Elmo. Dariusz Kowalczyk/Wikimedia Commons

One such ghost town is St. Elmo, nestled in the heart of the Sawatch Range. Once a thriving mining community, St. Elmo is now a perfectly preserved example of a late 19th century mining hub. Forty-three historic buildings await exploration, providing a glimpse into the daily lives of miners and their families.

Animas Forks. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Continue South to Animas Forks, settled at 11,200 feet in the San Juans. This remote community was home to several successful mines, but brutal snowstorms and harsh winters froze the residents out by the 1920s. Today, visitors can explore the town’s remaining structures along the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway.

Remains of the 1880s Ashcroft mining town. Courtesy Denise Chambers/Miles.

For those seeking a truly eerie experience, Colorado’s largest ghost town, Ashcroft, is not to be missed. This former silver-mining town has been abandoned for over a century. The preserved buildings, including a hotel, saloon, and post office, are rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of former residents. With stories of boom and bust, fortunes lost and found, and the resilient spirit of mountain-town settlers, you’ll come away from these adventures with a newfound appreciation for Colorado’s epic history.

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