At one time in their history, these places saw a lot of activity. But now, they are left standing, or mostly standing, vacant, unused and forgotten. Until now.

Once the world's highest train tracks, these tracks were part of the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railway line. At its peak, the line kept settlers and miners supplied with all of their needs, as well as bringing tourists to the area. But, being an afterthought to larger railway companies like the Denver/Rio Grande caused them to ultimately file bankruptcy. Leading to much of the railway lines owned by the company going unused, including this one. In the fall, you can still see the gold.

This town was founded as a place for miners to get supplies in 1859. By 1885 most everyone had left, as more people moved into the area, the base of power shifted to the town of Golden, and Mount Vernon became an afterthought.

Sunnyside Mine - San Juan

Located on the shore of what was once Lake Emma, you will find what is left of the Sunnyside Mine. Seven miles northeast of Silverton lies a mine that, for 50 years, was very active. After bringing out over $150 million in precious metals, the mine closed in 1991 after a collapse that injured and killed no one. It happened to occur on a Sunday, and no miners were present.

Here is where you will find what remains of the National Bell Mine, located just off the Million Dollar Highway aka Highway 550 near Ouray. At one time the place was booming, with nearly one hundred businesses. Park at Red Mountain Pass and walk down to some amazing scenery.

August 3rd, 1933 the Castlewood Dam broke and produced the worst flood of its time in the area. The resulting flood caused one and one-half billion gallons of water to rush through Denver in six hours. While the Army Corps of Engineers gave thought to rebuild it, they instead built the Cherry Creek Reservoir.

Not only is there an excellent hiking trail here, there is also the remnants of a castle built by a man, John Brisban Walker who raised and lost a few fortunes in his day. Once the owner of the Stanley Steamer Car Company and Cosmopolitan Magazine, Walker built this place in the early 1900's but it was destroyed by a lightning strike.

There are more amazing places in the state that we have yet to find. Sounds like a challenge to me!

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