Western Colorado is home to the ghost town  Animas Forks, one of the highest mining camps in the western United States.

Colorado Ghost Town On the Alpine Loop

Animas Forks is a ghost town, located about 12 miles northeast of Silverton with an elevation of 11,200 feet. You'll find Animas Forks on a 65-mile system of roads known as the Alpine Loop connecting Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton. Though off the beaten path, more than 100,000 people visit the region every year.

Great Colorado Mining History

This is some great history behind Animas Forks with the first log cabin being built in 1873 and becoming a thriving mining community in a few short years. About 450 people lived in Animas Forks by 1883, and the town even had its own newspaper, the Animas Forks Pioneer. The town had 30 cabins, a hotel, a general store, a saloon, and a post office.

Each fall, many residents would move to Silverton for the winter because of its "warmer" climate.  The story is told of a 23-day blizzard in 1884 that covered the town with 25 feet of snow. Residents actually had to dig tunnels to get around town.

Once a booming mining town, profits began to decline, and the Gold Prince Mill closed in 1910. By the 1920s, Animas Forks had become a ghost town.

Animas Forks Today

Today, Animas Forks is a tourist attraction managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The nine standing buildings that remain have been stabilized, repaired, and restored. You'll find a parking lot with interpretive brochures and maps of the site.

Colorado Ghost Town: Animas Forks

Animas Forks is a ghost town in western Colorado that connects us to early Colorado history and the mining pioneers who hoped to strike it rich in the late 1800s. Today, visitors to the historic site near Silverton, can step back in time and see what remains of one of the highest mining camps in the western United States.

Alphabetical Tour of Colorado's Ghost Towns

There are over 300 ghost towns peppered throughout the state of Colorado. Some of these towns are very well preserved with a few residents. Others are completely abandoned with very little left to explore. Regardless, venturing through one of these towns will give you a look into Colorado's rich mining history.

START SCROLLING: Small Colorado Towns Known for Big Things

Colorado is full of towns and cities of all sizes. If you're on the front range, you have the majority of big populated cities. Move more towards the east and west, and these towns get smaller and smaller.

Just because some of these towns are populated by very few people, that doesn't mean they are not home to big things.

Let's take a look at these small Colorado towns known for big things.