Ghost Towns: The True Treasure of Colorado!
By Molly • July 18, 2016
Colorado is home to numerous ghost towns that are filled with rich history. Many are tucked away in the mountains or deep in forests. Each is a hidden reminder of past search for treasure. Get off road, and explore the ultimate ghost towns of Colorado on foot, by Jeep, or ATV to immerse yourself in the history of mining in the west.
Just south of Aspen, Ashcroft is a small, well-preserved mining town. The last resident died in 1939. Since then, Ashcroft has become a historical ghost town nestled in between mountains and beautiful aspen forests. Now, the Aspen Historical Society works hard to help preserve buildings such as the town jail, post office, and trading post.
In 1910, Dearfield was prospering as an agricultural community. However, the combination of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl signified the beginning of the end for Dearfield. By 1940, a mere 12 residents lived in Dearfield (30 miles outside of Greeley) and then in 1973, the last resident died. Today Dearfield is a Colorado Registered Historic Landmark and on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Experience the history of mining while exploring Animas Forks! Picture the men and women who forged their life and existence chasing their dreams in this imposing environment. Tour the tundra high above Silverton, a world away from the stresses of modern life with waterfalls, mountain wildlife, beautiful vistas, and the famous Colorado wildflowers. It’s one of Colorado’s best preserved ghost towns with 12 still-standing buildings. Jeep along a trail peppered with remnants of old mining claims and tailing piles on Mild to Wild’s Ghost Town Tour.
At 10,830 feet, this ghost town southeast of Aspen lived high in the mountains and was frequently cut off from the rest of the world during winter. Now, Independence is usually only accessible in the summer, but is still considered a hidden gem of Colorado with deep mining history.
St. Elmo & Tin Cup Ghost Towns
St. Elmo is arguably one of the most well-preserved ghost towns in Colorado. Just west of Buena Vista, wood buildings line a dusty main street full of rich history. Then from St. Elmo, venture to the infamous town of Tin Cup. Reminiscent of the once unruly mining town echo whispers of trials and tribulations of those who once lived there.
These ghost towns represent a handful of the notable Colorado ghost towns. Take the time to visit these pieces of history on your own or join us on one of our guided Jeep tours. If you’re looking for more history, Mesa Verde is one of the Southwest Colorado treasures, or check out the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad!