There are a number of ghost towns throughout the Ouray, Silverton, and Telluride area. Some of these mining towns were small, inhabited by only a few people, while others had thousands of residents. Most ghost towns in this area, due to the difficult and unforgiving long winter months, are now just bare sites with only a few buildings still standing. These historical ruins are “true ghosts”. You will find shadows of the past in the ruins and foundations of these old mining towns. There are towns that can be reached by passenger car, but most are located in remote areas only accessible by four-wheel drive.
Visit these ghost towns and step back in time. Stand in ramshackle bunkhouses that were once occupied by brave souls seeking their fortunes. Even when you’re physically there, it is difficult to imagine the hardships experienced by the individuals who once worked thousands of feet underground in cold, dirty, and dreary conditions.
In your exploration of these abandoned mine sites, be extremely cautious of any unprotected portals and shafts. Do not allow children to wander throughout these areas unsupervised. Please leave the sites the way you found them. Do not help in the further destruction of these sites by carrying away any pieces of their history.
The following sites are only a small fraction of those that exist in the San Juan Mountains surrounding Ouray. Enjoy experiencing the historical significance of the gold and silver mining era.