Ghost Towns Overview

Some people think of a ghost town as being a “movie set” panorama with a full complement of vacant buildings complete with doors swinging in the wind and the howling of the breeze through holes in walls. Others think of a ghost town as being a town that is a shadow of its former past, but still alive with museums and shops and things to do pertaining to the old west in a true old west location. Still others think of a ghost town as being nothing but a few ruins and foundations in a far remote area accessible only by Four-Wheel drive on a good day.

So, who is right? Everyone is right. A ghost town is any place where people once lived, or are still living, that is a shadow of its past glory. This includes everything from absolutely remote locations with very little remaining (sometimes called the “True Ghost”), to flourishing tourist towns such as those located in Jerome, AZ or even Calico, CA. In Colorado, most of the ghost towns are located in the mountains. As the gold and silver mines played out, these boom towns typically went bust as folks went to the next big mine to make a buck.

However, over the last 30 years, there is a rush to head back to these ghost towns–not for gold, but recreational activities. This web site will point out a few interesting places throughout the Colorado Mountains that are worth a visit. In addition to the typical ghost towns, I have included information on a few old railroad sites which provided the means to transport the gold/silver out of the mountains. When driving, be warned that some sites are difficult to get to in anything other than a four-wheel drive vehicle. It is always best to be aware of local weather conditions, in addition to understanding your driving limits in rough mountainous terrain.

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