Why Colorado’s Red Mountain Ghost Town Can Be Hard to Identify
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
The old mining community located in Colorado's Red Mountain Mining District might be one of the best places in the state to explore several ghost towns that are all located close to each other.
It's estimated that around 10,000 people may have made up all the different mining communities between Ouray and Silverton along Highway 550 in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Where is Colorado's Red Mountain Mining District?
The Red Mountain Mining district is considered to be the 12-mile stretch on either side of Red Mountain Pass along the Million Dollar Highway. Today the only inhabited towns are Ouray and Silverton. The trip through the mountains between these two cities is a tour of the historic Red Mountain Mining area. This area is about 110 miles from Grand Junction.
Why is Red Mountain Town a Tricky Place to Identify?
Going all the way back to the beginning of the Red Mountain Mining district means exploring an area that was named "Sky City" by the miners near Red Mountain. The town was built in the winter and the residents found that in the spring and summer months that they had built their town in a swamp. The entire settlement was moved down the road. Maps of the area sometimes show Red Mountain Town in different locations.
There was also a Red Mountain City located about 1 mile away which created even more confusion as to where Red Mountain Town was actually located.
Why Did Residents Abandon Red Mountain Town?
The town had been relocated once around 1880 and then lost most structures to a fire in 1892. A second fire in 1899 brought the number of residents down to just 12 people. Mining continued in the Red Mountain Area until the 1970s. The Idarado Mining Company ended up being sued for damaging natural resources and contaminating a portion of the water supply in the area. See what is left of Red Mountain Town in the photo gallery below.