Tucked away in a desolate stretch of Colorado is the tiny, forgotten town of Timpas. The ghost town is about 16 miles southwest of La Junta, along U.S. Route 350, but it's so small that many people drive right past it, not even knowing what once was. However, there's some interesting history to this Colorado location.

The now-abandoned homes in Timpas once belonged to some of Colorado's earliest settlers. Back in the late 1800s, the area's proximity to Timpas Creek was the main reason why people established homes there. Many of the residents living in Timpas were employed on an irrigation project along the flowing creek nearby.

The creek was the inspiration behind the town's name.

Timpas's close location to the water also made the town an important stop on the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail. This section of the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail was first traveled by wagons in 1832 or 1834.

Google Maps/Canva
Google Maps/Canva

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At its peak population, Timpas had approximately 120 residents. Situated at 4,430 feet, the Otero County community had several restaurants, hotels, a pool, a school, and a dance hall. Additionally, Timpas had its own post office that operated from 1891 to 1970.

Open-range ranching also dominated the Timpas area.

When the irrigation dam was washed out in 1922, the townspeople were dried out and began moving elsewhere. The harsh conditions that came with the Great Plains' flat geography were also not favorable to citizens living in Timpas.

There is one private residence remaining in the quiet, run-down community in southeastern Colorado, but it's mostly just deserted buildings. Remnants of the old brick schoolhouse are also still present.

Google Maps/Canva
Google Maps/Canva

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The Forest Service has also constructed a rest stop at Timpas with shaded tables and interpretive information. A short, public walking trail leads to one of the former ranches too.

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Gallery Credit: Emily Mashack

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