Abandoned Colorado Attractions You Need to Visit

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018 in Scenery, Travel, Trip Planning

Most tourists gravitate toward the popular areas of Colorado… but we’re here to talk about where nobody resides.  Colorado is riddled with some of the best abandoned towns to visit. Though they tend to be creepy ventures, you’ll get to see a piece of the states history while you explore these deserted locations in Colorado.

Crystal Mill | Carbondale

Crystal Mill Abandoned

Image courtesy of Matt Santomarco

Crystal Mill was built in 1892.  The old wooden powerhouse was eligibly said to have been used to bore holes in the nearby mountains for mining purposes.  In 1917, the entire operation was shut down, yet the majestic wooden structure still stands today.  This is one of the most beautiful and photogenic places in Colorado, but keep in mind the building is on private property and you will have to take in this brilliantly impressive view from the opposite side of the river.

Mount Falcon Castle | Morrison

John Brisben Walker was commissioned by the government to investigate agriculture in 1879 in the arid regions.  He purchased over 1,600 acres and started growing alfalfa.  Though a beautiful donation to the land, this isn’t what makes him and the land so awesome.  In 1880, he bought up some more land to make Denver’s first amusement park.  This historic Denver spot was once home to a racetrack, the Castle of Culture and Commerce, ballparks, and tons of other features.  The abandoned castle outside Morrison might be his most scenic legacy of all and partial remains can still be seen today.

St. Elmo | Nathrop

Image courtesy of Jim Shoemaker.

St. Elmo was founded in 1880 in Chaffee County.  This mysterious ghost town lies in the heart of the Sawatch Range at 9,961 feet in elevation and is just 20 miles southwest of Buena Vista. St. Elmo has the greatest picturesque ghost town visual appeal, which still has a fully operational general store and bed-and-breakfast for anyone daring enough to stay overnight. The town was once booming with 2,000 people for its abundant mining of silver and gold. Even though this mining has run dry, this town is still full of things to keep tourists busy.  All the old mining trails are now four-wheel and Jeep trails.  The Chalk Creek is loaded with places to fish during the summer.  Today, it’s on the states historic registry.

Gilman | Eagle County

Talk about a ghost town with a terrifying view… this mining town was built in 1886 and sits at 8,950 feet in elevation.  Gilman grows its appeal from its back story.  The town was the centerpiece in the state for lead and zinc mining.  People from all over the country flocked to the area for what it had to offer for their fortunes.  However, because of toxic pollutants that came with the mining, the EPA abandoned the Eagle Mine which brought the forward movement of the town to a standstill.  Keep in mind this town is now private property, and trespassers will be prosecuted.  If you make your way along Highway 24, however, you can view the beautiful abandoned spot from afar.

Fill up your morning by freeing you mind and taking in some of these historic sites, and if you’re looking for another type of adventure to take over your afternoon, call Colorado River Rentals!


*Featured image courtesy of Kool 107.9.