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Report - Animas Forks Ghost Town, Colorado, USA – July 2011

747_kirki

Death Valley is Mine
28DL Full Member
#1
Animas Forks Ghost Town is located at an elevation of 11,200 feet, making it more than two miles above sea level. It’s fairly easily accessible via 12-13mile off-road track from Silverton, an old mining town in Colorado. It’s passable by two-wheel drive vehicles, but high clearance is recommended as it gets fairly bumpy along the way..

The town's first log cabin was built in 1873 and by 1876 the community had become a bustling mining community. At that time the town contained 30 cabins, a hotel, a general store, a saloon, and a post office. By 1883 450 people lived in Animas Forks and in 1882 a newspaper, the Animas Forks Pioneer, began publication and lasted until October 1886.

When mining profits began to decline investment in Animas Forks was no longer justified and although mining made a brief 1904 rebound, the town's mining days were nearing an end. A rail line ran through the area and also brought back interest in mining in the community but the railroad never reached its expectations. The Gold Prince Mill closed in 1910 and in 1917 most of the mill's major parts were removed for a new facility in nearby Eureka. The mill's dismantling signalled the beginning of the end for Animas Forks and the town was a ghost town by the 1920s.

Today the site is visited by tourists wanting to get off the beaten trail. Entry to the remaining buildings is unrestricted, but some of the flooring is very fragile (i.e. West Park Asylum-style floorboards).

Me and the Mrs visited today, and the place is magical. Awesome views, and you can really get a feeling for what the town must have been like to live in a century ago.

A better part of the track to Animas Forks:
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The largest remaining house / structure:
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Inside the house:
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Amazing view from upstairs windows:
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Other housing:
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Some old newspapers found near the site, and pinned up by visitors in one of the houses. Papers date back to 1907:
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The town's Jailhouse:
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A beaver (ahem!) spotted on the road back from the Ghost Town (!):
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Animas Forks in its hey day (note the big house in the middle of the photo, on the right of the track):
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There are no open mines within Animas Forks Ghost Town itself, but on the road up from Silverton you pass the remains of several old mines / mills, most of which are located across the river from the track. I'd guess they'd be accessible, if you were dressed for crossing a fairly large river (which I wasn't!).
 

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