Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Animas Forks Ghost Town

Ghost towns and mines have always fascinated me. My first trip to Colorado was before I was old enough to walk, and my parents and grandparents would take me to places like Red Mountain Pass which is full of mines and abandoned buildings. There is something mysterious and fun about visiting a place that someone lived over 100 years ago. Animas Forks is one of those fascinating places, for sure. June 30, 2008, after our side trip to attempt Hurricane Pass, we drove back to Silverton to County Road 2 to drive up to Animas Forks. This is an easy dirt road that any vehicle can drive on, and reaches an elevation of 11,200 feet. We chose to drive over Ophir Pass and up to Animas Forks to begin the Alpine Loop. You can reach the Alpine Loop from Ouray on highway 550 up Mineral Creek trail, which is difficult, rough and takes quite awile to reach the entrance to Engineer Pass. Besides that, Animas Forks is a great ghost town to visit because it is well-maintained for tourists and you can carefully go inside many of the buildings. The kids really enjoyed that.

The original name of Animas Forks was La Plata City, and at one time the population was 450. The town was established in 1877 and wasn't abandoned until the 1930s! They say a blizzard dumped 25 feet of snow there in 23 days one year.

Maralee the friendly ghost. (Most people probably don't know I got Maralee's name from a ghost in the TV show American Gothic).
These people must have been rich (or stupid) to be the first in town to have an indoor toilet.

Savanna the hippie tie dye ghost in the big Duncan house.
Jeep tour truck from Ouray.

Yellow triplet Jeeps.

Animas Forks in the evening after we completed the Alpine Loop.

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