Strike up your sense of adventure! Southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains is home to some of the world’s richest gold and silver finds. Back in the 1870s gold was found there and dozens of small mining towns grew into flourishing communities.
Places like Ouray, Silverton, Telluride (and a whole lot more that are lost to history) sprang up, sometimes overnight. Thousands of men from all over the world came and looked for their fortune. A handful of them found it.
Today you can drive the old mountain trails and see ghost towns along with their old mining buildings. Most of the old mines are sealed for the public’s protection. Some remote mines can still be entered but years of neglect have left them hazardous. Drive a short distance south of Ouray to view the Red Mountain Mining district - home to thousands of mines.
Don’t miss the Ouray County Historical Museum in town for another glimpse into Ouray’s rich mining history.
Just north of Ouray is the Bachelor-Syracuse Mine Tour. There you can enjoy a great miner’s breakfast, take a gold panning class and tour 1800’ into Gold Hill on a tram. There you will hear 120 years of mining history and lore.
Also near Silverton is The Old Hundred Mine. Climb aboard the mine tram for a tour inside. See a great display of mining equipment and see it in operation. A heritage pass can be purchased at the Silverton Museum which includes entry to the museum, the Mayflower mill and the Old Hundred.