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27 Ghost Towns In Colorado [MAP]

    Ghost towns in Colorado

    If you’re searching for ghost towns in Colorado, we’ve got you covered! Below are 27 different ghost towns you can explore across the great state of Colorado along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.

    We rate ghost towns in Arizona based on their status. Here’s how our system works:

    • Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
    • Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
    • Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
    • Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
    • Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
    • Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.


    1. Animas Forks

    37.9322, -107.57082
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Animas Forsk was a vibrant mining community with over 30 structured scattered throughout the woodlands. Winters here were brutal, with snowfall lasting so long, that residents had to dig tunnels from building to building. If you’re brave enough, take a walk through what used to be a bustling mining town. At one point, Animas Forks had over 2,000 residents—today only around 20 remain.

    What’s Left?

    As of 2008, there were also no businesses operating within its borders; but if you’re looking for an eerie stroll on an otherwise pristine trail, it just might be your next vacation destination.


    2. Teller City

    40.43331, -106.00335
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Teller was settled in 1879 and would eventually grow to be the largest town in the region with over 1500 residents. There were hundreds of log homes scattered across the forest and the town center boasted over 27 saloons and a 40-room hotel. When work dried up, people quickly left. By 1887 only 300 people lived on site. By 1902 Teller was officially a ghost town.

    What’s Left?

    In Teller City, you’ll find plenty of old buildings and homes that have been abandoned or are simply crumbling. One building that has left a particularly chilling impression on visitors is an old mercantile store; its unearthly setting is haunted by a number of ghosts said to be searching for their son, who was killed by soldiers during an incident involving whiskey and horses.


    3. Tomboy

    37.93792, -107.75733
    Status: Privately Owned

    Photo Credit: Rob Lee – flickr.com

    History:

    During its heyday Tomboy was a mining settlement with 1000 residents. The area started producing gold in 1894 with the mines continuing to prosper until 1978. Once the mine was closed the settlers left everything behind.

    What’s Left?

    Nowadays, the town offers a beautiful sight of wildflowers during August and July. Many buildings and relics related to mining have survived up till now. The challenging thing is the terrain.

    The path is narrow, graveled, and not smooth It is certainly not for the faint-hearted but for adventurers. It is located in San Miguel County in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Colorado.


    4. Uptop

    33.33194, -110.94333
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Marsha – flickr.com

    History:

    It was a settlement built in 1877 with the biggest rail track. Later in the 19th century the track was removed and miners inhabited this place. They provided the wood needed in mines’ structures.

    After miners left this place, automotive tourism grew there. After World War 2 it was restored and a ski resort was built but this development was short-lived. After the highway was built, the town was completely abandoned.

    What’s Left?

    In 2001 two sisters bought it and restored 9 buildings. They wanted to live there but found that all buildings needed revitalization. So, they preserved the building as an act of community service and archeological preservation. Due to their efforts, it is now recognized in the records of National Historic Places.


    5. Dearfield

    40.29078, -104.25924
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Cobra0435 – flickr.com

    History:

    Dearfield was built by Oliver Jackson who had the intention of making it an African slave settlement. The place has a stark colonial history. It was difficult to establish a community here but once established, the place gave a profit through agriculture. Hence, it is named so. ‘dear’ suggests the precious value this land holds. During the great depression of 1920, the place suffered economically. It was so economically crippling that Jackson put it on sale but nobody bought it.

    What’s Left?

    Finally, it was abandoned when the owner died in 1948. Today, it has a historic value as an all-black settlement. There is a monument that shares the story of the past, a gas station, and a few cabins have survived.


    6. Alta

    37.88591, -107.8542
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Marsha Kay Photos – flickr.com

    History:

    Alta’s history is not different from many towns in Colorado. It was discovered as a mining town for gold until it was engulfed by fire in the mid-19th century.

    What’s Left?

    The town is located on Alta Lakes Road. In order to visit this place, one has to take a hike on the trail and the astounding structures of boarding houses appear a treat for the eyes. The place is nicely preserved and the structures are marvelous. It is surrounded by Aspin trees which makes it a visit-worthy place during autumn when leaves change their hue.


    7. Nevadaville

    39.79526, -105.53249
    Status: Privately Owned

    History:

    It was an Irish American gold mining community in 1859. During its heyday, it had a population of 1000-4000 people. It was a bustling place that eventually faded when gold and silver production in the area stopped.

    What’s Left?

    One can easily reach there by taking left from the Central City. The streets are now abandoned but it offers a glimpse of the past. All the historical buildings are present on private property but visitors are allowed on occasions.


    8. Caribou

    39.97953, -105.57732
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: arbyreed – flickr.com

    History:

    Caribou was a mining town that was eventually closed in 1884 due to fire. It was a robust place with 3000 settlers a post office, three saloons, and a bar. The place was sold and re-sold until it was bought by Tom Hendrick in 1980.

    What’s Left?

    It is located in Boulder County. One can reach there by taking 128 county road out of Nederland. One can find wooden cabins and camping is also allowed in some parts. The road to Caribou is filled with dirt but it is smooth. The place can be reached by driving directly.


    9. Eureka

    37.8808, -107.56804
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Bob Patton – flickr.com

    History:

    The town was a mining town built between two rivers to save it from avalanches. Charles Baker started a mining camp here in 1860. He had to leave because the US government signed a treaty with the natives who took charge of their land. later, in 1873 when gold prospects were found, mining again started there.

    What’s Left?

    It is located on the Animas River present in southwest Colorado. The path to this place is graveled and littered. One or two buildings have survived. There is an original jail that has been restored. In addition, camping is common around this place and one can observe the foundation of the Sunnyside Mill.


    10. Gilman

    39.53277, -106.39388
    Status: Privately Owned

    History:

    It was a mining town during silver production time from the mines. Once the production was over, the town was diminished. Historically, it was built by the judge Red Cliff. He kept the down as a camp for miners. The population was 300. The place was forced close in the 19th century due to toxic conditions.

    What’s Left?

    It is located at a cliff above the river Eagle. It can be seen on highway 24 easily while going from Vail to Leadville. The town is now present on private property and it offers few sights of scenic beauty


    11. Gothic

    38.95915, -106.98976
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Pumpkiny – flickr.com

    History:

    Gothic has a rich history of silver mines throughout the area, which gave the town its allure. After silver production was over, the population shrank from 1000 to 200 residents. The town has a history of hosting famous people including President Ulysses Grant in 1880.

    What’s Left?

    Today, this town is a heaven for skiers. In the 19th century, Dr. Jhon bought this town and converted it into a biological research laboratory. It is now a center of biological, ecological, and climate change research. Many professors and students visit this place and stay here during the summers. Just before Dr. Jhon bought it, one man lived here for 15 years and Hollywood made a movie on it in 1928 called: The Man who Stayed.

    Gothic is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in COlorado with tons of buildings and homes still standing.


    12. Holy Cross City

    39.41576, -106.47891
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Imkemper – flickr.com

    History:

    In 1880, it was discovered as a place filled with natural elements like lead, manganese, and gold. It had a population peak of 300 residents.

    By that time, its mines grew ineffective and the place closed down. It had a hotel, basic life amenities like saloons, and a post office. The town got its name because of the Mount of Holy Cross which is located nearby.

    What’s Left?

    Today, the place offers access to a trail built in the 18th century. It is a bumpy place so jeeps are helpful to get there. Very few cabins have survived offering a glimpse to the past.


    13. Keota

    40.70386, -104.07386
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Conspiracy of Cartography – flickr.com

    History:

    In 1880, two sisters Eva and Mary Beardsley built a home in Weld County. A few farmers settled later. During the late 1800 a train track passed through this place which brought water stored in a big tank which can be seen even today. Interestingly, it is not a traditional ghost town located in mountains. The terrain is plain and it played an important role in bouncing the country’s agriculture sector.

    What’s Left?

    Today, old buildings post offices and grocery stores still exist. There are not many facilities around. So, make sure that there is enough gas in the tank and food to eat.


    14. Ludlow

    37.33333, -104.58333
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Rob Sneed – flickr.com

    History:

    The place has a violent history. The population was 1200 and it was a tent city of miners. In 1914, there was a conflict between two mining counties. Both parties launched a back and forth attack on each other resulting in a climax scene of the Colorado Coalfield war at the Ludlow massacre. Tents were burned down and women and children were killed.

    What’s Left?

    There are many buildings that exist in their original condition. There is an honoring of the victims called United Mine Workers of America. It is located at the north of Trinidad situated at Las Animas County.


    15. St Johns

    39.57058, -105.88151
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    This place has a history of the most exquisite house that contained possessions from all over the world for the superintendent. Surprisingly, the town contained no saloons unlike other ghost towns of Colorado. John Coley founded this place in 1861. A mill was built in 1872.

    Primarily, it was a working site for Boston companies. The town did not enjoy popularity and was not as significant as other ghost towns in Colorado. It is difficult to estimate its population at that time, but a rough estimate suggests that 71 people lived there.

    What’s Left?

    Today, it offers a magnificent hiking site. Snow-peaked mountains welcome mountaineers and explorers.


    16. Independence

    39.1068, -106.60357
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: H Willowme – flickr.com

    History:

    It was discovered by prospectors in 1879. It boomed because Farewell Mining Company acquired most of the land of Independence. So the population grew and there were three saloons, grocery stores and boarding houses. There were 40 businesses by the end of 18th century there.

    However, two factors played role in the decline of the population there. The gold production was short-lived and winters were prolonged. There were storms that cut food supplies to independence and overliving became difficult.

    What’s Left?

    It is present on Highway 82, east of Aspin. It can be accessed in springs only. Today, the place is restored and it is a nice spot to relax for a while.


    17. Uravan

    38.36048, -108.75445
    Status: Barren

    History:

    It was a uranium mining town. Basically, the element produced here was vanadium and uranium was a byproduct. In fact, the name itself is a blend of these two elements. The miners sold it to the US government and little did they know that it was being used to make the atom bomb.

    The town was closed in 1985 because excessive mining created harmful radioactive substances. And the town was built with material extracted from the radioactively charged materials. Finally, the residents were moved out and the town was demolished to curb health hazards.

    What’s Left?

    Nowadays, very few remains of the place are present. Tourists are not allowed to go beyond a safe range into the town. Unlike most ghost towns in Colorado, this site is barren with not a whole lot left to see.


    18. Bonanza

    38.29482, -106.14265
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: 65mb – flickr.com

    History:

    In 1877, Bonanza was the largest settlement of 600 people in the Yankee Fork area of River Country. It was a silver mining town. Miners who lived in this area possessed a sense of civilization, so they started building up saloons.

    Soon it attracted people and the town had its own dentist, newspaper, market, and watchmaker. Bonanza is a Spanish word meaning ‘prosperity’. Bonanza was deserted due to fire in the late 18th century and also the end of silver marked its abandonment.

    What’s Left?

    Today, few historical buildings survive there and it can be accessed through Villa Grove, south of Poncha by turning right from the County of Mears Junction. Of all the ghost towns in Colorado, Bonanza easily has one of the best names on our list.


    19. Ohio City

    38.56666, -106.61169
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Patricia Henschen – flickr.com

    History:

    In 1860 Ohio City was a gold mining town. Later, the town was left by people but again silver rush in late 18th century attracted people again. Jacob was the person who saw a silver creek here and named it ‘Eagle City’. But it is known as Ohio city. The profits at this place continued to be explored until the mid-19th century but eventually, residence here ended. However, the town is a commercial tourist destination.

    What’s Left?

    Nowadays, no business is there. But there is a general store that opens seasonally. It offers nice destinations for walk. Among all Colorado towns, this place has the highest potential to come back to life.it is situated northeast of Gunnison.


    20. Goldfield

    38.71776, -105.12609
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Whitney Lake Photo – flickr.com

    History:

    Goldfield was among the three largest ghost towns in Colorado with around 3500 residents during the early 1900s. The town was built around the Portland mine which employed nearly everyone who lived in the area. When the gold disappeared, so did everyone else.

    What’s Left?

    Today Goldfield is among my favorite ghost towns in Colorado. There are plenty of old buildings as well as the mines that can be explored in the area.


    21. Winfield

    32.965, -114.463611
    Status: Historic

    Photo Credit: Sawatch Joe – flickr.com

    History:

    The town started its lively life in 1890 when two miners searched for their two lost mules. They saw that gold shined through the creeks along the river. However, silver and copper were its two giant productions. Like other ghost towns in Colorado, this had its church, school and saloons.

    What’s Left?

    The place is not completely abandoned a there are at least 12 private cabins owned by people. Some of the buildings are present in original conditions. A graveled road leads to this town that is located at Highway 24 Leadville from Buena Vista.


    22. Tin Cup

    38.75582, -106.4805
    Status: Historic

    History:

    Interestingly, the place got its name from prospectors who searched for gold in a tin cup. It was a heaven for the underworld back in 1859. It is believed that whenever an administrative person arrived at this place and told its people to obey the law; he got murdered. Therefore, the graveyard is filled with such people who dared to disagree with crime lords of the place. At its peak time, 2000 people lived there.

    What’s Left?

    Although the population has dwindled, the place is not completely ghosted. This is a misconception that has its roots in the fact that its residents have been living in houses that resemble the structure of the past. The cabins are restored in fact but give it a look of the town that remained unchanged since the last century. The town can be reached easily through Cumberland Pass and west of Buena Vista. The town runs a small business. There are restaurants built-in cabins and offer desserts, drinks, and burgers.


    23. Crystal

    32.83534, -110.33231
    Status: Historic

    Photo Credit: James Clemens – Flickr.com

    History:

    The town was very elusive to reach. Although it started in 1860 it took 20 years to become a robust town. The town produced rich quantities of zinc, silver, and lead. Its population remained at 500 in number. The town had terrible and long sting winters which made movement difficult and that is the ultimate reason for its demise.

    What’s Left?

    Nowadays, the place is visited by people during summers. It offers a pristine scenic beauty. The buildings such as the post office and bars still stand firm even today. Crystal is the most popular ghost town in Colorado thanks to its beautifully preserved mill.


    24. Ashcroft

    39.05408, -106.79853
    Status: Historic

    Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston – flickr.com

    History:

    In search of silver, Charles B. Culver and W. F. Coxhead left Leadville. They started an association for miners’ protection, laid the roads by themselves and even built a court. This small association grew into a camp and then a town by 1883. It had its own newspaper, school and restaurants. Later after World War 2, the area received strikes and its residents started to move. The last person to live here died in 1939 and from then onwards it is considered a real ghost town.

    What’s Left?

    It is located on the out west side of Aspen, eleven miles along Castle Creek Road. The infrastructure preserved includes a post office, school, and saloon. It also offers a sight of meadows and water.


    25. Capitol City

    38.00635, -107.46733
    Status: Historic

    Photo Credit: Todd Sellars Photography – facebook.com

    History:

    George Lee was the first person to start the town in 1877. There were 1000 settlers. He built a lavish house with intricate designs. As the name suggests, he wanted to make this a capital city. He invested in the town and as a result hotels, schools, post offices, and restaurants spring up. But his dream to make this place the capital of the city was never realized. The town declined when the silver crash happened in the late 18th century.

    What’s Left?

    Capitol City can be reached through Lake City by car. Some of the infrastructures are preserved and it offers scenic beauty.


    26. Vicksburg

    38.99916, -106.3778
    Status: Historic

    Photo Credit: Patricia Henschen – flickr.com

    History:

    It was a small town of 600-700 people flooded with miners during the gold rush time in the USA. Historically the town was discovered while some camping persons lost their burros. While finding their animals, they found gold in its creeks and besides gold, it has a rich terrain with an irrigation system through ditches. It was used to water trees whose gum was used as a healing agent. It had a school, a post office, saloons, two billiard halls, and several homes.

    What’s Left?

    Today, if you want to reach this place then take Highway 24 which lies amid Leadville and Buena Vista. The place’s property is now privately owned. A historical society founded in 1970 takes care of the area. It offers rich mountain sights and mountaineers visit this place throughout the year.


    27. St. Elmo

    38.70336, -106.34622
    Status: Historic

    Photo Credit: Patty’s Photos – flickr.com

    History:

    When it comes to ghost towns, stories about such become most intriguing because mystery enchants people. One such story about St. Elmo is that its inhabitants simply drove out of the town on a train and never came back. Today, it is said that St. Elmo is actually guarded by a ghost who takes care of its abandoned property.

    Primarily, it was a mining place in the 18th century with 2000 residents. Gold and silver mines attracted people to settle here. The town gained a reputation for brothels and restaurants and soon it grew into a bustling place. Even in the 19th century, the town was frequented mainly during winters because it offered well-preserved infrastructure of dancing halls, bars, and prostitution halls. It is located on the southwest side of Chalk Creek Canyon.

    Of all the ghost towns in Colorado, St. Elmo is among the most popular.

    What’s Left?

    Nowadays, there are 43 buildings that are preserved. They are scattered all over the town including, homes, shops, jails,s, and a few halls. The place can be accessed throughout the year. It has a general store that opens seasonally. It offers edibles and souvenirs and a rental cabin for three people. There are guest houses as well which offer accommodation including beds and breakfast. Some people reside there even today as permanent residents.


    Go out and explore!

    That concludes our list of ghost towns in Colorado, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.

    If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places, or explore other ghost towns across the country.