Animas Forks Ghost Town

Alpine Loop from Lake City to Animas Forks

  Animas Forks ghost town has the famous "bay window" house along with several other buildings including the Guvstavon house, and the foundation of the mill.  Historical Valley.

CLIMATE: Elevation: 11,584', cold winter, snow, cool summer.
After 1st of July




The Walsh House

The Walsh House - was the home of Evelyn Walsh McLean, daughter of
Tom Walsh, discoverer of the famous Campbird Mine and once owner of the Hope.

One of the most famous buildings and pictures in Colorado is of the bay window.


Animas Forks

Excellent off-roading adventure for those taking either Engineer Pass or Cinnamon Pass. Three ways to get to the ghost town. Two of which require a Jeep, or such a vehicle with four wheel drive and high ground clearance. One way on State Highway 110 out of Silverton, following road for 12 miles through Howardsville, Middleton and Eureka.



Guvstavon House

Circa 1907-10 built for Alma.  Land cost = $1, but in 1919 sold for $100.  Special feature was 3-seat indoor outhouse.







Alpine Loop from Lake City to Animas Forks Largest City in the World

Animas Forks once boasted to be the "largest city in the world", with small print saying "at this altitude". The mining camp started in 1877. Ore extracted was galena and silver-bearing gray copper and there were 5-7 mines surrounding the town. . The original town contained several stores, a hotel, saloons, two assay offices, shops and many other buildings. One problem that plagued this town was avalanches, which frequently destroyed buildings and stopped incoming travelers.

Animas Forks was off to a good start in 1875 and advertised itself as being the "largest town in the world." But then the fine print that followed said "at this altitude" which was 11,300 feet above sea level. Avalanches were the curse of the town. Often, the snow would slide down one side of the mountain and up the other side, the sides of the canyon being that close together. At one end of town were the mines and mills together with a boarding house, which served other purposes as well. The 70s and 80s were good years for Animas Forks but it didn't last into the next century. Most of the richer mines began to peter out forcing the mills to close down and allowing the town to return to a much slower pace.

Travel northeast on highway 110 from Silverton and you will reach Animas Forks.






Animas Forks

Bay window view of camp.





Alpine Loop from Animas Forks to Telluride

San Juan Mountains 4WD  at the Mayflower Mine just not far out of Silverton toward Animas Forks.  The mine is being preserved by the San Juan County Historical Society and regular tours are offered.  The tour provides some very interesting information on the mining and processing of gold ore. 

Sunnyside Gold Mine that was staked in 1873.  In 1896 the railroad was extended to Sunnyside to haul out the rich gold ore.   In 1899 a mill was built using parts from the Eureka Mill.  A new Mill was built in 1917.  The Sunnyside mine produced a 1000 tons of gold ore a day until it was closed in 1938.





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