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
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.