Animas Forks

Animus Forks, Colorado

Abandoned Mines of Animas Forks, Colorado

Animas Forks is a ghost town located just northeast of Silverton, Colorado. The site continues as a tourist attraction. A Colorado State Historical Fund grant to San Juan County, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, provided for stabilization of the remaining structures in 1997 and 1998.  The site is managed collaboratively by the Bureau of Land Management and San Juan County, which provide interpretive brochures and maps at an adjacent parking area. Although entry into the buildings is unrestricted, some of the flooring is reported to be fragile and subject to collapse.  The area is home to dozens of mills, plenty of mines, and a handful of cabins.  It is one of the better preserved ghost towns in the western US.  Visiting Animas Forks is best done during the late summer months when most of the snow has completely resided.

Mining History

Animas Forks

Animas Forks

The town of Animas Forks first log cabin was built in 1873 and by 1876 the community had become a bustling mining community. At that time the town contained 30 cabins, a hotel, a general store, a saloon, and a post office. By 1883 450 people lived in Animas Forks and in 1882 a newspaper, the Animas Forks Pioneer, began publication and lasted until October 1886. Every fall the residents of Animas Forks migrated en masse to the warmer town of Silverton. In 1884 a 23 day blizzard inundated the town with 25 feet (7.6 m) of snow, the residents had to dig tunnels to get from building to building. Mining, speculation and processing mills helped Animas Forks grow.[1]

When mining profits in Animas Forks began to decline investment in Animas Forks was no longer justified and although mining made a brief 1904 rebound with the construction of the Gold Prince Mill, the town’s mining days were nearing an end. A rail line ran through the area and also re-stimulated interest in mining in the community but the railroad never reached its expectations. The Gold Prince Mill closed in 1910 and in 1917 most of the mill’s major parts were removed for a new facility in Eureka. The mill’s dismantling signaled the beginning of the end for Animas Forks and the town was a ghost town by the 1920s.[1]

Location

37.932436° -107.571230°

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Animas Forks

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Silver Queen: 37.907082, -107.596782
Sound Democrat: 37.907997, -107.592670
Sound Democrat Tram Tower: 37.910712, -107.599214
Mastodon: 37.908603, -107.602827
Independence Mine: 37.910847, -107.602875
Custer Mine: 37.920123, -107.601730
Little Ida: 37.929780, -107.593839
Silver Coin: 37.929097, -107.572074
Columbus Mine: 37.933033, -107.571267
San Antonio: 37.934949, -107.575523
Frisco Tunnel: 37.933399, -107.580428
Bagley Mine: 37.932974, -107.581531
Hermes Group: 37.941972, -107.575728
Lucky Jack: 37.953965, -107.572743
Annie Crooke: 37.961631, -107.575908
Annie Wood: 37.961713, -107.578513
Mammoth: 37.962554, -107.582477
Great American: 37.956950, -107.581024
Ben Butler: 37.951970, -107.582433
London: 37.948698, -107.584244
London: 37.948698, -107.584244
Brittish Queen: 37.959830, -107.586542
Frank Hough Tunnel: 37.962996, -107.591036
S.J.C. Mill: 37.960373, -107.591656
Oyama: 37.955925, -107.599562
Bill Young Group: 37.952001, -107.595305
Dewitt: 37.946501, -107.588530
Dewitt: 37.946501, -107.588530
Red Cloud: 37.945496, -107.591132
Sewell: 37.942228, -107.590850
Molly: 37.939060, -107.588888
Vermillion Tunnels: 37.936221, -107.601448
Burrows Group: 37.933739, -107.597094
Mountain Queen: 37.914840, -107.617199
Como Consolidated: 37.920831, -107.618995
Rollo: 37.922275, -107.619614
Bonanza: 37.923596, -107.622086
Picket: 37.926912, -107.624154
Red Rogers Mine: 37.923918, -107.627460
Evening Star: 37.927782, -107.626397
Star of the West: 37.932192, -107.625172
Saxon Mine: 37.935305, -107.628358
Amador: 37.936562, -107.626596
Poughkeepsie: 37.940667, -107.624617
Poughkeepsie: 37.940667, -107.624617
Sixteen to One: 37.943185, -107.624088
Alabama: 37.944734, -107.626239
White Crow: 37.943666, -107.617929
Fourteen: 37.945921, -107.630456
Free Gold: 37.952938, -107.630683
Old Lout Mine: 37.953236, -107.625732
Brazillian: 37.951552, -107.616043
Maid of the Mist: 37.955646, -107.618909
Grand View: 37.960081, -107.629809
Frisco Mill: 37.932758, -107.580700
Animas Forks Mill: 37.911916, -107.594835

Much of Animus Forks can be accessed with a good 2 wheel drive vehicle, but many less-frequented locations require a high clearance 4×4.

Links

Ghosttown.org – Animus Forks
4×4 Adventures – Animus Forks

Gallery

 

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