Exploring deep into the San Juan Mountains and the surrounding areas beyond Ouray will eventually reveal several ghost towns. At one point in time, these ghost towns were active with miners seeking to achieve fame and fortune while mining for gold. After the mining boom died down, the people left yet the many structures they built remain.
Among these ghost towns is Animas Forks, located at over 11,000 feet of elevation on the Alpine Loop. Much like the other towns, it came to be as a result of mining. During the great blizzard of 1884 which lasted nearly a month, more than twenty of feet snow accumulated in the town. There was so much snow, residents had to pop up and grab some snow if they wanted to boil water to take a bath or make dinner. To get from one building to another, it was also necessary to build tunnels.
You can still see remnants of Animas Forks today and it’s a perfect spot for a summer visit. Because of how high it is, it is recommended that you use an off-road vehicle, truck, or SUV as a sedan is not suited for the terrain and your vehicle may sustain damage.
This update is provided by Twins Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs. Our Ouray Colorado lodging, full-service hotel has seven different room types including rooms for couples or families with children. Our amenities include hot springs, a free breakfast, spectacular vistas of the mountains, and much more. For additional information on our location including Ouray Colorado restaurants, please call 800.207.2700 or visit us at 125 3rd Avenue Ouray, Colorado 81427.