We were bent on exploring as many ghost towns as possible on our 3rd day of our Telluride road trip. Armed with a book (Ghost Towns of Colorado by Philip Varney & John Drew) and GPS, we managed to explore plenty of abandoned buildings and drive through many questionable off road trails.
Our first ghost town of that day is the mining town of Sneffels, which I cannot think of without thinking of Mr. Snuffleupagus…
Founded in 1875, this mining town peaked at a population of 2,000 between the 1880′s to early 1890′s. The town was named after Mount Sneffels, the mountain it lies on, which was named for the peak in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. The town of Sneffels, formerly called Porters, serviced the nearby Virginius Mine. This mine employed over 600 men and produced gold and silver worth $1 Billion today before it was closed. It was recently reopened by the Star Mining Company.
Questionable looking water of the Uncompahgre River at the beginning of Road 361 to Sneffels.
Our favorite part of the Sneffels ghost town was actually the road to the site: All around beautiful views and just rugged enough. This road is definitely well traversed because of the active mining going on but we didn’t see any non-4×4′s on this road beyond the campgrounds.
Locked and gated entrance to an old mine.
There were several completely collapsed buildings.
The Atlas Stamp Mill from a distance.
We saw this cave on the trip back from Sneffels so we stopped to explore…
Turns out it wasn’t very deep….
Part 3 of our Telluride Road Trip (Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6).
These are approximate co-ordinates to the Virginius Mine. Just follow your GPS in that direction on Road 361 (Camp Bird Rd) out of Ouray (just off of the Million Dollar Highway) and you will hit the ghost town before the Virginius Mine.