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Ghost Towns near Ouray, Colorado

Explore Ouray's Most Interesting Ghost Towns


Our part of Colorado is dotted with numerous fascinating ghost towns. Most were built around mining operations in the 1800s. In this article, we've listed the ghost towns closest to Ouray. While most are accessible by passenger car, some definitely require 4WD to reach. Keep in mind that, even for roads that are listed as open year round, our area's current snowfall amounts will always determine accessibility.

Ironton


  • Location: South of Ouray
  • Distance from us: 8.9 miles
  • Auto: 2WD

Ironton is an easy-to-reach ghost town, just off Highway 550 (Million Dollar Highway), south of Ouray. Established in the 1800s, the last Ironton resident passed away in the mid-1900s. At one time Ironton had over 1000 residents, with a couple of trains running from nearby Silverton daily. Today, the remnants of quite a few of the original buildings still remain. The best time to visit Ironton is in the summer or fall, but the ghost town can be reached throughout the year (snowfall permitting).

Camp Bird (and Upper Camp Bird)


  • Location: South of Ouray
  • Distance from us: 9.0 miles
  • Auto: 2WD

Established in the late 1800s, Camp Bird was built around Colorado's second largest gold mine. (The mine is still in use today.) Other mines were established at the Upper Camp Bird location a few years later. Today, many remnants of mining equipment can be found at both sites. Note that some buildings at Camp Bird and Upper Camp Bird are on private property. Camp Bird is best visited in the summer.

Guston


  • Location: South of Ouray
  • Distance from us: 12.0 miles
  • Auto: 2WD

Guston was established in the late 1800s close to Red Mountain. At one time, the town had around 1,000 residents, as well as a post office and a local newspaper. Guston has been abandoned since the early 1900s. Today, you can still view the remnants of mining equipment. Guston can be reached anytime during the year, unless snowfall blocks the road.

Red Mountain Town


  • Location: South of Ouray
  • Distance from us: 14.9 miles
  • Auto: 2WD

Red Mountain Town is about halfway between Ouray and Silverton, just off Million Dollar Highway, just before the Red Mountain Pass summit. The town was built after ore was discovered in the area in the late 1870s. In its heyday, Red Mountain Town was the largest town in the area, with a population of around 10,000. Gold, silver, copper, zinc, and lead were all mined here. Today, you'll find mining remnants, a few collapsed buildings, and one standing cabin. Red Mountain Town can be viewed from Highway 550, near the summit of Red Mountain Pass. You can also hike into the town, if you like.

Sneffels


  • Location: Southwest of Ouray
  • Distance from us: 11.0 miles
  • Auto: 2WD

Named after Mount Sneffels, Sneffels is just west of Camp Bird. Sneffels was established in 1875. At one time, the town's population was around 2,000. Snefflels also had a mill that processed ore from surrounding mines. Today, you can see the remnants of a number of old buildings. Sneffels is easiest to access in the summer.

Virginius


  • Location: Southwest of Ouray
  • Distance from us: 11.0 miles
  • Auto: 4WD

Virginius was built in the 1870s at an altitude of over 12,000 feet. Virginus Mine was an extremely successful mine, with gold and silver still being shipped out in the 1940s. Today, you can still sed a few standing buildings and the remains of mining equipment. Note that getting to Virginius is difficult and should only be attempted by experienced 4WD drivers during the summer months.

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