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Thread: Any must-see ghost towns along I-70 or State Route 119 in Colorado?

  1. #1
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    Default Any must-see ghost towns along I-70 or State Route 119 in Colorado?

    Hey, fellow ghost-arinos. Long time, no see.

    I'm planning a trip in May through Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, and part of the trip will take me along I-70 and CO 119. Besides Central City, are there any must-see sites that my wife and daughters (now 8 and 14) might enjoy? My wife will probably want to see Doc Holliday's grave in Glenwood Springs, and Central City will probably also be fine because there are so many buildings left. I'd like to know if there are any buildings, mines, or other sites a short drive off the highway that might have enough historical interest that I won't hear too much whining should I stop.

    By the way, I wanted to stop at the Ames Brothers Pyramid off I-80 in Wyoming, but I figured I'd hear "You brought us all the way out here for THIS?!".

  2. #2
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    I haven't been through there for several years but, here are some places that I found interesting and your family might enjoy. Georgetown, CO www.georgetowncolorado.com/ . The town escaped the fires that burned many of the other town's original buildings. It is a fine example of 19th century Victorian architecture. Be sure to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad to Silver Plume www.georgetownlooprr.com/ . The Argo Mine Mill in Idaho Springs has a lot of historical value www.historicargotours.com/ . Your girls will like the pizza at the original Beau Jo's https://www.beaujos.com/ . If you go into Golden to see Buffolo Bill's grave, be sure to visit the Colorado Railroad Museum www.coloradorailroadmuseum.org/ . Central City and Blackhawk may be a bit disappoiting to you but they still have a few museums around if you can find them in between the casinos. These towns were really neat to explore in the 1980's, before they legalized gambling and the casinos moved into town. By the way, the restaurants at these casinos are NOT kid friendly. Minors are not even allowed on the property. At least, that is how they were when I was last there in 2007.
    Last edited by Mustang John; 02-06-2014 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Edit incorrect web address.

  3. #3
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    Where are you hitting I-70? If near the junction of I-15 in central Utah, plan a quick stop at Cove Fort:
    http://www.expeditionutah.com/forum/...ead.php?t=3917

    The Green River Missile Complex is cool:
    http://www.expeditionutah.com/forum/...read.php?t=857

    Further east is Sego:
    http://www.expeditionutah.com/forum/...ead.php?t=1523
    http://www.expeditionutah.com/forum/...read.php?t=578

    Hope that helps!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustang John View Post
    Central City and Blackhawk may be a bit disappoiting to you but they still have a few museums around if you can find them in between the casinos. These towns were really neat to explore in the 1980's, before they legalized gambling and the casinos moved into town. By the way, the restaurants at these casinos are NOT kid friendly. Minors are not even allowed on the property. At least, that is how they were when I was last there in 2007.
    Thanks for the advice. I should have known better than to judge a town's appearance by looking at Don's photos.

    I'll go through Georgetown as you recommend. We won't be going through Golden or by the I-15/ I-70 junction, so we won't see some of the recommendations.

    Our ultimate goal is the WWII ghost town of Amache, CO.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirohniichan View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I should have known better than to judge a town's appearance by looking at Don's photos.

    I'll go through Georgetown as you recommend. We won't be going through Golden or by the I-15/ I-70 junction, so we won't see some of the recommendations.

    Our ultimate goal is the WWII ghost town of Amache, CO.

    Yes, Don's photo's of Central City are more like I remember it in the 1980's. When I used to visit friends in Denver, we used to go there on a Sunday and hang with the locals at a tavern and watch sports on TV. One of us was the designated driver and it was really laid back.

    Amache looks to be an interesting site, much like Manzinar in California. I read that Amache has been a project of a local High School to preserve it. Even though these sites don't have many surviving structures, looking at the identifying plaques, you can visualize how things may have been for the American citizens who were imprisoned there only because of their race. This is truly a black spot in American history. My college roomate's family was in the Relocation Camps. I know his Mom was at Tule Lake. His Dad served in the 442nd in Europe. Very fine people.

    I see Amache is out East of Pueblo. If you are ever near Pueblo on another trip. go West to see Fort Garland. It is kind of a larger version of Fort Tejon. Kit Carson once commanded it. It was also garrisoned by the 9th Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers) at one time. Further West, at Alamosa, you can see the famous Rio Grande river. If you like walking on the beach, Great Sand Dunes National Monument is nearby and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are very scenic.
    Last edited by Mustang John; 02-22-2014 at 06:49 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirohniichan View Post
    Hey, fellow ghost-arinos. Long time, no see.

    I'm planning a trip in May through Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, and part of the trip will take me along I-70 and CO 119. Besides Central City, are there any must-see sites that my wife and daughters (now 8 and 14) might enjoy? My wife will probably want to see Doc Holliday's grave in Glenwood Springs, and Central City will probably also be fine because there are so many buildings left. I'd like to know if there are any buildings, mines, or other sites a short drive off the highway that might have enough historical interest that I won't hear too much whining should I stop.


    By the way, I wanted to stop at the Ames Brothers Pyramid off I-80 in Wyoming, but I figured I'd hear "You brought us all the way out here for THIS?!".


    Next time thru Colorado let me know and I can recommend some spots.
    Visit Colorado Ghost Towns at http://www.rockymountainprofiles.com

    No Sales pitch just plenty of photos and stories.

    "I led a quieter life before I got hearing aids." Mike

    Rocky

  7. #7
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    bad bob is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirohniichan View Post
    Hey, fellow ghost-arinos. Long time, no see.

    I'm planning a trip in May through Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, and part of the trip will take me along I-70 and CO 119. Besides Central City, are there any must-see sites that my wife and daughters (now 8 and 14) might enjoy? My wife will probably want to see Doc Holliday's grave in Glenwood Springs, and Central City will probably also be fine because there are so many buildings left. I'd like to know if there are any buildings, mines, or other sites a short drive off the highway that might have enough historical interest that I won't hear too much whining should I stop.

    By the way, I wanted to stop at the Ames Brothers Pyramid off I-80 in Wyoming, but I figured I'd hear "You brought us all the way out here for THIS?!".

    UTAH---SE of Green River UT, down US191 is Arches NP.

    COLO---Glenwood Sprgs also has the largest mineral springs spa I've ever seen. Take 1/2 hour and jump in. Further east is Silver Plume, (Central City, Blackhawk, & Georgetown, already mentioned), Idaho Springs historic downtown. Denver historic old town. Central City is slow going 2 lane with much traffic (depending), but both CC and Blackhawk still worth the effort (IMO). There was a new road to CC supposedly being built outta Denver, but don't know if ever completed.
    Trinidad, near NM border has old Baca house and Pioneer Museum.

    NM---Cimarron has old haunted St James Hotel. Nearby is historical Elizabethtown (1866). Further west is historic Taos (tourist & artist resort. NW near CO border is Chama, one terminal of historic Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (google for more info).

  8. #8
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    A must see is Animas Fork Ghost town north of Silverton, Colorado. Take the steam engine train ride over the mountain from Durango to Silverton. Train stops for 2 hours at Silverton so you will need to return in your car. Rent 4 wheel ATV for the day in Silverton drive it 8 miles to Animas Fork. 3 miles from Silverton is a very good gold mine tour. 1/4 mile from the gold mine is another ghost town not marked and no name and not well known. Motels in Silverton are $65 and up. Food is over priced $15 for a hamburger. BBQ restaurant has best prices $6 for lunch.

    Once you drive through the I-70 tunnel west every town is an old mining town. Stop at all of them. Leadville is to the south 20 miles it is one of the best ghost towns in the area.
    Last edited by gary350; 12-21-2014 at 02:22 PM.

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