Explore Colorado's Best Ghost Towns
Colorado is a state filled with interesting sites and destinations. One type of destination that visitors can enjoy are some of the state's ghost towns. There are reconstructed towns, as well as abandoned towns. Overall there are many options for visitors to the state to explore.
Ghost Town Museum
Visitors to Colorado Springs should stop at the Ghost Town Museum to learn about a very interesting aspect of Colorado's history. The Ghost Town Museum was created to preserve a piece of the old west. During the Old West, and the Gold Rush era, many small towns were built up and died again because of gold. Visitors can see many artifacts from this period of Colorado's history and in the summer visitors can even pan for gold.
Close to Colorado Springs, Cripple Creek was home to an abundant gold mine. While visiting this town visitors can see many different structures which illustrate the history of the town. Visitors can ride on the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, which is a fantastic way to see the surrounding scenery, including some small ghost towns, gold mines and more. Visitors can also take tours of the gold mine, which are a great way to learn about the town's rich past.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
These beautiful cliff dwellings can be found right off Route 24. The dwellings were built over 700 years ago, into the red rock at the foot of Pikes Peak. Visitors can explore these ancient dwellings built by the Anasazi people. After exploring the cliff dwellings visitors can stop at the Anasazi Museum and the gift shop.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Visitors to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument will find one of the world's largest deposits of fossils. There are huge stumps of petrified wood and thousands of different fossils of plants and insects. During the summer months visitors can enjoy a variety of guided ranger walks. At the visitor center travelers can learn about the National Monument through the introductory video. After watching the video travelers can then explore the fossil beds on one of many hiking options. There is a trail through the Petrified Forest Loop, as well as 14 miles of hiking trails and other options for viewing fossils.
Nearby by the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is the town of Florissant. Visitors to this town can see some very old structures, as well as a school house and cemeteries. This is a great way to see some of Colorado's old structures after learning all about the ancient fossils that are so abundant in the area.
For those interested in exploring ghost towns St. Elmo is a must see. Visitors can explore the preserved buildings of the town. Visitors to the area will find places to stay for a longer period of exploration. Throughout the area visitors can see all of the old buildings that once made up the thriving town of St. Elmo, all of which are preserved, not restored, making it a unique Colorado ghost town destination.
South Park City
For a look into restored buildings and structures from the old west period visitors can travel to South Park City, which is located in the town of Fairplay. Here visitors will find many buildings, many of which were relocated and restored, which create a reconstructed historic mining town for visitors to explore. The buildings are filled with different artifacts, which are from the gold mining towns that populated Colorado during the Old West.
Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Colorado has lots of great railroad trips and options, one of these is the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum. The historic train runs along the Animas River. During the winter the steam locomotive doesn't travel the entire route to Silverton and back, instead the trip stops at the Cascade Station, which is about half of the regular route. Even in the winter the trip is beautiful and you can still learn all about the historic steam locomotives and the narrow gauge track at the museum. The town of Durango is a great Old West style destination. Although not abandoned, it is a great place to learn about the history of the Old West in Colorado.