The 7 Most Insane Abandoned Places in Colorado

Everywhere you look in Denver there seems to be something new being built, but away from the city, Colorado is filled with relics from the past: from mills that inspire urban legends about lingering ghosts, to dark tunnels that lead to the unknown, these are the eight most insane abandoned places in Colorado.

Crystal Mill

The state is full of remnants from Colorado’s mining-past, but this may be the most photogenic of all. Perched above the Crystal River, this mill was built in 1893 and operated as a powerhouse for the Sheep Mountain silver mine until 1917. Now it’s a popular destination for anyone with a 4x4 (or good hiking shoes).

Titan 1 missile silo

Deer Trail
In the 1960s, six sites in Colorado were home to Titan missiles. Though most of those sites are now privately owned and inaccessible to the public, this one in a rural area on the Eastern plains has been a favorite of urban explorers (and high school kids with six-packs and spray paint) for years. But be warned: it’s dark, and filled with standing water, missing floors, and probably a lot of asbestos.

Ludlow Massacre site

There are a lot of ghost towns in Colorado, but this one was the site of a little-known 1914 massacre where an estimated two dozen people (including children) were killed when the Colorado National Guard and the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company attacked the settlement of striking miners. A memorial now stands at the location of the tent colony where the attack happened, and many of the town’s original structures still stand.

Great Western sugar beet mill

This massive factory has been vacant for almost four decades, sparking rumors about the property that include supposed ghost encounters and stories about satan-worshippers conducting rituals here. Whatever the truth may be, this place is definitely an eerie highlight of Longmont’s landscape. 

Theresa Mine

A lot of people would pay big for views like the ones from this gold mine, which last operated in 1961. A fire destroyed the original wooden structure in 1934, but it was rebuilt using metal that’s now silently rusting away on this prime piece of property. You can get an up-close look at this and many other old mining sites in the area by hiking the Vindicator Valley Trail system.

Gold Camp Road tunnels

Colorado Springs
There were once nine of these rail tunnels cut into the hills in Colorado Springs, but many were closed as mining in the state declined. For a time, three were used for automobiles. Local legends tell of a school bus that was caught when one of the tunnels collapsed, and there are stories of children's screams being heard in the area. Now, only two tunnels remain, blocked by these spiked fences that would fit in nicely on the set of Game of Thrones.

Animas Forks

The people who once lived in this town located two miles above sea level had to deal with high winds, freezing temperatures, and massive amounts of snow, which forced residents to dig tunnels to get around. Despite these harsh conditions, nine of the original structures remain, making this one of the best preserved ghost towns in the state.  

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Molly Martin is a Denver-based freelance writer who never hung out in an abandoned missile silo when she was in high school. NEVER. Follow her @mollydbu on Instagram and Twitter.