Nestled in the remote mountains of Colorado lies the ghost town of Beartown, a once-thriving mining community that offers a glimpse into the state’s early mining days.
Despite its challenging access via a long drive over Stony Pass and through mud bogs, Beartown was once home to nearly 400 prospectors drawn to its rich mining opportunities in the late 1800s.
The Sylvanite mine, the town’s biggest producer, netted up to $4,000 a ton, making it one of the most profitable mining towns in Colorado’s history.
Today, the town stands deserted, its buildings and once-bustling streets now silent. However, remnants of the town’s mining history can still be found, including a mill and various mining artifacts.
For those who brave the journey to Beartown, it offers a unique opportunity to experience a piece of Colorado’s mining history and discover the abandoned riches that once drove a community.
Join us as we explore the location and access of Beartown, delve into its mining history, and uncover the current state of this fascinating ghost town.
- Beartown was once a prosperous mining town in the late 1800s, with the Sylvanite mine being its biggest producer.
- However, the mining industry caused significant environmental impact, leading to soil erosion, deforestation, and water pollution, with high levels of toxic chemicals contaminating the local water sources and surrounding land.
- Today, the town stands deserted, with its buildings and once-bustling streets now silent, but remnants of the town’s mining history can still be found, including a mill and various mining artifacts.
- Despite the challenging drive to reach Beartown, it offers a unique opportunity to experience a piece of Colorado’s mining history and discover the abandoned riches that once drove a community, while also having the chance to enjoy outdoor activities and observe the wildlife that now calls the area home.
Location and Access
Located near Silverton and accessible only by 4WD roads over Stony Pass, the abandoned town of Beartown offers a scenic drive for adventurous travelers seeking to uncover the town’s rich history.
However, visitors must exercise caution during the summer months when crossing Pole Creek twice and navigating through mud bogs.
High clearance 4WD vehicles are a necessity to reach the town.
Once in Beartown, visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.
The cold winter climate with snow and cool summers make it best to visit during the warmer months.
Although the town is deserted, remnants of its mining past can be seen, including the Sylvanite mine, which was the biggest producer of the area, netting up to $4,000 a ton.
While the drive may be challenging, the opportunity to discover the abandoned riches of Beartown makes it a worthwhile adventure for those seeking a unique experience.
The mining industry in Beartown was once prosperous, with the discovery of a rich strike in 1893 bringing nearly 400 prospectors to the area. The Sylvanite mine, in particular, was the biggest producer, netting up to $4,000 a ton. The prospectors’ lifestyle was one of hard work and danger, with miners risking their lives to extract precious minerals from the earth.
While some mining remnants remain, the mines are closed now, and the town is deserted.
However, the environmental impact of the mining industry in Beartown was significant. The mining operations caused soil erosion, deforestation, and water pollution. The high levels of toxic chemicals, such as mercury and arsenic, used in the mining process also contaminated the local water sources and surrounding land.
Despite the negative environmental effects, the mining industry played a crucial role in the economic development of the area, and its legacy can still be seen in the remnants of the mines and the abandoned town.
Current State of Beartown
Interestingly, despite its past prosperity and significance to the mining industry, Beartown is now nothing more than a deserted ghost town. The once-bustling town is now just a collection of empty cabins and dilapidated buildings, slowly deteriorating in the harsh climate of the Colorado mountains.
For those interested in exploring ruins and experiencing the eerie feeling of an abandoned town, Beartown may be worth a visit.
While the town is devoid of human life, visitors may glimpse some of the wildlife that now calls the area home. The surrounding forests and mountains provide habitat for various animals, including elk, deer, and even the occasional bear.
As such, those who visit Beartown may be able to combine their love of abandoned places with their passion for wildlife observation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the closest town or city to Beartown?
The nearest accommodations to Beartown can be found in the town of Silverton. It is a popular day trip destination for hiking and camping enthusiasts, but the long drive over Stony Pass and through mud bogs requires high clearance 4WD.
Are there any hiking trails or campsites in the area?
As for hiking trails, the area surrounding Beartown offers some of the top hiking trails in the region, including the Stony Pass Trail and the Alpine Loop Trail. Additionally, several campsites are available nearby, with some of the best campsites located along the Animas River.
Has any restoration work been done on the remaining structures in Beartown?
There is no evidence of restoration work on the remaining structures in Beartown. However, the historical significance of the town and its mining remnants have potential restoration plans for the future.
Are there any legends or ghost stories associated with Beartown?
Beartown has a spooky side with haunted tales, mysterious disappearances, local folklore, and supernatural myths. While there are no specific legends or ghost stories associated with the town, its eerie atmosphere and abandoned structures make it a popular destination for those seeking a thrill.
Is there any wildlife or natural attractions in the area surrounding Beartown?
The area surrounding Beartown boasts natural wonders such as Stony Pass and Pole Creek, but wildlife sightings are the main attraction. Visitors may spot elk, mule deer, and black bears while hiking or camping in the nearby San Juan National Forest.