11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Red Mountain Mining District

Year Listed: 2000
Location: Colorado
Threat: Development

Significance

Tucked among the Colorado Rockies, along the San Juan Skyway as it snakes between Ouray and Silverton, are the ghost towns and mines of the historic Red Mountain Mining District. Thousands of hopeful pioneers once jostled for the wealth in these peaks. Today, visitors enjoy one of the most intact mining cultural landscapes in the West. Still standing are sites like the Yankee Girl Mine and the Joker Tunnel Boarding House, which, though abandoned, evoke the ingenuity and prosperity of the mining boom. Today, visitors enjoy the region's heritage and breathtaking scenery. But the very character that attracts visitors to the region is under assault. Weather at that altitude (approx. 11,000 ft.) is unforgiving and harsh. Logging operations have inadvertently obliterated some important remains. Looting and vandalism have always been a problem, compounded by the fact that much of the land is privately owned and not policed. Increasing second-home and commercial developments are threatening the historic landscape.