After traveling up to Engineer Pass, I continued my motorcycle trip down into the ghost town of Animas Forks.
The cool thing about the heavily-visited Animas Forks is that these old buildings have been stabilized, thanks to a grant from the Colorado State Historical Fund, in cooperation with the BLM. Key to this is a roof—once the roof is gone, the building will be down pretty quickly. Keeping an old building from falling down, yet not rebuilding it, is an art form: “arrested decay.”
I came down from Engineer Pass and got back on the road leading south. Your first view is across the river (top photo). Then down across the bridge (roaring creek this time of year!) and into the parking area. There are bathroom facilities available. Animas Forks was at one time a bustling little city, the center of the large mining district. But it’s been pretty much abandoned for over a hundred years. Since access to Animas Forks from Silverton is easy, the area is heavily visited. Do your part and tread carefully. It’s illegal to take any souvenirs!
One of the first things I discovered is that the bridge leaving town to the northwest is out. This is the road to California Gulch and California Pass, and from there to Hurricane Pass and Corkscrew Pass. The fact that the bridge is out is marked only by those four cones. Note there are no cones on the other side of the creek! There’s a way to get around the bridge, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it.
The buildings are open for you to crawl through, but beware: no one says anything about guaranteeing your safety! There aren’t any handrails. There aren’t any signs saying “don’t step here because the floor is weak.” You, that means YOU, are responsible for your own safety!
By this time it’s lunch time. I took a self-portrait by setting the camera on a windowsill. I didn’t realize just how tired I looked until I got home and downloaded the pics!