Exploring Abandoned Colorado


Remnants from the old mining days can be found throughout the San Juan Mountains in places like Telluride, Ouray and Silverton. On a recent trip to nearby Ouray I explored a ghost town that was made up of several falling down cabin structures, an old church, what looked like a schoolhouse and another building that could have been the general store or saloon. My favorites include Red Mountain in the scene to help convey the story of this once thriving place, called Ironton. A bit further down the road stood another abandoned camp with a less distant past. The mountain backdrop and cloudy sky called to me and helped to complete the scene. From a nearby vantage point I photographed the head frame of the mining operation which sat below Red Mountain and added scale to its impressive height. I look forward to exploring more of these remnants in my new home… the San Juans of Colorado.

Cabin In The Mountains

‘Cabin In The Mountains’ © Denise Bush
click to view larger or order a print

Ghost Town Schoolhouse

‘Ghost Town Schoolhouse’ © Denise Bush

Miner's Camp

‘Miner’s Camp’ © Denise Bush

Red Mountain Mine

‘Red Mountain Mine’ © Denise Bush

43 Responses to “Exploring Abandoned Colorado”

  1. Glad to see you’re getting back into the photographing groove. Lots of new places for you to explore. Enjoyed viewing these.

    • I am anxious to get back in the ‘groove’. It has been hard to do so with all that goes along with the move. Working on a laptop is a little more challenging in judging the colors and tones. I will be back 100% when my car is fixed and we get into our house on the 14th. Thanks for the visit and comment!

  2. Beautiful images…

  3. 5 Donna Cifuentes

    Beautiful! Welcome to your new home! A new adventure, have fun!

    • Thank you Donna! Sorry we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. We were busy up to the last minute. If you are ever out this way please come visit!

  4. These are wonderful and so evocative, echoes of the past marvellous.

  5. Great shots – you like me can find abandoned anywhere we are – Nice!

  6. I see you are feeling right at home… exploring those old mines would be really cool. That last shot i wonder if you can easily get closer to explore. Right now I live through your lens out there… say high to the elevation levels out there 🙂

    • 12 Shirley O'Neill

      Love your explorations!

    • Hi Mickey — Yes, there is a way to get closer to that structure. I saw a jeep down there while shooting it. There are others like that as well. Thanks for the visit and comment. I will be playing catch-up with your blog and others today.

  7. 15 Russ Hunt

    Beautiful work. I’m glad you arrived safely. Enjoy your new state.

  8. Amazing places and so are the shots.

    • Thanks very much. Exploring and scouting with my son today but leaving the camera at home. Unlike being on vacation, I’ll have many opportunities to return should we find something photo worthy.

  9. 20 Deb

    Stunning, I know you’re in your glory!

  10. Denise, it didn’t take you very long to start searching out wonderful places to shoot! Love these and look forward to whatever else you find out there. 🙂

    • Hi Vicki – My son and I went for a ride to Owl Creek Pass and Silver Jack Reservoir today. I didn’t bring my camera because it was cloudy and we could go further and see more without my slowing us down by shooting. I must have said ‘WOW!’ a hundred times. Thanks for stopping in and staying connected!

  11. This looks like fun! Love scenes like this, rich in history, with stories to tell, and you captured them so well. The third image really took my imagination for a ride and gets my blue ribbon. .



  13. Nice photos and beautiful surroundings!

  14. What a nice set of images and right up your photographic alley. I’m glad you are finding not just beautiful mountains in your journey to Colorado but the essence of history too. Plus with that dry air your subjects will stay will preserved longer. Looking forward to more posts from my friend in the mountains!

  15. Here we go… Flatland New Jersey is history…Beautiful images..

  16. 34 Joe Perno

    Love these shots, Denise. Hopefully the Club will have a trip to see you and we can shoot this location. Hope all is well and I’m sure you will have many great explorations. Look forward to your future posts

    • Thanks Joe! There is so much material here I hardly know where to start. Got some bad news about my car yesterday. A jeep to help me get to all the beautiful places is in my future. 🙂 (Hope you are feeling well after your procedure.)

  17. 36 Cathie

    Love these! Nothing has more of a magnetic pull to me than photos of old abandoned places. What great scenery. You must really be enjoying your new venue!

    • Thanks Cathie. This was a very cool place. If it was in Jersey I’m sure it would be all graffitied up and those old car fenders would have been gone.

  18. Well, it didn’t take you long to find a great spot to photograph!! Great photos.

  19. Enjoy exploring your new home. An amazing location and wonderful series of photos.

  20. Nice photo’s. I also love snooping around Historic places.

    • Thanks Les. The photos in this post are from when I moved to Colorado 5+ years ago. I have found many more gems and posted them here since. I’m glad you like this kind of thing and appreciate your visit!

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