You are here

Animas Forks

  • Animas Forks, Late 1870s

    Share to
    Established in 1875 at an elevation of about 11,200 feet, Animas Forks flourished in the late 1870s and early 1880s on the strength of speculative mining investments. It has been a ghost town since the 1920s.
    Animas Forks, Late 1870s
  • Main Street, Animas Forks

    Share to
    Before the railroad arrived in Silverton in 1882, Animas Forks served as a regional center for commerce and mail. It had general stores, boarding houses, a jail, a newspaper, and a grand hotel called the Kalamazoo House.
    Main Street, Animas Forks
  • Remains of Animas Forks

    Share to
    The ghost town of Animas Forks annually attracts about 250,000 visitors who see it along the four-wheel-drive Alpine Loop Scenic Byway. The site includes nine buildings that are still standing as well as the foundations of roughly thirty other structures.
    Remains of Animas Forks
  • Duncan House

    Share to
    In 1879 William Duncan built a two-story wood-frame house in Animas Forks. In 2013–14 it received a comprehensive restoration as part of a site-wide stabilization project overseen by the Mountain Studies Institute.
    Duncan House
  • Animas Forks

    Share to
    Today Animas Forks is one of the most popular destinations along a popular 4-wheel alpine loop scenic byway. 
    Animas Forks
Share to



Jonathon C. Horn, “Animas Forks,” National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (July 16, 2010).

Allen Nossaman, Many More Mountains, 3 vols. (Denver: Sundance Books, 1989–98).

Dale Rodebaugh, “Animas Forks Back on the Map,” Durango Herald, September 4, 2014.

Muriel Sibell Wolle, Stampede to Timberline: The Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Colorado, 2nd ed. (Chicago: Sage Books, 1974).

Additional Information: 

Christopher M. Maschino, “Over the Range: A Historical Geography of a Western Mountain Mining Landscape, San Juan County, Colorado” (Master’s thesis, Prescott College, Prescott, Arizona, 2013).

Duane A. Smith, A Brief History of Silverton, 2nd ed. (Montrose, CO: Western Reflections, 2004).