Graffiti-tagged houses obscurely hang on the side of a mountain off of a scenic Colorado highway. The abandoned homes, full of broken windows, crumbling walls, and rusting vehicles are locked behind metal fences and barb wire gates. Signs warn to KEEP OUT and RISK OF INJURY OR DEATH, but judging by the vandalization not everyone has kept out.
It is Gilman, Colorado, an abandoned mining camp located on the side of Battle Mountain off highway 24 in Colorado’s Eagle County. Gilman, once a chief location for lead and zinc mining, was established in the late 1800s and then ordered to close in 1984 when the EPA deemed the area to be too toxic and not profitable enough to continue operation.
Much of the town’s postal, business and community moved to nearby Minturn, which during my visit in September 2021, seemed to be an eclectic, artsy, and up-and-coming destination.
We stole a distant peek and a couple of pictures of Gilman from the one pull-off spot available. I wanted binoculars and a tour. This eerie place beckons to listen to its stories.
For more information on Gilman, Colorado: