The Red Mountain Mining District lies between Ouray and Silverton, Colorado on Highway 550 also known as the Million Dollar Highway. While traveling Highway 550 you can stop at the scenic overlook by Idarado Mining Complex and see the Red Mountain Mining District. One of the most productive mines in the 1880’s was the Yankee Girl Mine.
So the story goes... On Aug. 14, 1882, prospector John Robinson was out hunting. He spotted a piece of rock. After picking it up and breaking it into pieces, he saw that it was composed of the silver-gray metallic mineral called galena. Galena is typically a mixture of lead, silver and other metals. Realizing what he had found Robinson returned with his partners to develop the mine.
While digging the site it turned out that they had hit the top of a vertical shaft of solid ore, a rare event in the mining world. Because of the vertical shaft a hoist house was built on top of the mine to remove the ore.
After the Yankee Girl Mine was discovered, people from all over the area poured into the mountains to mine the rich ore. Red Mountain District and the Yankee Girl Mine found rich success until it was shut down in 1898 after the countries silver prices plummeted. The area was abandoned with only wooden structures now nestled into the landscape.
Ouray Ice Park…
Some call the mountain town of Ouray the Switzerland of America, as it’s situated in a river valley at nearly 8,000 feet, surrounded by the snow-capped mountains. With all the snow-capped mountains the valley becomes full of water. During the summer months amazing waterfalls can be seen everywhere. During the winter months this frozen water turns into some of the best ice climbing in the world. The city of Ouray created a free ice climbing park with more than 200 ice and mixed climbs that have something for every group from beginner to expert.
Before our trip was over in Ouray a little midnight fireworks show…