Gilman, CO is a ghost town on a 600-foot cliff above the Eagle River and situated on the side of Battle Mountain. The town was founded in 1886, and it instantly became the most prosperous town in Eagle County. Its success can be attributed to mining activities from 1879 onwards. The town was founded to house the miners. Unfortunately, in 1984, the town was abandoned. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the town was unsuitable for living in due to the accumulation of toxic wastes from mining into water. Since then, the town has had only about 2,000 people. Despite being abandoned, there are still reasons to visit Gilman, CO. Before you visit the town, ensure you first seek permission from the relevant authorities. According to Ghost Towns, the town is private property. So, without further ado, here are 10 reasons to explore this Colorado town.
1. You Can Visit the Abandoned Old Eagle Mine
In the 1880s, the center was used mainly to mine gold and silver. Later on, the miners in the area focused on mining zinc. This area was the largest mining center for the entire Gilman town. Due to many mining activities from this mine, they released large amounts of toxic substances such as cadmium, copper, lead, and arsenic into water bodies.
2. You Will See Many Abandoned Houses
Most of the abandoned houses are at the foot of the Battle Mountain. During your visit here, you will notice that they are scattered. But the most remarkable thing about the houses is how new they look despite being abandoned in 1984. They are only slightly dilapidated, so people could still live in them.
3. There is a Collapsed Stairway Leading to Railroad Tracks
You can spot the stairway from below the cliff. When you walk along the railroad tracks, you will spot a run-down train station building. However, as you pass the run-down train station, you will see new-looking buildings. If you are a hiking fan, you will enjoy walking along the tracks. You will cover a distance of about 2 miles.
4. You Will Also Encounter Old Processing Facilities
You will understand how vibrant the town must have been when you see the abandoned processing plants before closing down. For instance, according to SKJ Travel, tourists who visited the factories noticed a lot of pipes, fuse boxes, a maze of rooms, and floors with scads of heavy-duty equipment and huge rotating drums.
5. You Will Spot Many Warning Signs
Part of the thrill of visiting a place is knowing the dangerous areas. However, you will be safe in this town if you simply observe the signs and not tour the dangerous areas. Some of the signs you will see are "Risk of Injury or Death," "Hidden and Visible Dangers," and "No Trespassing." These signs guide the tourist on which sections they should focus on or avoid altogether.
6. There is a Waterfall in the Town
With a river and a cliff in the area, it is obvious that you will find some waterfalls. Most of the waterfalls in this area are obscured by dense forests. That means for a better view, you will have to come closer to see them. Or, you may need to find a proper hill that offers the correct aerial view.
7. You Can Hike on the Notch Mountain
There are plenty of activities you can do on this mountain, such as hiking, horseback riding, and backpacking. If you choose to hike, you can bring along your pet dog. However, walking on this mountain is rather challenging. For instance, you will have to cover around 9.6 miles. According to All Trails, it will take roughly 5 hours and 8 minutes to complete the trail.
8. You Can Book Hotels in the Town
The town is not just a place to visit and leave. Sometimes, you may wish to stay a bit longer. Fortunately, there are some hotels you can book. The most popular hotels in the town are the Green Bridge Inn and the Bunkhouse. Visitors generally like the two hotels for their affordable prices and concierge services.
9. There are Some Swing Sets You Can Use
By visiting this town, you will do a lot of walking. Eventually, walking for long gets tiresome and monotonous. Fortunately, there are some abandoned swings that you can use since they are still in good condition. Amazingly, people have not used them for a long time since it is a ghost town, after all. So, it would be best if you did not let that deter you from using them. The only flaw with the swings may be the noisy hinges from lack of management, but noise is something most people can tolerate.
10. You Will Find Graffiti in Nearly Every Building
Spraying graffiti on buildings is generally considered vandalism. In fact, it is why the owner of the town decided to fine anyone found spraying graffiti on buildings. However, despite the threats, it has not stopped people from writing graffiti since more structures in the town have more graffiti than ever. Though some people may consider graffiti vandalism, others will consider it art. Let's face it, at some point, you have admired graffiti on walls due to its artistry. Besides being attractive, artists use graffiti to communicate a certain message. In fact, the message can even be historical or informative.
Does Gilman, CO sound fascinating to you? Truthfully, most people will be reluctant to visit any ghost town, let alone this one. After all, who would visit an area with few people or abandoned structures? But, believe it or not, that is part of the thrill. If you gather the courage to visit the town, be sure to pay attention to the warning signs. It does not matter how much of a risk-taker you are; you could die if you ignore them. Besides risking death, you can also face a trespassing charge. Remember, this town is private property. So, if you see a sign telling you to avoid trespassing within that area, save yourself any legal trouble by observing the sign.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn