Ironton: Explore a Ghost Town on Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
When heading down the Million Dollar Highway south of Ouray, Colorado, you may be surprised to learn of the many structures still standing out in the woods that use to belong to several mining communities. The ghost town of Ironton, Colorado is one of many in this area near the three peaks of Red Mountain.
Where is Ironton, Colorado?
Head down 550 from Ouray for about 7 to 8 miles. You'll see a sign marking the turnoff for Ironton Park. From here, visitors can pick up the old Colorado Boy Mine trail which shows off the area between the Ironton mining area and the town itself. We'll include some maps to help get you there in the photo gallery below.
How Old Is the Ghost Town at Ironton, Colorado?
The development of mining, rail lines, and roads had been in the works in the late 1800s as mining branched out from Silverton and Ouray. People began to settle in the Ironton area and the Red Mountain Town area by 1880. First known as the Copers Glen Supply Settlement, the town has a newspaper and close to 1000 residents by 1883. A post office opened under the name Ironton, Colorado in 1884.
Tour the Grounds of the Ghost Town at Irontown
Around 100 structures went up in Ironton in about three weeks' time. Ironton had a few restaurants, a few stores, and many residential buildings. Stores from Silverton and Ouray opened up a couple of shops here for a time. The town also had its own church.
You are allowed to visit the ghost town of Ironton. It is overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture and the land is for public use. Know that the land and structures here are protected by the U.S. Antiquities Act and the Ouray County Sheriff will prosecute anyone vandalizing the land or structures or removing items from the area.