Summitville

4/5 (4 reviews)
Summitville is a beautiful trail through the Rio Grande National Forest with expansive views of the San Juan Mountains. If amazing views are not enough, Summitville Ghost Town is also along the trail. Like many other ghost towns in Colorado, Summitville was a mining town. It was established in 18...Read More
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Highlights of Summitville

Altitude Category IconAltitude
Mine Category IconMine
Scenic Category IconScenic
Highest Elevation
11954 ft
Shape of Trail
Straight Through
Typically Open
5/16 - 3/14
Best Direction
N/A
Official Trail Name
330
Nearest Town
Del Norte
Nearest Services
Del Norte
Management Agency
Rio Grande National Forest
District
Divide Ranger District

Overview

Summitville is a beautiful trail through the Rio Grande National Forest with expansive views of the San Juan Mountains. If amazing views are not enough, Summitville Ghost Town is also along the trail. Like many other ghost towns in Colorado, Summitville was a mining town. It was established in 1873 after gold was discovered in the area. At its peak, Summitville had over 1,500 people and over 30 buildings, including a post office, three blacksmiths, nine mills, and fourteen salons. It even had a newspaper, The Summitville Nugget. The Little Annie Mine near Summitville became the third-richest gold mine in Colorado. Sadly, by 1893, it was abandoned entirely.

In 1984, Galactic Resources LTD acquired the Summitville mine and began large-scale open-pit mining operations to extract gold and silver ore. Unfortunately, the "cyanide-leach" technique they used leaked into the Alamosa River, and by 1991, the mine was closed. The EPA took over and has spent $250 million to clean and reclaim the Summitville Mine Site. The EPA treats 350 million gallons of acid mine drainage at the site annually. There are still several buildings in the town. But it is in the process of being restored, so please look but do not touch. 

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Guide Overview
9 Waypoints
29 Trail Photos
1 Trail Concerns
4 Community Reviews
1 Video
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