In the early summer, Eureka Gulch's four-wheel-drive road just outside Silverton, Colorado, could be likened to a make-believe land where Ireland meets Switzerland. Dark emerald green grasses with yellow wildflowers combine with jagged mountain peaks and old wooden structures jutting from its edges to create a memorable landscape. On the drive up towards Lake Emma and the infamous Sunnyside Mine, ribbons of rushing whitewater flow down the gulch. While we drive this road today for enjoyment, it was once a mining road. The mine operated from roughly 1874 to 1978. The miners had drilled tunnels under Lake Emma, and on June 4th, 1978, a Sunday, tragedy struck. The tunnels could no longer hold the weight of the lake. Lake Emma burst through, and the entire lake drained into the mine tunnels. Luckily, Sunday was the only day of the week the mine was shut down. Eureka Gulch is the perfect road for those looking for an enjoyable but tame adventure for the entire family.
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