On the top of Independence Pass, we hopped out of the car and started getting ready to do a day hike, but quickly crawled back into the car. It was a bitter 10 degrees out and breezy. Yikes! 

 

So instead, we wandered down Independence Pass and discovered Independence Townsite, a true Ghost Town! It had trails and was not as cold and we were curious. 

 

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A Ghost Town from the late 1800’s nestled at 10,830 ft., just below the Continental Divide and only 13.5 miles from Aspen CO. 

 

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Stunning scenery all around us lead us in …

 

Old buildings with signage throughout from the Aspen Historical Society keep us in the loop of how the town was originally laid out.

 

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Since Independence Ghost Town it’s located pretty far up Independence Pass the surrounding vistas were enthralling. I can’t imagine living here in the dead of winter but the fall is stunning.

 

Don’t forget to throw some essentials in your pack. Never underestimate Colorados weather! Check out “What’s in your Day Pack?” for some recommended items anytime hiking or exploring Colorado’s High Country.

 

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We hiked around for about 2 miles total, in and out of the different buildings then headed back over Independence Pass, went through Twin Lakes and headed towards Buena Vista on US 24.

The start of a day of Ghost Towns…

When in Twin Lakes you might like hiking the Inter-Laken Trail to the remarkable preserved Inter-Laken historic resort. Its a beautiful 4.7 mile out and back along the lakeshore of Twin Lake. (one of our discoveries on a previous road trip!)

 

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Seeing a sign for Winfield Ghost Town and Vicksburg Ghost Town on US 24 before reaching Buena Vista, we turned onto CR 390 to check it out. First passing a beautiful lake known for fishing & camping, (Clear Creek Reservoir), that I never knew existed.

On our way to some of Colorado’s most historical areas


 

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Although closed for the season, Vicksburg Ghost Town was a beautiful stop with numerous old remnants about, scattered between an old barn. A dirt road blocked off from thru traffic had cabins that were individually owned and occupied. Who knew! 

 

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Heading to Winfield, we discovered an Old Mining Camp. (Crescent Mining Camp). Stopped and found more old preserved cabins. In the back a roaring creek and an old mine that had recently been claimed.

Did you know you can claim a mine, even today?

You can rent a cabin at Crescent Mining Camp

 

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Driving into Winfield Ghost Town, we found a town lived in by several individuals among preserved old buildings. 

 

Since I’m all about the outdoors, the scenery and fall colors were incredible. Just beautiful. And so quiet here. We saw no one!

 

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Walked around a bit and went looking for the Cemetery. (I always try to find the cemetery in Ghost Towns, they seem to always tell a story).

 

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We found the Cemetery after hiking up a jeep trail (CR 390A) heading upwards from the right of town. 

You can always find a way to get a few hikes in on a road trip! Lots of unexpected trails to discover as you travel through Colorado, even exploring Ghost Towns!

 

Another must see Ghost Town is St. Elmo, between Buena Vista and Salida near Mt. Princeton. Trails lead above town if a hike is desired. In the summer months the general store is open to the public.

 

In Fairplay, CO, you will find the most unbelievable open air museum, South Park City. An entire 1800’s city to explore. It’s truly the ultimate museum.

 

Near Victor CO, is a 2 mile trail “Trails of Gold”, surrounded by old mines that is magnificent if you love Colorado History.

 

LOCATED:

Independence Townsite: On Independence Pass. From Twin Lakes, just over the other side of the summit. From Aspen: Head up the pass to almost the top and it’s on your right. You will see a parking area. Closest Town: Aspen

 

Vicksburg, Crescent Mining Camp and Winfield: Off of US 24 W, turn onto CR 390. Pass Clear Creek Reservoir and travel approx. 12 miles to Winfield, passing Vicksburg and the Mining Camp on the way. Closest Town: Buena Vista

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase anything through one of our links you will be supporting our small business at no extra cost to you.

hiking trails, Colorado Ghost Towns, Aspen CO, Twin Lakes, Independence Pass, Things to do on Independence Pass, Colorado Fall Road Trips, Winfield Ghost Town, Vicksburg Ghost Town, Jeep trails in Colorado. Colorado Mountain Passes, Old Cabins, Old mines, Buena Vista, Old Cemeteries, Fall Colors in Colorado, Colorado hikes,
hiking trails, Colorado Ghost Towns, Aspen CO, Twin Lakes, Independence Pass, Things to do on Independence Pass, Colorado Fall Road Trips, Winfield Ghost Town, Vicksburg Ghost Town, Jeep trails in Colorado. Colorado Mountain Passes, Old Cabins, Old mines, Buena Vista, Old Cemeteries, Fall Colors in Colorado, Colorado hikes,
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