When we were at the trailhead for Peru Creek we saw a sign that said there was no access to the Pennsylvania Mine. That is the mine on Cinnamon Gulch, so we weren't sure what we'd find when we got there. We hadn't seen the trail since 2009, and we noticed that Peru Creek wasn't as white and colorful as it used to be. It turned out they are cleaning up the mine damages and restoring the whole area.
It looks like they often close the trail right near the trailhead. If it's closed, there would be plenty of room to turn around. We were lucky to find it open.
We headed in, and found that some areas we used to drive on and around were completely changed. We started up one spur and then we weren't sure if it was actually a road or not so we backed down. Then we headed up to the mine itself.
There was plenty of parking, even next to a trailer and other equipment at the gated and locked mine. There were chunks of snow near the entrance, and the water next to the mine was yellow with minerals. This was the heart of the cleanup, and it looked like they still had a lot of work to do. We hung out for a bit, snapping pictures of the mine building from above it. No one ventured down to it, and we soon headed back to the trail.
We didn't make it very far in until we found a piece of fence across the trail. It looked like the rest of the trail was off limits, at least on the day we were there. We wondered what they were doing in there and if the trail would be reopened again in the future.
That meant we were back at the big, crumbling building sooner than anticipated. They had done a lot of cleanup work there, too, including moving the parking area far from the building. We parked and walked over to it, happy to see it was still in the same state it was when we last saw it, more or less.
We chatted, and we agreed that it seemed like access to the building could be removed at any time. It really wasn't safe. A huge fan in a chunk of metal still hung on the third floor, barely suspended by old boards. The roof was pretty much gone, and everything was caving in. We still went in, of course, taking tons of pictures. We hoped there would be more years to take more pictures, but we took a lot of them just in case it was one of the last times.
We didn't spend as much time on the trail as we thought, so we were soon back on Peru Creek. It looked like we'd have time to do Warden Gulch, too, so we headed off in that direction. We'll keep tabs on the Pennsylvania Mine Restoration project, and we wished them luck cleaning up the dirtiest mine in Colorado.
Reports from Other Days: 3
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Cinnamon Gulch. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.