WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

Have you ever wondered why so many of Colorado's largest and most profitable mining areas eventually had to be abandoned due to contamination?

According to waterdesk.com, there are over 23,000 abandoned mining sites in Colorado and almost 1800 miles of creeks and streams were contaminated as a result of mining that began over a century ago in many parts of the state.

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Where is Gilman, Colorado

The Gilman, Colorado townsite.
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U.S Highway 24 travels from Minturn, Colorado all the way to the state of Michigan. South of Vail, Colorado, the highway heads down to Leadville and eventually Twin Lakes. Ghost towns like Gilpin can be found along 24 much like Colorado 82 near Aspen. The Gilman townsite is only 13 miles south of Vail.

Why Was Gilman Ordered Abandonded by the EPA?

Gilman was founded in the 1880s with multiple mines opened up in the area by 1890. When the EPA stepped in in the 1980s the area around Gilman was home to over 8 million tons of mine waste. This waste comes from the mining process itself. Compounds like sulphuric acid or cyanide helped separate minerals from ore. When these chemicals are spilled into the ground or enter the water supply they are toxic. The EPA determined Gilman was no longer safe and ordered a 235-acre site abandoned, and closed off to the public.

Gilman Almost Became a Ski Resort in 2007

The photos below can be hard to look at. Gilman has been so badly vandalized that hardly a single pane of glass is left in any of the windows. In 2007, The Ginn Company floated plans to build a huge ski resort all over Battle Mountain including the Gilman townsite. In 2008, the town of Minturn annexed the Gilman townsite and the plans for a resort stalled.

The Gilman townsite is private land. Despite the vandalism, the owners of the land have been known to press charges for trespassing.

Vandals Have Not Been Kind to the Ghost Town of Gilman, Colorado

Founded in 1886, the mining community of Gilman, Colorado started out mining silver and later switched to mining zinc and lead. The EPA forced the closure of the townsite 102 years later after a toxic discovery. Scroll on to see what remains on the slopes of Battle Mountain in Eagle County.

KEEP GOING: See the Ghost Town of Alta, Colorado at 11,800 Feet

See photos from the once busy town of Alta, Colorado, which lasted from 1877 to about 1948.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

MORE: The Abandoned Ghost Town of Henson Colorado Sits Near a Broken Dam

The Colorado ghost town of Henson sits along the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway near Lake City. Several structures from the many mining communities in the area are still standing, along with the ruins of the old hydroelectric dam over Henson Creek.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

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