Ouray and environs: part 9 (Ironton)

South of Ouray and just north of Red Mountain Pass — and across Red Mountain Creek from Hwy. 550 —  lies a well-preserved series of structures that are all that remains of Ironton, once home to 1,000 or so souls.


Ironton lies on a rare stretch of level terrain surrounded by the crags and hillsides that are more typical of the region. It (Ironton) served as something of a transportation hub between Silverton and Ouray and the numerous mining outposts arrayed between them.

Window on the wild

Upstream from Ironton itself sits the Colorado Boy mine and headframe, recently somewhat rehabilitated from its state of imminent collapse and accessible by a short hike from the ghost town itself.

Colorado Boy ruin

Farther up the valley towards Red Mountain Pass are a series of old structures surrounding the Yankee Girl mine, including  this tumble-down headframe at the Diana claim.

Diana claim

This  series of  photos was taken in 2004 with my old trusty Canon 10D, which still serves me well as a backup body. With the advent of the 5D MkIII, however, I think it might be just about time to upgrade.

National Belle Mine

(Note to self: begin developing strategy for breaking  this to the wife.)

Distant view of Colorado Boy



9 thoughts on “Ouray and environs: part 9 (Ironton)

  1. I envy you … almost every photo seems to be taken on a good day, nice weather, sunshine. Red Mountain, Silverton, the Delores River basin and that part of the country are really nice, especially when the Aspens turn. I gaze upon your photo’s and a small piece of my heart sighs, stuck here on the Oklahoma plains with the heat and the thunderstorms.

    Nice work.


    • Idsrr, you should see the photos that never made it to prime time. (Bad days, lousy weather…) Regardless, thanks for your kind comments, and hope you get to travel back to Colorado soon.

      • Maybe next year John, we are kicking around the idea of the Pacific Northwest and doing Yellowstone again. We will see.


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