At over 11,200 feet, visiting the old Barstow Mine will certainly test the lungs of "flat-land" tourists. But it's worth every breath just to gaze upon immense piles of colorful tailings plastered against a sheer backdrop of green vegetation and mountaintops that soar into the heavenly blue skies of Southwest Colorado. But wait, there's more!
Another couple mile grunt up the old mining road beyond Barstow Mine will land you in Spirit Basin, well known for its magnificent wildflower displays. Wildflower season varies with moisture, but in general begins mid July and often sputters well into August. It's a popular hike, so go prepared to share it with others.
Barstow's main mineral was fluorite. Interestingly, one of Barstow's mining shafts intersected with one of the Idarado Mine shafts that extended under-mountain all the way to Telluride where some of the miners lived. It was a long and mostly dark commute, but WWII military demands for fluorite kept the mine active well into the 1940's.
|Bluebells, after a mountain shower...|
|"Hiker Babes" taking in the mountain majesty...|
|and, contemplating the meaning of life|
|Columbine...a favorite as well as our State Flower (illegal to pick FYI)|
Mark and Bobbie...and Ruthie :)