Backpack to the Abandoned Skagway Power Plant and Ghost Town

Skagway Resevoir

Backpack deep into the Beaver Creek Canyon to an abandoned power plant and ghost town. Set up camp and spend time exploring the abandoned buildings, go fishing in the Beaver Creek, and take a dip in one of the many waterfall pools.

Construction of the Skagway Plant began in 1899 and was complete in 1901. In 1965, 15 days of rain brought floods washing out a lot of the pipeline and other infrastructure. Fixing the power plant didn’t make sense and funds weren’t in place. The land was reverted to the government.

The hike begins at the Skagway Reservoir parking lot. Walk towards the dam and follow the West Beaver Creek along a dirt road for about a mile. When you reach a gate in the road the trail veers off to the right and continues along the creek. The second mile will take you through fields and easy terrain along the creek. As you make your way down the creek, the trail (blazed with pink and orange markers) begins taking several creek crossings. The first couple can be done while keeping dry but prepare to jump in because the final couple require you to get a little wet.

This trail is known for its tough terrain but it’s nothing too crazy, be prepared. The last couple miles will take you through boulder fields and several tight timber areas along the creek. Be sure to stay in a group as you blaze the trail looking for the markers and take your time at intersections along the trail. There’s only one attraction (that being the power plant), so there are multiple trails along the creek to follow (We stuck with the orange trail markers and ended up crossing only 5 times, 2 of which forced us into the water).

A white building will be seen initially on your right. Cross the creek here and make your way up to the infamous Skagway Power Plant & Ghost town. Set up camp among the century old buildings, explore and hike out the next day (I recommend a two-day hike for the full experience).

This is a must do hike in Colorado in my opinion. A true adventure… Good luck! 

Pack List

  • Camping Gear
  • First Aid Kit
  • Water/Food
  • Fly Rod
  • Swimming clothes
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RT Distance 10 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Totally awesome

Lived in CO my whole life and this is by far my favorite hike! We got lucky cause the creek was low and our feet stayed dry.


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