Explore Placer Gulch and Sound Democrat Mill

Rate this Adventure 0.25 miles 50 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Lucas Bremer

Just off Co. Road 9 is a perfectly preserved relic from the gold rush of Colorado

Placer Gulches 4WD trail is a gorgeous route offering scenic vistas of the San Juan Mountains and traverses an area rich with mining history. This area provides gorgeous wild flowers in the peak season of late July/ early August. Some of the best preserved mine structures in Colorado can be found along this trail. The Sound Democrat Mill is one of the finest examples and still possesses all of its machinery in place. This allows visitors the ability to see step by step how precious minerals were processes out of the raw ore that entered the mill. 

The Sound Democrat Mill is a seven stamp, five concentration table, ore-processing mill built in 1905- 1906, and remodeled in 1909. It is a typical amalgamation and concentration stamp mill built to treat gold and silver-lead ores. It is the last standing stamp mill in the productive Eureka district, and one of the most complete stamp mills remaining in Colorado. 

The mill is being restored and stabilized by the Bureau of Land Management, and is located along the Alpine Loop of the San Juan Mountain range not far from other mines and ghost towns such as Animas Forks.

Make sure to have a high clearance 4WD vehicle to reach the mine and gulch.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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