Getting to Know the 3 Historic Ghost Towns of Mesa County, Colorado
Mesa County, Colorado is home to three different historic ghost town sites which date back to the 1800s, and early 1900s. While these sites have all been abandoned for a few decades, they are still accessible today with 4x4 transportation.
All three locations are within a few hours of Grand Junction. Scroll on to learn more about the historic sites that once belonged to the town of Carpenter, Climax Camp, and Calamity Camp in Mesa County.
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter structures on this or any abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
The Ghost Town of Carpenter, Colorado
The old mining community of Carpenter, Colorado was located about 12 miles outside of Grand Junction at the end of an extension to 27 1/4 Road. This road becomes Carpenter Canyon Road and leads back to the old townsite. This settlement dates back to the 1880s and was home to employees of William Thomas Carpenter's two Bookcliff mines. By 1925, what was left of the town had mostly been hauled away.
The Ghost Town of Calamity Camp, Colorado
South of Gateway, Colorado is a formation that is called the Calamity Mesa. Calamity Loop is a difficult 16-mile off-road trail that skilled drivers can access to travel back to these historic townsites. The drive is dangerous and should not be traveled solo or by beginners driving off-road.
Calamity Camp is one of the last vanadium-radium-uranium camps in Colorado. It was in use from about 1916 to 1980. Use caution when visiting this site as there is still residual radiation from active minerals. Several well-maintained structures are still at this site including a cookhouse.
The Ghost Town of Climax Camp, Colorado
Climax Camp is another historic site located near the Calamity Mesa on what was called the Outlaw Mesa in southern Mesa County. This mine was another vanadium-radium-uranium camp in use through the 1970s. Only a handful of structures remain at Climax Camp located at 6,578 feet just outside the Uncompaghre National Forest.
Learn more about these Mesa County ghost towns with the video below from Mesa County Library, then scroll on to take a deeper dive into the top 10 ghost towns in Colorado below.