Visiting an Old Fluorspar Mine

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It was a nice Colorado winter weekend and we were out searching for old gold mine sites. This was a whole lot more fun than playing in the 30 degree water through the ice. We had a map  showing the location of some old mining claims. While checking one out, Chris came running back to where we were standing. "You have to see this", he said. "There isn't any way to describe it. It's the biggest I've seen". We walked about 200 yards and there in the side of the hill was a large entrance into the hillside. 

Chris standing in the entrance

As we approached the entrance we could see why he was so excited. It was huge! The size really wasn't too apparent until you began to go inside. The entrance was full of junk. It had been used as the local  dump. There was garbage strewn all around.  Carefully picking our way through the garbage we descended into a huge open area.

Now this is big!

The walls had a purple discoloration through out the rock faces. At the time we didn't know what it was. After a little research we learned it was fluorite. This may have been a fluorspar mine at one time. Descending further into the cavern. we could see the end.  There was a ladder leading from the floor to the ceiling. It looked to be about 100 feet high.

The "Stairway to the top of the world"

It would have been interesting to be able to climb the ladder. About 2/3rds of the way up it looked like there was a shaft off to the side. It was so far up though that it was impossible to tell for certain. Some of the ladder steps were broken and it looked like you could take a fast trip down it you decided to try to climb it.

Fluorspar Mine Page 2