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Mines of Colorado: A High-Altitude Adventure at an Abandoned Mine Prospect

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Late last summer, we headed out to Colorado and hiked up some mountains to this small abandoned mining prospect. Topographic maps showed several adits in the area and some shafts. We found and entered some underground workings but didn't find anything too substantial. One unique thing we found at this site were some old mining safety signs posted at one of the mine's entrances.
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Text Comments (176)
Exploring More Colorado (8 months ago)
Looks like the 4 corner area?
HKvsGlock (10 months ago)
Any good places to explore in the northern Colorado/Wyoming area? Thanks!
HKvsGlock I’m not too familiar with those areas.
Patrick Oakley (1 year ago)
Hey guys, a friend and i are going to Colorado in March, looking for some large accessible mine shafts. ANY information would be greatly appreciated thanks. Love the vids btw
Scott T (8 months ago)
well its june ... but any way ... a good touring (operating mine ) Argo goldmine in Idhoe Springs
David Garzas gold (1 year ago)
what type of graphic map do you use in where are those in Colorado because I am an Explorer and want to go see them
Elvastan (1 year ago)
where are you? (in colorado)
the dude (1 year ago)
The answer is mudd birds
+the dude OK, thanks! I appreciate the information.
History Lover (1 year ago)
Swallows build those nests. There are a lot of abandoned mines outside of Creede, Colorado.
Michael Robinson (2 years ago)
I'm thinking the location of this mine ads to the experience. The elevation and wide open spaces were likely both a delight. The opening shots of the video I noticed the rocks and tailing high up which were sign for me there was mining which happened nearby. Perhaps you could do a video on the signs to look for outside which indicate the presence of a mine?
+astr0al3x The location of this particular mine did add to the experience even though the underground workings were very limited. Yes, those tailing piles are easy to spot from afar, and they are always dead giveaways that there is a mine nearby.
Knoxville Doobie (2 years ago)
what's up man I like your videos check out my channel. I'm going to be making a lot more. I'm new to this. I've been doing a lot of scouting for the last couple years. I've got some amazing spots
David Shreve (2 years ago)
an awesome old mine with all entact.
joseph Geis (2 years ago)
Glad to see you back, I missed your videos.
Yes, I'm back. I upload a new video on the 1st, 10th, and 20th of each month. See you on September 1st!
Sam Eigen (2 years ago)
Hey, have you ever been to idaho and explored any of the mines here? There is quite a lot. Just in my time out in the mountains riding motocross ive came across loads of them.
Amateur Explorers (2 years ago)
Gday, love your videos always excited to see the new mines and what they have to offer! Just a quick question, we are making a compilation video of scariest urban exploration videos, would you mind if we use some of the footage from your video 'horton mine exploration follow up' of course we would give you accreditation, only need the footage from the eerie parts! Thanks AE :)
Nerevar (2 years ago)
Please return to Horton mine.
Southern Hunting (2 years ago)
And there is barn swallows in the us
Southern Hunting (2 years ago)
The kind of bird that makes those nests is a barn swallow.
Welcome to my country :)
Just plz be careful, your vids are great.
Thanks for watching!
You are like an adventurous
Charlotte Moore (2 years ago)
Awesome video!!
E_X_I_L_E (2 years ago)
It's really awesome to see all these different explorer's collaborating. I'll be giving you a call sometime this week so we can set something up in the next couple of months. I'd your phone number still the same?
Yes, still the same phone number.
Samuel Hoyhtya (2 years ago)
The bird is a mud swalow
Escape The Wild (2 years ago)
BlueAura (2 years ago)
I appreciate all your adventures, but mostly haunted stuff as this is something unique, caves fascinate me and how people can dwell so far into the undergrounds. Your footage are special and No one else does it, keep it up as this is ton of fun. You should venture into illegal parts of catacombs like they did in that cheesy "as above so below" movie. :d
TheFurriestOne (2 years ago)
Not going to probe the plug with a stick or anything? Ah well, thanks for hiking up there anyways!
antonio.r.s.15 (2 years ago)
wow!i see a pic of your chanel and y was suprised,you are very brave and your videos are very cool and special,thanks for this cool stuf
TVR Exploring (2 years ago)
Yeah, like everyone else is saying, swallows build those nests... Chuck and I have come across plugs that look very similar to what you found in that mine. Sometimes it doesn't take much - some timbers or a few loose rocks - for a floor of sorts to appear over time. There sure isn't much holding them up though...
Dirk Diggler (2 years ago)
Western, Common Swift or Chimney Swift, they migrate to the N.W. and central States from South America.  Without seeing the bird itself this is just a guess based on my own experience. Here in Oregon they are very prominent in the Spring leaving in the late Fall, also a member of the Swallow family, building a nest out of mud every year usually near water..... (;^') Thank you for taking us along!!!!
Thanks, man, for the detailed information!
David Murphy (2 years ago)
great video Frank!! glad to see you in Colorado love all your videos I've seen them all..
Thanks, Dave! The next video of mine coming out at midnight on August 20th features a totally flooded mine. As you know, flooded mines are a rare occurrence for me. Stay tuned!
David Shreve (2 years ago)
oh... you can find the one i speak of....but unless you know what to look for as far as i know it remains somewhat of a secret.. but it goes way way back, watch out for old tnt or nitro glycerin as it may be
David Shreve (2 years ago)
my great grandfather wired the Stanley mine off i 70. also right after idaho springs there use to be a 4x4 trail that led by I 70 and then went up the moutian . you can still park and walk a few miles. but there is a surprise at near the top....if you can make it.
Jonathan Bellew (1 year ago)
You aren't speaking of the road that goes up past the Phoenix mine are you?
I-Love-CO Mountains (1 year ago)
David Shreve I live close to there, what's the trail called?? :D
All3X (2 years ago)
I'm never going to go there, so what's the surprise? :)
americania-nmc (2 years ago)
Subscribed to you !
Thanks, Matt! Welcome aboard! Glad to have you along for the adventures. Feel free to comment or ask questions on any video. I try to answer as many as I can. New videos are uploaded at midnight (Pacific Time) on the 1st, 10th, and 20th of each month. Thanks again for your support!
Swear less Moss (2 years ago)
As always, I look forward to your videos more than anything on T.V. Sad really... Round here identical nests are made by house martins, a member of the swallow family. Now you are in Colorado does it mean you have run out of mines in Az, Cal, and Nev?
Thank you for that compliment! Love hearing that! It makes trekking out to all these remote, god-forsaken places worth it. No, I have not run out of abandoned mines in CA, NV, and AZ. Just spreading out more and covering more ground now that I'm retired. haha Thanks for your support!
001DesertRat (2 years ago)
Frank, you need to check out the areas around Black Hawk & Central City, lots of old mines.Spring of 1966 I worked with an elderly friend of mine reopening an old 1880's Silver Mine in Black Hawk. We reopened the Portal where it had caved over the years. The tunnel which was over 3/4 of a mile in length was half filled with icy water, - fun wading back in there in chest deep water feeling your way along the ore car rails. Found 5 completely submerged ore cars in there. The original miners had lost the vein due to faulting. We discovered a new ore body that they had missed (and gone past) . The High Grade ore in the new ore body brought $17,500. per 10 yard dump truck load. First things that we bought were an old Ingersol-Rand Wagon Compressor, Rock Drills, and Air Hoses, so that we didn't have to "single-jack" our blasting holes any longer. Blasted using 80% Gelatin Special (80% Nitroglycerine) , instant headache from the Nitro on the surface of the sticks. - <Doc>
christopher mulligan (1 year ago)
That's awesome man!!!! Cool story!!
James Emmrich (2 years ago)
001DesertRat Do you still mine it or did you complete the vein? Also, what do you mean an instant headache?
Asvea (2 years ago)
Exploring abandoned mines are wayyyyy scarier than exploring abandoned places.
Yeah, I agree. Sometimes there will be abandoned buildings at these mine sites, but I just don't get too interested in filming them. I'd rather be underground in the dark filming the mine tunnels and shafts. Thanks for commenting!
Swallows make nests like that!
Thanks, Frank! Some other viewers have said the same thing.
Jeff Claunch (2 years ago)
Where have you been!!!!??? Nice video.
Thanks for watching, Jeff! I've been here. I upload new videos on the 1st, 10th, and 20th of each month.
Tyler james (2 years ago)
another great video frank! That was quite a hike gaining around 900 feet in elevation in that mile! thank you for all the work you do to allow us to watch these videos! i have always been fascinated by the mines i have encountered in north idaho. So, thank you for all of the historical documenting!
Thanks, Tyler. Always glad to hear from appreciative viewers like yourself.
David Samson (2 years ago)
Wow that one was scary to me idk why great explore frank, be safe brother
D WRECKOR Carrillo (2 years ago)
i was waiting for this :D another GREAT JOB BRO!
ScubaOz (2 years ago)
Think BLM sealed that with that foam and some mud went over it or did it all look natural? Great Vid as always, and thanks for sharing!
Exploring More Colorado (8 months ago)
That would be a natural flash flood plug xD
+ScubaOz It looked really unnatural. However, due to the remote location of this mine, I don't think the BLM would've bothered with this one. There aren't really any other mines in the general area to begin with. It also looked natural, too, as if over the decades water and mud have flowed down into there and filled up whatever was there. Hard to say exactly what was going on.
bigsky12001 (2 years ago)
Boy that was a real dog hole! It appears they mined it with any real plan! Thanks and be safe that one was really sketchy! I give you a A+ for your efforts!
Mines of the West (2 years ago)
Hahaha who's that idiot at the top of the shaft?? Great video!
ADIT ADDICTS (2 years ago)
Wait a minute! That guys an idiot?!! WTF?! LMAO!
I guess you mean that 1200-foot shaft we reached after hiking a mile or two in the mountains of Colorado. LOL
Tommy TwoGun (2 years ago)
Why not crack open the seal (or attempt to) and see what's down there?
Aidas K. (2 years ago)
Thank you for documenting your explorations. It's really exciting to find out what the mines look like from the inside and what you can find there especially when here in Eastern Europe you dont have any places to explore except maybe some abandoned buildings lol
Edward Austin (2 years ago)
I have seen all of your videos and enjoy everyone of them. I remember when you found the old pistol and it got me wondering what else you may have found ? Old books, notes, money, etc.. Keep up the great work and be safe..
Headframe Hunters (2 years ago)
That plug didn't look quite right- I think that there might be a false floor there; you could try rolling a big boulder down the incline and seeing if it breaks through. Plugs installed by the BLM as part of systemic destruction of historical sites tend to be very coarse rock as backfill, usually with a culvert for bats or other animals. They would have sealed it at the portal, so as to avoid having that 60-foot prospect accessible, let along the short distance down the incline that someone could still fall down. As far as plug installation risks go, it's a lot less dangerous to have guys shovel a portal full of rubble than messing around partway down an inclined shaft.
I agree with you! I think the inclined tunnel has filled up with rainwater and mud over the decades. Hard to be sure, though.
Larry Liggett (2 years ago)
The bird's nest looks like a swallow's nest; as in San Juan Capistrano fame.
Rob Farrow ATV (2 years ago)
Loved Colorado when I was there running all the mountain passes! Lots of mines up there!  Thanks for the tour Frank!
Dylan (2 years ago)
I'm a new subscriber so I don't see it :)
Thanks for subscribing, Dylan! And welcome aboard! Just so you know, I upload new content on the 1st, 10th, and 20th of each month at midnight Pacific Time. I'm also rapidly approaching 100,000 subscribers, so I'll be doing another $100 Giveaway for that milestone. Also, there is a link on my channel's homepage to my Twitter feed where I post occasional pictures of abandoned mines, previews of upcoming videos, and related things while I'm out exploring and documenting. Thanks for your interest -- and stay tuned!
GraviTyKillz (2 years ago)
is there an online source for maps that would show the locations of old mines?
GraviTyKillz (2 years ago)
Thank you
The BLM, US Forest Service, and US FIsh and Wildlife websites are great places to start.
Davidautofull (2 years ago)
for future reference look at the ladder at the 2:22 mark. you can see that it is being used backward. the cross steps are pushing in the wrong direction. dont do that.
We've seen that many times in abandoned mines. Perhaps the ladder was positioned that way so that a skip or ore cart could be hauled up the smooth backside without having to deal with rungs that aren't flush with the sides.
Kgw100 (2 years ago)
why not go down the incline?
It looked like there was a plug down there. Probably not much to see besides that. Also, a plug like that could give way causing an explorer to plunge into a deep shaft or pit. Because there was signage at the tunnel entrance about reporting workplace injuries and related things, that leads me to believe that the workings here were a lot more extensive than what we found.
Dylan (2 years ago)
Did you ever take that gun you found in that pentagram box those are rare to find
This should answer your question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkIpuDNddA8
Kowboy USA (2 years ago)
Nothing like crisp clean high altitude hiking.
Kowboy USA (2 years ago)
+Porty1119 Testing ourselves; living for real.
Headframe Hunters (2 years ago)
To completely kick your ass if you were born in Florida! Been there, done that, can't wait to go back for more!
Kowboy USA (2 years ago)
+Exploring Abandoned Mines And that is fact.
You've got that right, John! Nice country out there. In fact, all of the southwest is great country when far away from the cities and coastline.
David Garzas gold (2 years ago)
I live in coloredo so can you tell me where the mine is
I wonder how many time they take to dig mines like that...
+Exploring Abandoned Mines Cool, thanks for the info :)
I'm sure it takes a lot of time -- especially if they were using dynamite and shoveling the debris out. I think I read somewhere once that old-time miners usually removed a foot or two of material a day, but don't quote me on that. Of course, modern mines (coal mines) go much faster and further with all the mechanized mining machines such as the continuous miner, etc..
Earl K. (2 years ago)
The mud birds nest is made by a swallow.
Doc McCoy (2 years ago)
sometimes your the bug and sometimes the window. Never know what's going to be at a site. You guys be safe as always.
+Doc McCoy Thanks for commenting, Doc! We weren't expecting there to be much at this site, and there wasn't. There were some other small adits nearby but nothing too extensive. It was fun to document this site, though.
Mike Coker (2 years ago)
ADIT ADDICTS (2 years ago)
Dross sent me here!
Frenchie (2 years ago)
+Exploring Abandoned Mines that bird Nast is an hirondelle nast ( it's a French word)
Hidden Arizona (2 years ago)
I wonder if that right-hand short dig at the end of the video is actually a vertical shaft, deeper but closed with mud-covered boards. That could make it risky to go down there.
Hidden Arizona (2 years ago)
+Exploring Abandoned Mines Thanks, Frank. A fun video as usual. Take care.
+Stan Jefferson I was thinking the same thing, Stan. That particular entrance had the safety signs posted, so I don't think they would post such signage for a small, dead-‼end prospect. It's hard to say, though. However, that filled in section looked suspiciously unnatural.
Skinny Mcdoogin (2 years ago)
I live in CO and I have a map of over 9000 recorded mine sites. the USGS says there is thousands more undocumented. Great state to find mine shafts and mining towns. I see lots of mines that still have 90% of everything that was built around them.
Jonathan Bellew (1 year ago)
If you live in the Springs, Leadville, Cripple Creek and Breck are decent places to start.
john USAS (2 years ago)
Jay Schmidt where did u get the map of all the mines I've been searching forever for some but haven't found any
Robert Wymer (2 years ago)
I need to go explore like this I'm in the springs and have the ability to, like you said, make it to thousands of mines in just a matter of hours. but not too sure where to look! so much area to cover and so many choices I don't know how to narrow it down): any ideas?
Rowdy motmot Cat (2 years ago)
The bird that built the nest was a swallow.
+Rowdymotmot Cat Thanks for commenting! Other viewers have said the same thing. Glad to finally know what it was.
David Murphy (2 years ago)
unfortunately all our mines in Colorado are sealed by the blm but time to time you will find a breached one nice try..
ADIT ADDICTS (2 years ago)
We're working on a drone right now. Especially for exploring up here in N. CA.
David Murphy (2 years ago)
I should not have said all your right I've had a lot of disappointing hikes up waste rock only to find a seal that's what the drone is for now But I've lived in Colorado my whole life and have explored countless adits and one shaft with a solid man way, we have a lot of amazing history here
ADIT ADDICTS (2 years ago)
That's Impossible. The brief time I was in Colorado ( two years ago ) I witnessed over ten mines that were completely wide open.
Joshua Johnson (2 years ago)
Very interesting video, thank you Frank for the upload👍😎
Joshua Johnson (2 years ago)
+Exploring Abandoned Mines 👍
+Joshua Johnson Thanks, Joshua! This wasn't the most exciting site to explore and really wasn't worth all the effort to reach it, but that's what we do.
Gold Miner Ben (2 years ago)
Wow, I see that you are expanding your exploration territory, in regard to the number of states that you have been to. I think it is great! Colorado is rich in mining history.
Hey, Ben! Always expanding, constantly exploring, regularly uploading (1st, 10th, and 20th of each month). Thanks for watching!
Garry Stebbings (2 years ago)
Thanks Frank and Graham interesting small prospects, usual good quality video.
+Garry Stebbings Thank you, Garry, for watching and commenting.
TheSWolfe (2 years ago)
Old-school mine, indeed! Not much left access-wise, but rather intriguing, for some reason.
+TheSWolfe Like somebody else mentioned in their comment above, one never knows what one is going to find at a site like this. We were disappointed that the underground workings were very limited, but that's how it goes sometimes. Thank you for your comment.
TreeMunky (2 years ago)
In the UK we have nests like those built by Swallows. Thanks for the video I look forward to the next one.
+TreeMunky Other viewers have also confirmed that the nest was built by swallows. Thank you for watching the video and leaving a comment. I appreciate your support very much.
IKS Exploration (2 years ago)
Wow excellent explore, you going back with ropes for the vertical shaft? :)
Sara Hammons (2 years ago)
That second prospect is definitely interesting. The end of the tunnel is so flat, almost too flat. I wonder if it was filled purposely? It looks too neat to just be natural, in my opinion.
+Sara Hammons Exactly! I was thinking the same thing, Sara! False floors can be really dangerous, and that looked unnaturally flat for some reason. If it was a vertical shaft of some depth, it looks like erosion has filled it in. I am guessing that rain water flows down into that inclined tunnel and has filled up whatever shaft was there with mud and water.
JohnJack Bogle (2 years ago)
I still think this guys a god. I'm pretty sure most people would look for one tunnel to explore then give up.
usher smith (2 years ago)
hump day
Cornish Mine Explorer (2 years ago)
Amazing to think what effort the miners took to get to the top of that mountain and then mine it out. We explorer a small incline shaft a few months ago with a similar blockage, it might be a dig out project one day. the vertical shaft nearby goes down a good 100 - 150ft to water. Any idea's what was mined there? Nice video Frank.
+Cornish Mine Explorer I think silver was mined here, but I'm not sure. Yes, that filled-in inclined shaft near the end of the video looked suspiciously unnatural. Probably is a plug of some sort.
Killerspiderpig (2 years ago)
Swallows will build that type of nest but I don't know if you get them in the USA.
ADIT ADDICTS (2 years ago)
+Dirk Diggler Now go! Or I shall taunt you a second time!
SaintPatrick33 (2 years ago)
Well, I don't know that!
Dirk Diggler (2 years ago)
+ADIT ADDICTS Lol " Your Father was a hamster and your Mother smelt of elllllllderberrys"
ADIT ADDICTS (2 years ago)
African or European swallows? And will said swallow be it what ever bread, have coconuts in tow?
ScotTex83 (2 years ago)
William Lesco (2 years ago)
So many Colorado mines are really sketchy. It seems like half of them are death traps and the other half are on fire.
Hussein AL-bader (2 years ago)
+Turk Sandwich I was thinking the same thing .........
Turk Sandwich (2 years ago)
So wouldn't that mean that all of them are death traps?
Richard Maunder (2 years ago)
Thank you for the video Frank.
+Richard Maunder Thanks for watching, Richard!
Ryan Sutherland (2 years ago)
The nest is from a cave swallow.
Nova Adventure (2 years ago)
Where about in Colorado?
OXY ! (2 years ago)
OXY ! (2 years ago)
Johny Paranormal (2 years ago)
Awesome lads ! pretty dodgy those shafts tho haha... I got some gold leases with a few old shafts ... not as crazy as these tho
JCI1990 (2 years ago)
you dont ever dig for ore or gold nuggies?
Turk Sandwich (2 years ago)
If they do, it wouldn't we wise to show it. Taking minerals that aren't yours, and placing that on the internet is not wise. Also, the mines are abandoned for a reason, they stop producing, or became unsafe.
Hinnerk Stolz (2 years ago)
I think the Bird is a swallow:)
Mike Lcml5c (1 year ago)
Hinnerk Stolz I'd write and say yes it's a swallow or it could be a chimney swift but either way they're cousins
Titouan pineau (2 years ago)
Love these vids, keep em up ! :)
Titouan pineau (2 years ago)
+Exploring Abandoned Mines Will do :D
Thank you for taking the time to watch and comment. My next video will go live on YouTube at midnight on August 20th. Stay tuned!
Promageddon (2 years ago)
go to sleep kids, you have school in the morning
siq Lad (2 years ago)
Horton mine follow up v3?
ATSF854 (2 years ago)
am I actually first for once????
Riley Banks (2 years ago)
Turk Sandwich (2 years ago)
popped the cherry!

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