Red Mountain Project Red Mountain Project
Red Mountain Project


Silver Ledge Mine

The g oal of this project is to acquire from willing sellers 10,500 acres of historic landscapes and structures within and around the historic Red Mountain Mining District. Once purchased, they are being added to the adjacent Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests and Ouray County Parks for public use and enjoyment. In the meantime historic structural assessments, stabilization projects, installation of interpretive signs and improvements to historic trails for recreational use are ongoing.


The Red Mountain Task Force members represent:

  • Ouray and San Juan County Boards of Commissioners and Historical Societies
  • Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests
  • Fort Lewis College Office of Community Services
  • The Trust for Public Land

Supporting partners include:

  • Cooperating private property owners
  • Colorado Historical Society, Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways Commission, Colorado Preservation Inc.
(Click on image to enlarge)               


  • Approximately 36 square miles
  • Located within Ouray, San Juan, and San Miguel Counties, the Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests, and adjacent to the San Juan Skyway; one of only twenty-one All-American Scenic Byways in the U.S.


  • Through the work of Colorado Senator Wayne Allard, former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell and former Colorado Representative Scott McInnis, Congress has approved $14.1 million in Land and Water Conservation Funds for Red Mountain.
  • The Land & Water Conservation Fund was established in 1964 by Congress to use revenue from offshore oil drilling to fund conservation and recreation projects.
  • $354,000 in State Historic, Colorado Department of Health and Environment, and Great Outdoors Colorado funds have been used for land acquisitions.
  • The Trust for Public Land has acquired and conveyed approximately 7800 acres to the Forest Service.
  • Negotiations are ongoing with other willing sellers, with several hundred additional acres under consideration to purchase.
  • 122 acres purchased by Ouray County for use as a park.


Recently completed work:

  • Preparation of a comprehensive cultural resource survey of 110 sites completed, fall 2002.
  • Historic preservation funding in excess of $300,000 has been used to stabilize several structures.


The Forest Service has constructed an interpretive exhibit overlooking the heart of the Red Mountain Mining District. Interpretive panels located there include photos, diagrams and descriptions of the Red Mountain Mining District, Silverton Railroad, Yankee Girl Mine, Mining Settlements, the Treasury Tunnel, and Idarado reclamation work.


  • Visit web site at
  • Contact:
    • Bob Risch, PO Box 601, Ouray, CO 81427; (970) 325-4205; email
    • Beverly Rich, PO Box 154, Silverton, CO 81433; (970) 387-5144; email
    • Ken Francis, Fort Lewis College Office of Community Services, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301; (970) 247-7310; email
    • Doug Robotham, The Trust for Public Land, 1410 Grant Street, #D210, Denver, CO 80203; (303) 837-1414; e-mail