Destination: Latchaw Mine
General Location: 7 miles west of Buena Vista near Mt. Princeton
How To Get There: Follow County Road 306 west out of Buena Vista to County Road 321. Go south on CR 321 for approx. 4.7 miles to County Road 327 (gravel). This road soon turns into a public road through private land (respect posted signs). Follow it as far as possible, yielding to 1 or 2 left forks as they come along (right forks are old burro trails that dead end). When the 4 wheel drive ends, or you have gone as far in 4 wheel drive as you feel comfortable, the hike then continues up a narrow, but reasonably clear trail with spectacular vistas all the way to the mine. (NOTE: The Colorado Trail intersects on the 4 wheel drive section - go past it, following the trail west.)
Difficulty: Paved roads all the way to CR 327. CR 327 starts as an easy gravel road but quickly turns to a 4 wheel drive road with large erosion ruts and steep inclines, but it is probably rated easy to moderate in difficulty. The hiking trail starts a bit steep and then levels out to an easy and beautiful hike all the way to the mine. There are some drop-offs along the way, but nothing very dangerous unless you're not being cautious.
Private Property & Responsible Recreation: Venturing off of public roads and lands onto private land is trespassing. The surrounding mountains have miles of underground tunnels and shafts. The area is dangerous and a once safe and stable area can suddenly collapse. The buildings also are in various state of decay and are also unsafe. Obey any posted signs, travel & recreate responsibly, and always tread lightly.
History of Latchaw Mine: Denver Times, July 28, 1901 - "On Mount Princeton, 7 miles west of Buena Vista, is situated the Latchaw Mining, Tunneling and Milling Company's property. The Company proposes to run a tunnel into the mountain a distance of 3,000 feet to cut a big vein of high grade silver and gold ore that is known to exist somewhere in the mountain. The tunnel is already 200 feet..." (NOTE: is the story true about the request of a former employee of the Latchaw Mine being buried, at his request in Mt. Olivette Cemetery in Buena Vista, with his feet pointing to the Latchaw? See our video for the answer and details!)
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