As kids in 1983, we went camping on Camp Bird Road for a week. We pulled our motor-home off the road in an area filled with aspen trees where others were also camped, but it wasn't a campground. Dad took us oldest kids hiking to mine areas he had explored himself as a youth. There were no marked trails that we saw.
Now I wish I knew exactly were we had been. Anybody recognize this area, or have more information on these mines? (I know it is stupid and dangerous to enter a mine shaft. I wouldn't dream of doing it again.)
1. As a landmark, across the river from the road and far up the mountain was a very visible miner's bunkhouse. This large building was in excellent shape when we explored it. The second story was filled with double bunk beds. A MASSIVE dining table was on the main floor.
2. Facing the bunkhouse from below, we crossed a gully on our right and located the remains of a small log cabin under the trees (just part of two walls left). Dad remembered exploring a large mine shaft near there, but a dirt slide now covered the opening. There was a small opening, and yes, we kids crawled in. It was an arched tunnel maybe 15 feet high, all solid rock with no timbers. A set of rails ran down the center, and a little rail car was right inside the entrance. We followed the rail with our flashlight for a ways until I decided I heard something besides us breathing in there and insisted on leaving.
3. On another hike we drove up the road a little ways where Dad pointed out a mountain on the other side of the river that had a crevasse formation starting at the treeline. Partway up that cleft, was a very visible black hole. Dad said he had climbed up there and the hole was a mine. He has an anvil he brought down from it. We climbed up the mountain to the treeline where there was a cabin built back into the side of a ridge. There was no front wall, just two rooms side by side with a wall between them. A little was over from the cabin was the the cleft, but it was impossible to climb with our bare hands. It was straight up, with numerous rocks jutting out and water flowing down. There was a large rock between us and the mine to where we couldn't even see it. Dad didn't remember how he had gotten up there, but later we found a picture he had taken from the road, and it looked like there was still snow below the entrance that could have been climbed.
Thanks a lot for any ideas someone might offer.