Sutton Mine Trail to the Neosho Mine
ElevationAscent: 1,124' 343 m
Descent: -1,123' -342 m
High: 9,004' 2,745 m
Low: 8,132' 2,479 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 60% (31°)
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“For a mining venture that never paid off, the trail up to the Neosho Mine now boasts a great run.”— Caroline Cordsen
Visible from Highway 550, the mine, bunkhouse, and the blacksmith shop (still with its 9-5:30 sign) look like a quaint timestamp of prosperous times. But in reality, the mining venture never paid off, and all it ever saw was loneliness and tragedy.
While many visitors turn back at the overlook, another easy half mile of running along the bench is waiting for those willing to push on. Circling west along a rocky outcrop, the trail marches slowly toward Abrams Mountain before ducking into a dense pocket of spruce and fir fed by a series of flowing gullies. Losing about fifty feet to accommodate the wider channel of Ralston Creek, the route soon comes to another overlook, this time of Bear Creek Falls and the gorge. Look far below you toward the deep gorge of the Uncompahgre River, and you can spot the first remains of the mines near Neosho Mill.
A little more than one-tenth of a mile beyond this point, the trail meets with the tram cables overhead, an outhouse, an ore car on the tracks, the antiques shop, and finally, the old bunkhouse and office. Despite the misnomer, the trail ends here and never actually reaches the Sutton Mine, which rests higher up on the mountainside.
The song "Danny Boy" comes from Edward's brother. Margaret put the tune to his poem, though she never received credit.
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