Routt County Colorado Gold Production

Posted July 16, 2009 in Gold Mining


Click here for the Principle Gold Producing Districts of the United States Index

Routt County is in north-central Colorado along the Wyoming boundary.

Prospectors, in search of gold, entered what is now Routt County early in the 1860's and discovered placers in the Hahns Peak area in 1865 (George and Crawford, 1909, p. 221). These deposits were the chief source of gold in the county and were mostly developed before 1900. Total gold production of the county through 1959 was about 19,000 ounces.

Much of the mining history of the Hahns Peak (Columbine) district, near Hahns Peak in north-central Routt County, is obscure. After the initial discoveries in 1865, the placers were worked intermittently for several years and yielded gold worth $200,000 to $500,000 according to conservative estimates (George and Crawford, 1909, p. 221). Lodes were also developed, but their returns were disappointing. In 1959, the district had been virtually inactive for 30 years or more. Total gold production probably was between 15,000 and 20,000 ounces.

The bedrock of the district consists mainly of Dakota Sandstone and Mancos Shale of Cretaceous age and laccoliths and sills of rhyolite, latite, and andesite porphyry intruded into these formations. The rocks are folded and faulted, and older rocks of Jurassic and Carboniferous age are locally exposed. Small irregular veins and impregnations, containing lead, silver, gold, and copper, occur in the porphyry (Vanderwilt, in Vanderwilt and others, 1947, p. 186-189).

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Did You Know.......

A mine is a hole in the ground, owned by a liar.
-Mark Twain


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