Buffalo Boy Mine

The Buffalo Boy was a small gold and silver mine which started production around 1930. The mine is caved but the interesting thing about the site is the long and steep tramway heading up to it. The tram line is over 8,500′ in length and rises 2,500′ up cliffs to reach the mine at 12,550′ in elevation.

Of course, the road reaching this mine is steep and treacherous. It climbs up the high mountainside with many tight switchbacks. On the day we visited the mine it was raining (as it often is in the San Juans) and the road was slippery in places. That made some of the three-point turns I had to do in my truck tough and at one switchback my truck slid a few feet towards the cliff edge and valley a thousand feet below. Needless to say, it was an exciting trip.

These photos are a bit grainy and from 2005.

Ore buckets still hang high above on the tram cables. Ore buckets still ha...
Driving up the road to the mine and under tram buckets. Driving up the road ...
Looking back down at the lower tram terminal. Looking back down at...
You can faintly see the tram towers high on the cliffs above. You can faintly see ...
A look across the canyon at the Old One Hundred boarding house perched on the cliff. A look across the ca...
We make a brief stop at the Gary Owen Mine along the way. We make a brief stop...
We are close to the upper tram terminal now. We are close to the ...
The mine and upper tram terminal for the Buffalo Boy mine. The mine and upper t...
Alysia explores the ruins. Alysia explores the ...
Tram heads off. Tram heads off.
It is beautiful up here. It is beautiful up h...
Tram tower above 12,500'. Tram tower above 12,...
Dan finds part of a boiler of some type. Dan finds part of a ...
Fading sunlight on the tram terminal. Fading sunlight on t...
The place needs some repairs. The place needs some...
On the dump pile above the tram. On the dump pile abo...
Dan tests the old trestle. Dan tests the old tr...
Another great day of exploring in the San Juans. Another great day of...


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