Located in the Collegiant Peaks along Hancock Pass, just outside the St. Elmo Ghost Town, Mary Murphy Mine sits at the top of a fun four wheel drive road that leads up to the well preserved mine with amazing views. Founded in the 1870’s the Mary Murphy Mine was one of the most successful mines in the region and was the driving economic engine for the towns of Hancock, Romley and St. Elmo. All of which are now ghost towns after the mine closed in the 1920’s.
Road to Mary Murphy Mine
The four wheel drive road up to the Mary Murphy Mine starts on Hancock Pass and follows the towers for the tramway which lead to the mine. This road is rocky, rough and steep but only about a mile to the tramway terminal and mine.
Mary Murphy Mine
At the top of the rocky four wheel drive road sits the Mary Murphy Mine, tramway terminal and bunkhouse. The tramway terminal is in rough shape, but still intact enough to see the mechanics of how the tramway was used to carry ore down the mountain to the mill on Hancock Pass.
Although looking very unstable, the bunkhouse is remarkably intact and it gives a great glimpse into the past with the faux siding, baseboards and fine touches still present inside the bunkhouse.
Top level of the Mine and Pomeroy Lake
Following the four wheel drive road beyond the bunkhouse leads you up a steep and narrow shelf road to the top levels of the Mary Murphy Mine and eventually to Pomeroy Lake. Although not exceptionally difficult, this road is not for those scared of heights.
The views from the top levels of the Mary Murphy Mine are stunning and really gives a great perspective of the mountain peaks that are still covered in snow. The old narrow gauge rail road grade running from the Alpine Tunnel can even be seen in in the distance.
The four wheel drive road continues on up the mountain to Pomeroy Lake, but this trip was early in the year and the snow banks kept us from continuing on to the lake.
If your travels bring you to Colorado around Buena Vista, St. Elmo, or Hancock Pass, Mary Murphy Mine is a great detour on a fun four wheel drive road with amazing views.
Click Here for more information on the four wheel drive road to Mary Murphy and Hancock Pass.