Golconda Mining Complex Stabilization
In 2015, BLM Colorado and the Hinsdale County Historical Society completed stabilization of the Golconda Mine Complex, located along the Alpine Loop National Back Country Byway in Southwestern Colorado. In 2012, the BLM and Hinsdale County Historical Society were awarded a Colorado State Historical Fund grant of $135,000 to rehabilitate the area, and construction started in 2013. Because of the complex's high elevation at 12,600 feet, construction season was capped at three months out of each year. Late season avalanches regularly made access impossible. HistoriCorps and the Southwest Youth Corps completed construction work, enduring both extreme winter weather events and onerous construction conditions. Moving 35-foot logs up the tiny and twisty mining road was incredibly difficult and almost required use of a helicopter. Ultimately, a logging company used a skidder to slowly transport logs up the challenging road. Only one additional week of construction was needed in 2015 to address final needs and install two interpretive panels. Now the Golconda Mine Complex is open to the public. The complex features a large boarding house and compressor shop. The boarding house, built in 1920, is a two-story log building that dominates the site. At 98.5 feet long by 18 feet wide, the building is currently the largest standing log structure on the east side of the Alpine Loop. The compressor building contains a forge, a free-standing anvil, a drill steel-bit press, and an air compressor and motor. The boarding house and compressor shop offer visitors a safe and educational tour through one of the most spectacular mining sites along the Alpine Loop in Colorado.