Mining began at Graysill Mines in 1945 with miners looking for uranium. There are only a few buildings remaining in this old mining town northwest of Durango.
An old vanadium and uranium mining town. It wasn’t until 1945 after scientists had harnessed uranium to make atomic power that the uranium rush was on. New prospectors with Jeeps and Geiger counters hit the Four Corners area looking for riches.
At one point the Graysill area supported 450 working claims, but only 20 or so men endured lift year round at Graysill Mines. This new type of mining added a new threat from odorless, tasteless, radioactive radon gas. The mine operated from 1945 until 1963.
From Durango – Take US 550 north for 22 miles until you reach County Road 578. Turn left.
From Silverton – Take US 550 south for 21 mi to Co Rd 578. Turn right.
Follow Co Rd 578 just over 3 miles to the mine site. The road continues to Highway 145 and connects with Telluride. There are a lot of ghost towns in the area to explore.
See Jeep Rentals for places to rent a Jeep in Durango or Silverton, all within a day trip of Graysill Mines and other ghost towns.