Few experiences encompass the fascination and mystery surrounding the old wild west as a visit to a ghost town. Pagosa Junction, near Pagosa Springs, was a railroad town that was populated between 1881 and the early 1980’s.
The Denver and Rio Grande railroads serviced Pagosa Springs through Pagosa Junction at the heyday of railroads crisscrossing the American west.
With slow expansion that quickly tapered off, the population was noted at 200 when the post office opened in 1899, rose to a peak of 447 in the 1930 census, then began to fall when the railroad connection to Pagosa Springs closed in the 1930’s.
After the railroad closed, the rest of the town began to shutter its doors. The post office closed on November 30, 1954. In September 1962, the school closed having only 17 students. By 1979 a newspaper article reported Pagosa Junction as having “3 or 4 residents”.
However, what awaits visitors is far from empty, as the remains of the town are full of history that will surely capture the imagination.
A fallen water tank, abandoned railroad car, railroad bridge, pump house with intact pump system, and several deteriorating buildings remain paused in time. One can only imagine what life must have been like in a small town on the Colorado-New Mexico border in the age of the gold rush, railroad expansion, and the continued formation of the United States.
Present day Pagosa Junction is part of Indian land, so be sure to travel in ways that are respectful of the people, culture, land, and property while in the area. Ensure you’re up-to-date on the most current regulations of visiting the area.
And of course, use caution while exploring the historic area as you enjoy your plunge into the rich history of this ghost town.
Address: Trujillo Rd, Archuleta County, CO, 81147
- Arboles (19mi east)
- Pagosa Springs (27mi northeast)
Season: Year round