The Skagway Power Plant, also known as the Skaguay Power Plant, is an abandoned facility surrounded by empty buildings and beautiful scenery in Fremont County, Colorado. Onsite, hikers and backpackers will find the plant and four nearby houses still standing within various stages of decay.
As some of the machinery was too heavy to loot, it is still possible to see the remains of the plant’s real electric panels, turbines, and controls. The area around the power plant can be explored and camped within, however, many irresponsible visitors have made this more difficult by leaving trash scattered around the site.
The Skagway Power Plant was constructed from 1899 to 1901 with financing from local mine owners. The plant generated hydroelectricity for the nearby towns of Cañon City and Victor until 1965 when 15 days of rain destroyed much of the infrastructure.
Although it was built to produce electricity, Skagway was much more than just a power plant to most of the locals. Within the cathedral-like facilities, the Skagway Power Plant also contained a gaming room, dance hall, and saloon.
Note: A valid state fishing, hunting, or public lands license is required for all SWA visitors 18 years or older.
To get the most out of a visit, it is recommended to backpack overnight. Despite only being five miles from the trailhead in the Skaguay Reservoir SWA, the power plant is generally reached in 3-5 hours. The trail is in a steep V-canyon with many stream crossings.
- On the eastern end of Victor, CO, take a right at the fork to travel along Phantom Canyon Rd
- Quickly bare left to merge onto Skaguay Rd
- Travel for approximately 6 miles to park at the upper lot on the right side of the reservoir
- The hike begins along Skagway Rd, morphing into a trail that follows Beaver Creek to the plant
It is also possible to hike north to the Skagway Power Plant through the Beaver Creek State Wildlife Area. This route is longer, less marked, and considerably more challenging.
If you’re keen on exploring forgotten towns and landmarks, make sure to add Skagway Power Plant to your list. Although heavily looted, the inside of the plant and nearby buildings still offers a glimpse of what life must have been like before the area’s demise.
County: Fremont County
Access: Difficult hiking trail
Season: Summer and early fall