What is old makes for great photography.  Colorado is filled with interesting history from the old boom-town days when gold brought hearty souls west from all over the world.  The remains of these mining towns still sit rotting and rusting in the mountains.  For many this is just an eyesore, but to many photographers (like myself), this is a treasure trove of cool photo opportunities.

Old broken down mine shafts, cemeteries from the 1800’s, disheveled cabins on their last legs, rusted equipment; these are fun and interesting subjects for photographers with the right mind-set.  It makes wonderful subject matter to practice your black and white photography and other monochrome skills.

We won’t spend all our time on old broken stuff however; we will also check out some lovely old (but well maintained) buildings in Central City.  Churches and quaint Victorian homes line the streets in this historic mining community.

Abandoned Mines and Cabins

Next stop, we travel up the twisted Virginia Canyon road where we will encounter several abandoned mines and the remains of their trestle structures.  We will also explore the interiors of some old abandoned miner cabins.  Often photos through the windows to the outside landscape can make for amazing photos.  These locations are fantastic for monochrome photos and HDR images.

Central City and Blackhawk

After we make it over the pass, we will enter the towns of Central City and Blackhawk Colorado.  Both these towns are rich with history.  Old churches, Victorian homes, the opera house and more will keep you clicking photos.  Both of these old gold rush towns have now been turned into gambling destinations, here the modern mingles with the old, but it’s still easy to capture the history of the streets with a little creative composition.  This is also a great location for us to enjoy a lunch before we move on. [ learn more ]

Knights of Pythias | Central City | Bald Mountain

Outside of Blackhawk we will pay a visit to several very old graveyards.  Really, you’re taking me to a cemetery?  You will like it, I assure you.  The setting here is ripe with photo opportunities.  The headstones are photogenic themselves, with old school cast iron adornments and ornate carvings, but the surroundings truly make the shots.  Aspen groves and wild flowers surround the entire area, back-dropped by the high Rocky Mountain peaks; you will not find a more picturesque location.

  • Time of Year: Spring – Fall
  • Tour Length: 7-8 hrs
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Landscapes: Rocky Mountains, historical ruins, 1800’s cemeteries
  • Wildlife:  n/a