11,539 Feet



“Though wisdom cannot be gotten for gold, still less can it be gotten without it.”


Two miles miles from Colorado Highway 91, at the head of Mayflower Gulch, lay the remains of Boston.

Never an incorporated town, Boston was strictly a mining camp supported by the Golden Crest, Golden Eagle, the Resumption, and of course, the Boston Mine. It existed to house and support the miners that worked the mines, and made no pretense to anything more.

Boston is as beautiful as it is inhospitable. At 11,539 feet, it's cold and windy here all the time. It may be sunny one moment and raining the next. At this elevation, it can snow in the middle of summer, and often does. The camp is flanked by Fletcher Mountain (13,951 feet), Atlantic Peak (13,841 feet), and Drift Peak (13,900 feet), forming a cirque around the valley below.

Mayflower Gulch is a very popular place for summertime hikers and wintertime skiers. You're far more likely to encounter people walking than Jeeps driving. Should you choose to drive, you'll need to take to your feet to explore the site. A gate blocks the road once you reach Boston. Just beyond the gate are the remaining buildings of the Boston Mine, including the boarding house.

If you'd like to see the remains of the Golden Crest Mine, it's a mile walk in the direction of Fletcher Mountain. While one mile may sound like nothing, hiking can be arduous at this altitude. If you aren't used to hiking at well over 12,000 feet, take it slow and easy, and take frequent breaks. As long as you stay on the road, you'll eventually come to the remains of Golden Crest on your right. It's a mile, but it feels like five.

Boston was quickly abandoned when it was discovered that the purity of the gold was found to be quite low. It slept quietly until 1980, when the cost of gold spiked to over $800 per ounce, and the area buzzed with excitement once again. It's estimated that there are still many multi-millions worth of gold hidden in veins inside these mountains. With better extraction techniques and processing methods, what was once useless, is valuable today. But huge mining companies have little regard for beautiful mountain valleys and even less for history. So, thankfully, in 2009, Summit County bought up all of the claims here and designated the entire place open space. Boston was thus spared the fate of nearby towns like Kokomo and Recen, both of which are now buried under millions of tons of tailings from the mighty Climax Mine.