Great Sand Dunes National Park

Bonanza, Colorado

A Once-Thriving Colorado Mining Town In Saguache County

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About Bonanza - Bonanza was one of those busy-mining towns around the turn of the 20th Century that eventually became a deserted ghost town when the mining played out. Today, there are some old structures that remain and only a handful of full-time residents. (The last time I checked, the population is nine.) In the summer, Bonanza gets some activity as a few people have summer cabins, and of course, there are more people exploring and recreating in the mountains during the warmer months. To get to Bonanza by car, drive to Villa Grove in Saguage County, and then take County Road LI56 all the way into Kerber Creek Canyon.
Bonanza, Colorado
Bonanza, Colorado
Bonanza, Colorado
All of these adjacent photos taken on December 15, 2006.

TOP: Kerber Creek was iced over.
MIDDLE: A view of the main artery, a dirt road, that runs through town.
BOTTOM: Facing north at the main junction of Main Street and First Street.

Is Bonanza officialy a ghost town? Well, it depends on your definition. Bonanza has not been completely abandoned, so in that sense, it is not. But it is one of those way-out-there towns that will probably never see all the activity that it once had during the mad mining rush days.

For what it's worth, here are my ghost town pages:
  • St. Elmo (my website for the town)
  • Vicksburg & Winfield
  • Hancock
  • Granite
  • Independence
  • Alpine Tunnel area
  • Bonanza, Colorado
    Bonanza, Colorado
    Bonanza, Colorado
    Many of the original buildings from Bonanza's busier days in the late 1800's were destroyed in a fire. However, some structures remain.

    If you're interested in this region, then I invite you visit my San Luis Valley index that has all pages in this southern Colorado region. Also, the nearest "big town" is Salida, which is located on the north side of Poncha Pass.

    A sign with some of Bonanza's history.
    Villa Grove Bonanza Voluntee Fire Department The Villa Grove Bonanza Fire Department building. Since Villa Grove's population is about 50 and Bonanza has around nine, it is remarkable to see any kind of fire department presence this way!

    Mountain Scenery Outside Of Bonanza

    Bonanza is situated in a valley with limited mountain views, but the county road from Villa Grove to Bonanza offers spectactular Colorado scenery. That's Antora Peak (elevation 13,268 feet) in the background behind me.

    Sangre De Cristo Mountains
    Sangre De Cristo Mountains
    I loved this view of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.
    San Luis Valley The view facing north outside of Villa Grove. Mount Shavano and the southern Sawatch Range are the mountains way out there.
    Poncha Pass

    Sangre De Cristo Mountains

    TOP: The view of the Sawatch Range in Chaffee County, facing north at Poncha Pass.

    SECOND: The northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains as I was traveled east and back to Villa Grove. on Facebook

    Fall Foliage Colors Around Bonanza and Villa Grove
    If you love the fall foliage season in Colorado, visit my Colorado Fall Colors Index.
    Bonanza, Colorado
    September 27, 2003 - The Bonanza sign in Villa Grove. From here, go west.
    History of Villa Grove, CO

    Villa Grove, Colorado
    History of Villa Grove, Bonanza and the San Luis Valley.

    Bonanza is located on the back side of Hayden Peak. In the last photo, that's the Sangre De Cristo Mountains with my car in front.

    Colorado Fall Foliage

    Colorado Fall Colors
    Beautiful fall foliage as you travel in the canyon.

    Other fall pages: Teller County, 2001 photos, Wilkerson Pass and my Fall Foliage Directory.
    Antora Peak, CO

    Antora Peak

    Colorado 13er Antora Peak

    Mountain Fall Foliage

    Antora Peak, Colorado
    Halfway there, you'll get a great view of Antora Peak (elevation 13,284 feet) and the surrounding range.

    Colorado Fall Foliage

    Colorado Autumn Foliage
    Wow Beautiful Colorado fall foliage.

    Streaks of autumn colors.

    Bonanza, Colorado

    Bonanza, Colorado
    Arrival in Bonanza. Elevation 9500 feet. Incorporated in 1881.
    Bonanza, CO

    This is a beautiful area.

    Fall Foliage
    There were bright yellow aspens all over. :)

    A few houses and structures make up the town.
    Steve Garufi
    An awful picture of me as I stood in the creek bed of Kerber Creek.
    Orange Fall Foliage
    Kerber Creek, Colorado
    Fall colors along Kerber Creek.
    Beautiful Fall Foliage
    I can't get enough of these fall colors! :)
    Old Building
    An old building.
    Fall Leaves

    Autumn Leaves

    Fall Colors Leaves
    Fallen autumn leaves in Kerber Creek.

    One last photo of the fall colors.
    Galena Peak, CO
    The view of Galena Peak, as I was on the way back to Villa Grove.

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