Carson Mining District Information

Hinsdale County

Carson District

There are not many districts in Hinsdale County, but there are numerous names and potential confusion. The Carson District appears in Henderson (1926) and is described by Vanderwilt (1947 as sitting at the head of Wager Gulch (a tributary of the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River), approximately 18 miles southwest of Lake City. The area of the district crosses the continental divide into the headwaters of Lost Trail Creek.

Older geologic descriptions of the area can be found in Irving and Bancroft (1911). Based on more recent interpretations, Wilson and Spanski (2004) describe the area as the Carson volcanic center, a 29 Ma plug of monzonite to quartz monzonite composition, intruding intermediate lavas and breccias, and andesites and rhyolites of the Henson and Burns formations.

The rocks contain polymetallic veins in irregular fissures and fractures up to 18 inches wide (Larson, 1911). Ores contain silver and lead with some copper. Enargite, chalcopyrite and galena occur with some gold in a barite gangue. Some bog iron is also known to occur (Harrer and Tesch, 1959).

Eberhart (Ibid) describes the mining camp of Carson, established in 1882, the year after the district. The town sat directly on the continental divide, with water falling on one side of town heading toward the Lake Fork of the Pacific drainage, and water on the other side of town flowing into the Lost Trail Creek, of the Rio Grande system, headed toward the Atlantic Basin. With such a snow-bound location, the town didn’t last long.

Mines listed in the district (; Dunn, 2003; Eberhart, 1969) include:
 Bachelor Mine
 Bonanza King
 Carson
 Chandler
 Cresco
 Dunderberg
 George the Third Mine (Hattie; Marian; St. Peter; Vermont)
 Iron Mask
 Kit Carson
 Legal Tender
 Lost Trail mine
 Maid of Carson
 Mayflower
 St. Jacob Mine (Griggs; Patented Claims: Hamilton; St. Jacob Group; St. Johns; St. Jacobs)
 Thor
 Wager Gulch Limonite Deposit
Minerals listed in the district (
Dunn, Lisa. 2003. Colorado Mining Districts: A Reference. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado.
Eberhart, Perry. 1969. Guide to Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps. Fourth, revised edition. Swallow Press, Athens, Ohio.
Harrer, C.M. and Tesch, W.J., Jr. 1959. Reconnaissance of Iron Occurrences in Colorado. U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 7918, p. 44.
Henderson, C.W. 1926. Mining in Colorado, a history of discovery, development and production. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 138.
Irving, J.D. and Bancroft, H. 1911. Geology and Ore Deposits near Lake City, Colorado. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 478.
Larsen, E.S., 1911. The Economic Geology of Carson Camp, Hinsdale County, Colorado in Hayes, C.W. and Lindgren, W., eds., Contributions to economic geology (short papers and preliminary reports) 1910: Part I – metals and nonmetals except fuels. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 470-B. p. 30-38.
Vanderwilt, John W. 1947. Mineral Resources of Colorado. Colorado Mineral Resources Board, Denver, Colorado.
Wilson, A.B. and Spanski, G.T. 2004. Distribution of Mines and Mineralized Areas in Bankey, Viki, ed. Resource Potential and Geology of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests and Vicinity, Colorado. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 2213-E, p. 67-86., accessed September 2015.

This information is from the Colorado Geological Survey website at


Realtor, Equal Housing, MLS