Welcome to Pitkin, Colorado, located at an impressive elevation of 9,242 feet in the heart of the Rockies. This charming town stretches approximately one mile long and lies just 30 minutes east of Gunnison and one hour west of Salida, nestled alongside the picturesque Quartz Creek.
Pitkin's history dates back to its founding in the early days of 1879. Originally named Quartzville, it holds the distinction of being Colorado's first mining camp to emerge on the western slope and west of the Continental Divide. The discovery of valuable minerals like iron, lead, gold, silver, and copper brought a flurry of activity, and during the winter of 1880, over thirty mines were in full operation.
With the passage of time, however, the mineral veins that were abundant near the surface began to recede deeper underground. By the spring of 1883, and through the end of that year, Pitkin experienced a significant decline, losing half of its population.
A revival of sorts took place in 1891 when silver mining gained momentum, but unfortunately, it came to an abrupt halt with the silver panic of 1893. Nevertheless, the town persisted, and the Roosevelt Mine, located three miles below Pitkin, opened its doors in 1907, operating successfully until the 1930s.
In the subsequent decades, the timber industry and a fish hatchery played crucial roles in sustaining Pitkin's economy during the 1920s and 1930s. However, the Great Depression of the 1930s brought new challenges, leading to further reductions in population, which has remained below 100 residents to this day.
Yet, amidst its historical significance, Pitkin boasts a treasure trove of exploration opportunities. With an extensive network of well-marked trails offering breathtaking elevations and stunning overlooks, visitors can delve into the area's rich heritage, including old mines and ghost towns like Tin Cup and St. Elmo.
We extend a warm invitation for you to discover and fall in love with this enchanting area, just as we did. Pitkin offers boundless opportunities for adventure and an unforgettable experience amidst the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains.