Breckenridge History & Museums: Climax Colorado Ghost Town

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Climax Ghost Town

The ghost town of Climax, straddling the Continental Divide at 11,318 ft. of elevation, is the site of an old molybdenum mine and a stop on the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway. Read More

  • Climax is on Fremont Pass between Leadville and Copper Mountain.
  • The route is part of the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway.
  • The Climax Molybdenum Mining company is involved in environmental reclamation efforts of the area.


Prior to the discovery of molybdenum, Climax wasn't much of anything, but when World War I started, large quantities of molybdenum were needed to harden steel in the radio tubes, airplane parts and other chemical compounds needed for the war effort. The Climax Molybdenum Company lead the founding of the highest post office in the nation and the establishment of the community to support mining activities. A severe miners' strike in 1959 precipitated the abandonment of the town, which was made permanent when the buildings were relocated on flatbed trucks to Leadville. 

Today, Climax remains with a few scattered buildings that are still used by the mining company. Though mining operations are currently suspended, the mine still employs people to manage the environmental efforts of land reclamation, biosolids composting and water treatment for the runoff that goes into the Arkansas, the Eagle, and Tenmile Creek.


11 miles from Copper Mountain and 12 miles from Leadville, Climax is right in the middle on CO-91. The Fremont Pass section of the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway cuts across sides of mountain to delivery postcard vistas.


The road is paved and open year round, weather permitting.

Other Climax Ghost Town Resources

Ouray Colorado

Ouray is another old Colorado mining town, but the Swiss-style village is no ghost town.