For history buffs, cross-country skiers and snowshoers, the trek to Sally Barber Mine offers something for everyone on an easy to moderate 3-mile out-and-back trail.
From the trailhead off of the mining hotbed of French Gulch Road, begin the hike by crossing French Creek, then walking through an open valley before entering the forest and gently ascending through the shade of pine trees lining the trail. Near the intersection with Turk’s Trail, views of Breckenridge Ski Resort can be seen to the west. After 1.5 miles of climbing on the wide, gradual trail, hikers reach the top of a hill and the ruins of the Sallie Barber Mine.
The 365-foot-deep mine was established in 1880 by a group of Bald Mountain miners. It was a long-time producer of rich zinc ore and operated until 1909. Much of the original mining equipment sits on display to check out before either continuing on through the network of trails in the area or hiking or skiing down the gradual descent back to the parking lot on French Gulch Road.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.