Receive the latest news on weather, road conditions, construction and traffic updates.
Mountain Ski Slopes

As you ski and ride around Keystone, you'll probably see some strange lift and trail names… like "Lower Gassy," "Jackwhacker" and "Saw Whiskers." Many of them reflect the Keystone area's rich logging and mining history and some were named after the people who lived here a long time ago. Take a look.


A mining camp taking the same name as the mining district adjacent to Argentine Pass. Originally named Decatur. Also named Rathbone. A giant snow slide off Gray's Peak in 1898 carried away most of the town.


Once a proud silver camp, founded in 1861. First discovery of silver in Colorado. Very much in existence today in spite of a major fire in 1958. Famous for its night and day poker playing and social activities.


Never an official town, but a convenient title for a group of boarding houses and miners' cabins around the Peruvian Mine. The site of the famous Gassy Thompson swindle.

Saints John

Originally named Coleyville after J. Coley, who discovered silver ore in 1863 on the crest of Glacier Mountain. Coley smelted galena sulfides in a crude furnace with a flue built from a hollow log encased with rocks and clay. Renamed Sts. John in 1867 by a group of Free Masons in honor of their patron Saints, St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. The town was eventually taken over by "eastern capitalists." A unique town in that it did not have a saloon, but did have a library.


Equivalent to today's burro racer. The miner who drove the ore-laden burros or "jacks" with a long whip was known as a whacker, thereby the name "jackwhacker." Also, the name of a lake at the head of Geneva Gulch.

Flying Dutchman

A mine. One of the investors, a Pennsylvania Dutchman, was an old timer back at the turn of the century. His parents were very poor and belonged to the "cracker class," a name given to them because they lived principally on cracked corn and wild game, which they secured with the crack of their rifles. He was a small man and his old patch and ball rifle was so heavy that he always had to use a rest when he shot. But the boys said that he could shoot the eye out of man a mile away.


A mine supposedly named for another Pennsylvanian by the name of Haverly, who lost his parents as an infant, was raised by a country tailor, ran away when he was 12 years old, landed in Pittsburgh with two dollars, barefooted but wearing a straw hat. He started selling newspapers and later switched to the theatrical business. Mining and other speculation had an irresistible attraction and he plunged heavily into mining. Immaculate in his dress, polite as a Chesterfield, he was a most welcome guest in all society, which he chose to favor with the buoyancy of his presence.

Wild Irishman

An old productive mine in the Saints John's Basin area. In 1906, Terrence Connors, Manager of the Wild Irishman, was elected President of the Mine Owners' Association of Montezuma, an association formed to protect valid mines from promoters who were peddling worthless mine stock. With usual Irish wit, it has been said one of his favorite sayings was, "You never heard an ass bray when he had grass."


The first mining claim in the Peru District on the south slope of Gray's Peak, incorporated under the laws of Maine with offices in Boston. A three-story boarding house was built beside the mine.


There were two Frenchmen in the Snake River and Peru Mining Districts. One located the Frenchman Mine high above Timberline on Collier Mountain. The other Frenchman claimed the Cornucopia on Porcupine Mountain just across from Independence Mountain and under the shadow of Keystone Mountain. He was quite blind for many years, doing only the barest assessment work needed to hold the mine and "holed-up in the winter" in a one-room cabin on Montezuma Road. He was known for his kindness. One day he was gone from his cabin and no one ever saw or heard of him again. One could say he was the original dropout, but then most miners in that day were. Also named after the French Canadians who hand cut all the trails on Keystone Mountain, especially Cyrille, who alone cut over 110 acres (30%) in two years.


"Dimp" Myers, the son of an early Keystone settler and Civil War Colonel J.H. Myer, grew up near Keystone. Dimp fell in love with the new Frisco school teacher who had just come over Argentine Pass in the stage coach. He named the Schoolmarm mine in 1906 for her and married her.

Saw Whiskers

The wood saw shavings drawn out by a crosscut saw.

Spring Dipper (Springboard)

This means by which an old-time sawyer sawed a large tree from the downhill side. A board was inserted into a notch; the sawyer balanced on the board while sawing, springing the board into a new position to change the direction of his cut.

Ball Hooter

A logger who skids by hand the fallen timber down the mountain, leaving a steep narrow trail.

Go Devil

The name of a single sled placed under the front end of the log in order to aid the skidding of the log down the mountain (as opposed to two larger sleds, supporting big loads after which TOW SLED Road was named).

Jackstraw Flats

An old railroad switching area near the Town of Keystone, an important terminus of the Colorado and Southern railroads. The switching area was the focal point for wagon roads and jack trails from the mountains.

Cross Over (Crosscut)

A tunnel driven at right angles to the main tunnel or a tunnel connecting several drifts.

Jaye Bird

The name of a mining claim in the Peru Mining District. Also, the term for a fellow who picked up ore off of other people's’ mine dumps, and the common Camp Robber bird who always hovers over the mining camps for the "easy pickin’s."


A mine located in 1880 on the slope of Glacier Mountain and known as the "Bob Tail and Cincinnatus." Claimed to have had 100 ounces of silver to the ton.

Modest Girl

A mine in the Snake River Mining District. Believed located by the Mark Twain Mining Co. in 1882. All stockholders were from Philadelphia and the mine was supposedly named for a lovely Quaker girl.

Lower Gassy

The infamous swindler Gassy Thompson carried off one of his capers near the Peruvian Mine. Absentee owners hired Gassy to drive a 100-foot tunnel into Ruby Mountain. Gassy tired soon after he started to penetrate the stubborn rock. As heavy snows fell and piled up into drifts, Gassy began building the tunnel backward, timbering his square sets away from the mountain. The snow blanketed the timbers, creating a "tunnel" that pleased the greenhorn investors who arrived at the end of the winter to inspect their mine. They complimented Gassy and paid him handsomely. When the snows finally melted to reveal the skeleton "tunnel," the charlatan Gassy was long gone.

Did you know that your browser is out of date?

To get the best possible experience using our websites we recommend that you upgrade to a newer browser. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.

Click on an icon to go to the download page.