Steve & Kathy's Website

Guston and the Corkscrew Turntable

We had attempted to find the Guston area and Corkscrew Turntable trails on our two previous visits, but found the area marked with private property signs. This year, our fortuitous encounter with Don (see Oak Creek Trail) the previous day provided a simple and interesting way to see the area. Much of the region has now been developed into a cross-country ski trail system, which didn't exist during our previous visits to Ouray. Don was quite knowledgeable about the area and mining and railroads in general.

Guston was a small town that existed in the 1890's. The town supported the local Guston, Yankee Girl and Genesee-Vanderbilt  mines. One of its claims to fame was the church that was established in 1892 by a preacher who had been driven out of the nearby Red Mountain Town by lack of support. Only the collapsed remains of the church are visible today.

View from the site of the Guston church

Most of the town's buildings no longer exist, many removed during reclamation efforts and later local mine workings. Grassy fields now cover previous millings sites. The milling sites have been engineered to avoid chemical contamination of local waters by melting snow or rain run-off.

Reclamation area

We hiked along the old railroad grade from Guston to the the site of the turntable, then down to the highway where we had pre-placed a few cars to take the drivers back to the old Guston site.

Old Silverton Railway bed

Remains of the Corkscrew Turntable

The Corkscrew turntable allowed trains along this stretch of the railroad to make a hairpin turn in the track. The system operated mostly by gravity and permitted the engine to be rotated and reattached to the train. It was once covered by a roof to allow it to operate during the winter.

Joker Tunnel Boarding House

Yankee Girl Mine

Next (Silvershield Trail)

Back to Ouray 2003