Welcome to Rico
At the base of a steep climb to Telluride, Rico (meaning ‘rich’) was founded when prospectors sought silver in the hills. Local wags will claim that it is Colorado’s last boom town. Today it's a stretch-your-legs stop with lodgings at bargain rates unthinkable in glam Telluride next door. Stiff Ute resistance thwarted the first efforts at mining here. When the Utes signed the Brunot Agreement to effectively surrender the entirety of the San Juan Mountains in 1878, miners came rushing back. A boom from the Enterprise Lode brought some 5000 residents at the town’s peak in 1892, but the timing was too late. Things went bust with the Silver Panic of 1893, and the town all but folded up. There’s a few historic buildings and the Van Winkle Headframe and Hoist Structure, a towering piece of mining equipment alongside the road, which makes a quick photo op.
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