Lone Wolf mine on Parrott Mountain


Sr. Member
Oct 29, 2005
Rising up in majestic splendor from the mesa country of southwestern Colorado, the La Plata Mountains form the rugged southwest margin of the San Juan massif. Looking northeast from historic Mesa Verde, the La Plata Mountains dominate the horizon. To the early Spanish prospectors who came to the American Southwest in the 1700's, the shining La Platas "looked right" for mineralization. The mountains lured and beckoned the Spanish explorers. Spanish prospectors were almost certainly working the La Platas prior to the 1765 expedition of Don Juan Maria de Rivera. When the Escalante-Dominguez expedition of 1776 passed through the La Plata Mountains, they encountered unmistakable signs of earlier Spanish mining activity. (It was Escalante and Dominguez who named the silvery mountains the "La Platas".) Evidence of early Spanish mining activity in the La Plata Mountains was also discovered by American prospectors during the 1870's.

It comes as no surprise that so much interest has been shown in the La Plata Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The mountains would eventually produce nearly a quarter of a million ounces of gold from a number of rich mines. Parrott Mountain (or Parrott Peak) is home to several extremely rich mines including the Lucky Moon, Comstock, and Red Arrow. The Red Arrow Mine produced gold nuggets "the size of hen's eggs". Gold from the Red Arrow Mine was so pure it was shipped directly to the Denver Mint.

Parrott Mountain has another distinction. The rugged peak is home to a number of well-documented lost mines. The Lost Clubfoot Mine is said to be located somewhere on the slopes of Parrott Mountain, just below Sunset Pass near treeline. The Lost Hollingsworth Lode is rumored to lie somewhere on the northern face of the mountain, near the divide between Root Gulch and Snowslide Draw. And then there's the rich vein of gold discovered somewhere along the western base of Parrott Mountain by an eccentric prospector known only as Lone Wolf.

Lone Wolf came to the La Plata country in 1874 (or 1875) after working a stint in the Leadville mines. While prospecting the western slopes of Parrott Mountain, Lone Wolf made the strike of a lifetime. In a narrow, brush-filled ravine near the western base of the mountain Lone Wolf discovered a rich vein of gold-bearing quartz.

Lone Wolf worked his mine for some time. After recovering most of the surface ore, he attempted to sell his gold mine to Horace A. Tabor, the famous Leadville mining mogul. Although Tabor dispatched a mining engineer to appraise the property, the deal fell through. Lone Wolf concealed the vein and then disappeared from the San Juans. Some 30 years later, in 1908, Tabor's mining engineer returned to the area to find Parrott City a ghost town. He was also unable to find any trace of the Lone Wolf mine on Parrott Mountain.


Jun 18, 2020
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
This is very interesting. That's only a 45 min drive from my house. They area is beautiful and I've camped near the area of where Parrot city was.

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