Colorado is the home of so many lost treasures from diamonds to gold mines. Apart from the natural treasures of the state, Colorado also has a well-known history of Indian raids and outlaws that has led to many buried gold, much of which has never been found to date.
Quick Recommendation for treasure hunters: There are so many ways and tools that can help you find treasures. The tool that I actually recommend is using a Metal Detector. Indeed, while there so many expensive models out there costing 1000s of dollars, I still recommend using a mid-level machine that should not cost you that much. In fact, if you don’t have a big budget, I recommend using this quality metal detector that should be affordable for most average hobbyists out there. It has more than enough features you will need to find most treasures buried in the ground.
Without further ado, below are some of the most popular tales of lost treasures in Colorado …
1. Reynolds Gang’sGang’s Buried Loot
Jim & John Reynolds have formed a gang (that was named on their last name). It had in total 22 members that were basically old members of a Company called “Wells Battalion”
The Reynolds gang is said to have been commissioned by the Confederacy Military to break up the Union’s supply chains.
In the summer of 1864, it is said that the Reynolds gang, only consisting of 9 members at that time, had started looting the Fairplay and South Park areas of Colorado.
Indeed, and exactly on July 24th of the same year, they targeted Adolph Guirand’s & particularly his rand and took basically everything he had including his valuable horses and all the cash.
Then, they went to Dan Mclaughlin’s Stage Station, which was 8 miles from Fairplay, Colorado, modern-day Como.
Guess what happened?! They took even more horses, as much cash as they found (estimated at 3 grand) as well as highly valuable items like gold watches.
Next, they went on to steal more horses from the Michigan House Stage Stop, which was located on the Kenosha Pass.
Jim Reynolds noticing many scouting parties in the area, decided to bury some of the stolen loot and gold dust.
The Reynolds Gang buried loot has yet to be found!
2. Lost Deadman’s Cave of Gold Bars
It is said that there is a lost cave in the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range in Southern Colorado known as the Deadman’s Cave.
This cave is said to hold millions of dollars’ worth of Spanish gold bars. In October of 1880, three geologists and gold prospectors (S.J. Harkman, H.A. Melton and E.J Oliver) went to the mountain of Sangre Cristo to do some prospection, however they were hit by a blizzard …
They took shelter under a ledge in the canyon when they noticed an opening across the canyon.
They walked along the corridor and came into a huge room. They found between 300 to 500 bars of pure gold!
After carefully checking, they found out that it is Spanish gold. They’ve also found several skeletons laying in the floor (reason why the cave’s called Deadman’s cave).
Finally, they couldn’t take back more than 5 gold bars (value at the time 800 – 1000$) back with them. Many newspapers wrote about this incident at the time.
A year later, they went back to find the remaining gold, but they weren’t able to recall where the cave was located. After few years of consistent search, they decided to quit!
The legend of the Deadman’s Cave has enthralled treasure seekers for over a century. The lost cave has yet to be found. It is believed to be somewhere in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.
3. Lost Platinum Mine
The lost platinum mine is supposedly located somewhere north of the Dinosaur National Monument in the northwest corner of Colorado.
As the story goes, a prospector found the mine and then left the area, hoping to return. Unfortunately, he could never relocate the mine.
4. Musgrove Corral Treasure along the Cache la Poudre River
The Musgrove Gang, headed by Lee Musgrove, were thieves who ranged from Texas to Wyoming to Kansas.
Noted for their barbarity, they were said to have killed at least 12 people during their raids. However, Colorado police officer Dave Cook went after the gang, and one-by-one, either killed or arrested each of them.
Lee Musgrove was finally caught by Cook in Wyoming Territory and was jailed in Denver. The Musgrove Corral Treasure of gold and silver coins is said to remain buried along the Cache la Poudre River.
5. Treasure of El Paso County
An outlaw gang known as the Bloody Espinosas terrorized the San Luis Valley in 1863. Supposedly, the gang had received a vision from the Virgin Mary and tried to drive the Anglos out by robbing them.
They were said to have buried their treasure near the present-day town of Cascade in Ute Pass on the slopes of Pikes Peak.
For a time, the gang eluded capture but were finally captured by an army scout from Fort Garland who rode back to the fort with their heads in a sack. The exact location of the buried treasure was never found.
6. Treasure of Lincoln County
In 1847, $100,000 was stolen by robbers in Sacramento, California, during the California Gold Rush. It is said that the gold was hidden in a gulch several miles east of Clifford in Lincoln County in Colorado.
The spot was supposedly marked by three stones, each bearing the date 1847.
7. Robber’s Roost Treasure
It is believed that $60,000 in gold was buried at Robber’s Roost by outlaws. They cached their treasure on the east side of Horsetooth Reservoir, just west of Fort Collins.
8. Treasure of Jamestown
Jamestown is believed to have numerous buried treasures nearby. In the 1930s, gold coins were cached in several areas in and around Jamestown.
In the 1960s, a farmer plowing his field uncovered a jug that held $10,000 in gold coins.
9. The Gold Hill Ghost Towns and Buried Treasure
Located between Boulder and Nederland on Route 119, these towns were named Crisman, Gold Hill, Salina, and Sunshine, and several relics have been found in this area. There is no knowing what other items are there. However, you need permission before venturing into these ghost towns today.
10. Treasure of the Ghost Town of Red Mountain
The ghost town of Red Mountain near Red Mountain Pass, U.S. 550, and approximately 13 miles south of Ouray is supposed to have buried treasure of $50,000 in gold bullion. Stories state that the prospector who buried the cache told others, while on his deathbed, that he buried the gold beneath one of the three saloons in the town.
11. Treasure of the Piedra River
On the west side of the Piedra River, near its junction with the Stolstemier River, stories tell of ten sacks of gold bullion and coins having been buried in 1855 by Ute Indians. They stole the gold from returning California gold miners.
12. Treasure of the Virginia Dale Station
In 1863 an Overland Trail stagecoach was coming in to the Virginia Dale Station at Long View Hill when a gang of six bandits showed up and robbed the stage. They got away with $60,000 in $10 and $20 Double Gold Eagles, which would be in the millions of dollars in today’s time. The coins were reportedly the back pay that was headed to soldiers at Fort Sanders in the Wyoming Territory.
The bandits decided to bury the gold coins because it slowed them down, and they would come back later to recover the coins. Ultimately all the six bandits died, and no one knew where the gold coins were buried. Virginia Dale is now a ghost town and is located four miles south of the Wyoming border. The Overland Trail Stage Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, so you might not get permission to detect on this land.
13. Treasure of Huerfano County
Two barrels of coins belonging to Henry Sefton were lost at the Gomez Ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. They are still believed to be lost here itself.
14. Treasure of Gilpin County
Legend has it that a chest filled with gold was hidden on the Ralston Creek Road between Central City and Denver in Gilpin County.
15. La Caverna del Oro – The Cave of Gold
Native Americans were the first ones to pass on the story of the Cave of Gold from one generation to the next. In the 15th century, Spanish explorers came to the Sangre de Cristo range and were told about the Cave of Gold by monks who translated the legend.
Caverna del Oro can be found at around three miles above sea level on Marble Mountain. The natives of the area believed the cave was infested by demon spirits, so they never went near it. The Coronado Expedition had three monks who, in 1541, ended up forcing the natives to work in the mine.
However, the natives revolted against the Spanish monks and killed two of them, but de la Cruz, the third monk, survived and explained to the Indians that he had subdued the demons in the mine, and the natives believed him.
With their help, de la Cruz brought the gold out of the mine. After the gold was brought out of the cave, de la Cruz and some of the other Spaniards murdered the natives and took their gold on mules south to Mexico.
Some think that a landslide has blocked the wooden doors. But no one knows about the gold, and the wooden doors could still be waiting for discovery in that huge cave system on Marble Mountain.
I really hope that those lost treasures in the state of Colorado got you excited to start your own adventure to hunt for some treasures yourself, whether in Colorado or any other state in the US.
By the way, if you are aware of any other lost treasure in Colorado or you’ve got any story you want to share, let me know so I can feature it in this article.