Lake Emma

Road trip guide: Conquering the missing Lake Emma

Lake Emma is a secluded retreat at an elevation of 3.809m (12,496ft) above the sea level, located in San Juan County, in southwestern Colorado, in USA. It’s one of the highest roads of Colorado.

Tucked away in the San Juan Mountains, the road to the lake, nestled amongst the highest mountains in South Park, is called County Road 25 (Sunnyside Mine Road). The road is totally unpaved. It's an old mine road and can be done with a passenger car, but it can be very rugged and rutted after a hard winter. Accessibility is largely limited to the summer season. The drive is pretty steep. Starting from Eureka, on County Road 2, the ascent is 5.79km (3.6 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 764 meters. The average gradient is 13.19%.

In the winter of 1977 the water from the lake began to leak into the mine that was still being worked. Then, on a Sunday in June 1978, the roof of the stope collapsed, flooding the mine and draining the lake. Lake Emma was gone and the mine was destroyed. Luckily, no one was inside at the time.
Pic: Bob Zook

 

 

 

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