Pomeroy-Mary Murphy


The Pomeroy Lakes & Mary Murphy Mine Trail is located a little over 17 miles Southwest of Buena Vista, CO (which is on US Hwy 285, about 70 miles West of Colorado Springs). To get to the trailhead from Buena Vista, take US 285 South 8 miles. Turn right (West) on CO 162 and go 15.5 miles, towards St. Elmo. Bear left on CO 295 towards Hancock and go 2.8 miles. The trailhead is a left turn onto FR 297.1.  Ranging in elevation from 10,000 feet to over 12,000 feet, the trail takes you up the gulch between Chrysolite and Pomeroy Mountains. About Ύ of a mile into the trail (at waypoint PL05) is the remains of the old Mary Murphy Gold Mine, which was discovered in the mid-1870s by Dr. A.E. Wright. According to legend, he named it after a nurse who cared for him when he was taken to the hospital in Denver. However, it is not clear how the adjoining Pat Murphy mine was named. The Mary Murphy Mine was enormously successful and was the main engine of the local economy. It supported the towns of St. Elmo, Romley, and Hancock. When the mine closed in 1926, it spelled the end for these towns and also for the remaining section of the old Alpine Tunnel railroad. The tracks were torn up within the year. There are several abandoned structures at the mine site to explore. But use caution and keep close tabs on kids and pets! If you look up the Southwestern face of the Chrysolite Mountain to the East, you will see an American Flag flying at the summit; just over which is the remains of the old Iron Chest Gold Mine and the end of the Iron Chest Mine Trail. At waypoint PL07 is a trail that branches off to the left. This trail takes you up a shelf road to the upper portion of the Mary Murphy, and may or may not be open to the public. Back on the main trail, a few hundred yards past waypoint PL07 is an old gravesite immediately to the right, which dates back to 1884. The trail continues to climb for another mile or so up to a large open mesa, with Lake Pomeroy to the right. This is an excellent place to stop for lunch and let the kids and pets run off some energy! There’s also a ½-mile foot trail that will take you to Upper Pomeroy Lake. The Pomeroy Lake Trail is a little over 2.5 miles one way and takes only about an hour or so to reach the lake.

Difficulty Rating:  One (1) Easy
(based on my personal rating scale on the Trails Page)

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Here are a couple shots from the Pomeroy Lakes & Mary Murphy Mine Trail. 
On the left is some of the remains of the Mary Murphy Mine. 
On the right is Pomeroy Lake at the end of the trail.

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Cumm. Dist.






N38° 40.40’

W106° 21.99’



0.13 mi

0.13 mi

69° (ENE)

N38° 40.44’

W106° 21.85’



0.09 mi

0.22 mi

105° (ESE)

N38° 40.42’

W106° 21.75’



0.18 mi

0.40 mi

136° (SE)

N38° 40.30’

W106° 21.62’



0.33 mi

0.73 mi

156° (SSE)

N38° 40.04’

W106° 21.47’



0.42 mi

1.15 mi

147° (SSE)

N38° 39.74’

W106° 21.21’



0.19 mi

1.34 mi

158° (SSE)

N38° 39.59’

W106° 21.13’



0.44 mi

1.78 mi

130° (SE)

N38° 39.34’

W106° 20.76’



0.20 mi

1.98 mi

107° (ESE)

N38° 39.29’

W106° 20.54’



0.11 mi

2.09 mi

163° (SSE)

N38° 39.20’

W106° 20.51’



0.11 mi

2.20 mi

209° (SSW)

N38° 39.11’

W106° 20.57’



0.07 mi

2.27 mi

158° (SSE)

N38° 39.06’

W106° 20.54’



0.13 mi

2.40 mi

113° (ESE)

N38° 39.01’

W106° 20.41’



0.12 mi

2.52 mi

164° (SSE)

N38° 38.91’

W106° 20.37’

Notice: Off-highway travel is by its very nature potentially dangerous and could result in property damage, injury, or even death.  If you drive any of the trails on this web site, you acknowledge these risks and assume full responsibility.  You are the final judge as to whether a trail is safe to drive, whether your vehicle is capable of the journey, and whether your skills are up to the challenge.  The publisher of this web site disclaims any and all liability for property damage, bodily injury, or death that could occur to you or any of your passengers.  To the best of my knowledge, the information contained on this page was accurate as of the time I road this trail during the Summer 2000.   However, things change over time.  And portions of this trail may no longer be legally accessible to motorized vehicles.  Therefore, please be good stewards of our sport--always stay on designated trails . . . and always, always remember to Tread Lightly!


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