Monday, June 22, 2009

The Griffin Memorial Hike - Silver Plume, CO

Clifford Griffin
Son of Alfred Griffin ESQ. of
Brand Hall, Shropshire, England
Born July 2, 1847
Died June 19, 1887
And in Consideration of his Own Request
Buried Near This Spot

On Saturday, we hiked up the Clifford Griffin memorial above Silver Plume, Colorado. Griffin ran the Seven Thirty Mine on Silver Plume Mountain in the 1880s. His fiancee died the day before their wedding and to escape his grief he joined the Colorado gold rush in Silver Plume, CO. He lived in a cabin up there and played the violin every night to an appreciative audience in the town of Silver Plume below. The story ends tragically when he takes his own life in a grave of his own making after playing his last notes on violin.

There's a huge monument to him on a moderate hike above Silver Plume, and it is definitely one of my favorite hikes in the area. The hike itself is littered with debris from the mine and weaves its way above the town of Silver Plume through several aspen groves, a gulch full of avalanche damage, and over some rocky slopes. You can find more info on the hike via Hiking Colorado's Summit County (screen-caps here and here if you want to print out the info for the hike). It's a short drive from Denver - located close to Georgetown - I'd highly recommend it. Interestingly, we hiked to Griffin's memorial just one day after he died - in fact, we were there the same day that the miner's discovered his body 122 years ago.


liza said...

Great recommendation! We'll have to do that one. I love your pictures.

Nathan said...

you should! the trail isn't marked particularly well, but if you follow the directions on that map I screen-capped you should be ok.

Anonymous said...

Finally, some info on the monument I always see from I-70. Thanks so much, we'll have to go up there!

david said...

was up there yesterday. found your blog looking for more info on Griffin. me dogs and i were up there poking around for about 4 hours. it's amazing how much iron those men hauled up the mountain!

very good hike - moderate fitness required. recommend hiking poles for trickier parts of trail.

Nathan said...

glad you enjoyed the hike David!


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