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The Queen Mine, also known as the Platinum Queen, sits on top of Centennial Ridge a little southwest of Centennial in the Medicine Bow National Forest. Originally constructed in the 1920s, the Queen Mine represents a shift from gold mining to other metals in the Snowy Range.

Your first glimpse of the mine from the north will be the headframe sticking up over the trees. The road leading to the mine will then wrap around it before climbing up on the south side presenting you with an up close view of the winch used to haul everything in and out of the mine shaft.

I’ve read that the main shaft went down over 150 feet with a horizontal shaft at the bottom. By looking at the impressively large pile of tailings on the west side of the shaft house that certainly seems possible.

The shaft house wears it’s 90 years pretty well considering it’s lack of maintenance and location on an exposed ridge. Down in the trees there is an old outhouse and a second outhouse sized structure with no door or window. These two are in a little better shape thanks to having a little bit more protection.

The Queen Mine, like nearly every other mining attempt in the Snowy Range, never lived up to its hype and by the 1930s it was no longer in operation. But at least the men who worked here were greeted by some impressive views of Medicine Bow Peak, Sheep Mountain, and even some snow capped peaks in Colorado when they climbed out of the shaft.

We’ve got more pictures of the Queen Mine in a Flickr set. If you visit remember to take only pictures and leave only footprints because we can’t share it when it’s gone.

If you do want to visit here you’ll need a high clearance vehicle, four wheel drive is a plus, and you can expect some narrow sections where the trees will scratch some paint. Also don’t be surprised if some blown down trees are blocking the road completely.

Take Wyoming Highway 130 west from Centennial. Turn left on Forest Road 338 (Ehlin Road) just before the Forest Service visitor center. Follow this road for 2 miles, then you’ll turn left on Forest Road 307 which will take you up on Centennial Ridge.


If you are looking for a guide to get you to the Queen Mine:

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