Platoro, lying in the Conejos Valley, was prospected in the 1870's by Summitville miners. It had producing mines in the 1880's, and more or less through the turn of the century, and a short boom in 1913 when a strike was made at nearby Gilmore.
Platoro, a combination of the Spanish word for silver, "plata", and the word for gold, "oro", mined both ores. Among its mines were the Forest King, Forest Queen, Valley King, Valley Queen, the Parole, and the largest and still producing mine in the 1960's, the Mammoth.
Although without a road in the old days, Platoro heroically removed its ore, if not by one way, then by another. Burro trains once packed ore out over Stunner Pass to the Alamosa, then up over Blowout Pass and down to Del Norte. At one time, mail was brought in the summer by "pony" and in the winter by dogsled from Monte Vista. Platoro also used the Silver Lakes Toll Road over Cornwall Mountain.
Platoro, once deserted, is now a busy summer village, mining town, cattleman's camp and recreation center offering accommodations to the visitor.
Directions from Monte Vista: Take Colorado Highway 17 south 12.0 miles. Take the Twelve Mile Road 12.0 miles west to the forest boundary where it becomes the Alamosa-Conejos River Road (Forest Road 25. Follow Forest Road 250 17.0 miles up the Alamosa River and over Stunner Pass to Mix Lake. Platoro is just east of Mix Lake on Forest Road 250.
Directions from Antonito: Take Colorado Highway 17 west 23.0 miles to the Alamosa-Conejos River Road #250 at Elk Creek. Follow #250 23 miles up the Conejos River to Mix Lake. Platoro is just east of Mix Lake on Forest Road 250.