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Sunset Colorado Townsite - Ghost town

Photos courtesy of Mike Sinnwell 2005   

Not much left of Sunset. It sits in Four Mile Creek. Several buildings and an ore cart with the towns name. Great spot to start your trip up the Switzerland Trail. The old railroad grade that goes to Ward. Several nice roads out of town for the 4x4s, bikes, ATVs etc.  

A viewer writes - just found this site. we, the smiths, of Denver, used to own the little school house in sunset. i spent most summers up there and lots of time in the winters. it was a great spot to spend time. i have so many wonderful memories of being with my parents, grandparents, and my brothers and sister. my grandparents, parents and one brother are gone now, so i hold on to the memories. we made a small pond down at the creek. made snow graves in the snow when it was 4 feet deep. sled on the old mine hills. once we climbed up the mountain in front of the cabin and found a den o 3 mountain lion babies. of course i wanted to take all of them home, but my dad said that wasn't a good idea duh!! we had 2 outhouses, one for the guys and one for the girls, which are still there, and i just knew one night when we went out there, a mountain lion was going to get us. i really wish we would have held on to the place, i really miss it. i go up sometimes just to look at the place and remember great times. thanks for listening!

A viewer writes - I was so surprised to see the "cabin" again!  I am the youngest Smith daughter.  I was too young to remember much, but by golly I remember those outhouses!  I have gone back to some of the pictures we have of Sunset and I found one with the family in front of a Train Car with SUNSET on the side of it, I wonder if it's still there? I wish we could have kept the Sunset history in the family, but mom and dad sold it in the mid 70s, to a guy who made Dulcimers. Anyway, I am glad to have found this website.

A viewer writes - Tuesday, September 07, 2010 - I lived in the old train station house in Sunset from 1993 - 1996. What a magical spot. I hope that the Fourmile fire left Sunset alone. Nice to hear and see the history. We always wondered who used the old cabin....

A viewer writes - Wednesday, September 08, 2010 -

It was long ago, but I lived in the town of Sunset, in fourmile canyon, during the winter of 1971 in what I recall was a train car or long building shaped like that, with a coal stove, outhouse, a nearby creek for water, and kerosene lamps for light.  The yellow house in the picture was where the dulcimer maker lived with his family.   Apparently, according to a poster on that page, he bought the cabin in 1975, after I was gone.  Near my house was another house with some hippies in it.  Some other hippies lived up a walking trail nearby.  I think the population of the town was 8 at the time.  

It was about a five mile drive to the nearest pavement, which ended before Wall Street, and I used to go into Boulder to work every day, smelling like coal smoke.  Usually tried to "hold it" until I got to town as opposed to using the outhouse in winter.

A viewer writes - Friday, October 01, 2010 - That broken down building thing was the horse stable. My dad bought a old cabin and lived near the dulcimer maker, we have one. My dad lived there from 75-83. He played the mandolin and had the only house with running water. His name was Mike. He had horses and would go to Goldhill via the old railroad tacks. Were going up there this fall to see if it was burned down. Last I know he sold it and the cabin was converted to a large house!

A viewer writes - Monday, May 16, 2011 -  Hi, I am researching John Wesley Stockett, who had a store in Sunset around 1900-1901.  He also was a miner.  I'm wondering if anyone has a photo of the old store?

Rocky Writes - If I was trying to find a photo I would start looking at the Carnegie Library in Boulder and talk to Marti Anderson. Also check out her Blog at  She lists both John Wesley Stockett and Anna M. Stockett as living in Sunset.  

A viewer writes  -   Thursday, November 10, 2011 -- My name is Ann Dunning McKenna.  My father, Paul Dunning, was born in Sunset, Colorado in 1901.  His father, Hugh Dunning, was mining in the area.  His mother, Besse Hatch Dunning was a school teacher in the little school.  .  John Ford Dunning and Phinela Plummer Dunning were my great grandparents -- I have a sister named Marian Dunning Taylor.  I am fascinated by the info and the pictures you provided for me and will spend much time looking at all of them. My email is

Rocky says look what I found for you -- Maybe even a school picture of Bessie Dunning.,-1,0,B/l962&FF=ddunning+beth&1,1,,0,-1

A viewer writes -- Thursday, January 05, 2012 -- I lived in Sunset in 1985-1986.  I lived in a cabin owned by Mike van Loon.  I remember waking up one morning to find a herd of a cattle in the yard.  there was also a donkey that was used for a silver mine lower down.  Wonderful place, cold winters, terrible roads, almost died twice there.  I live in Seattle but would love to move back, but brrrrrr too cold.

A viewer writes -  Saturday, March 17, 2012 - I have a post card in my collection mailed from Sunset in 1916. It is from

"Viola" and mailed to a Mrs. WJ Bennett on Stuart St. in Denver.

THANKS to Mark Hess for these scans.


Sunset Cemetery

Bobbi Cook <> wrote:

Hello,  I’ve been looking for several months for the cemetery which my 3x great grandparents are buried.  This morning, I found your website, which literally had photos of their headstones, in the cemetery of the Ghost town Sunset, Colorado.

My sister & I are now planning a trip to visit this cemetery.  Can you tell me more about where it is?  And...where I might be able to get more information about my family members buried here? - Alfred & Emma Perkins  

Any insight would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Bobbi Bryant-Cook

Rocky Responds

Bobbi, Not sure how familiar you are with Colorado as I cannot tell from your note. Sunset is not hard to find but the cemetery is more difficult. You can see from the pictures on my site how overgrown it was. Those pictures were taken in 2005 and in 2013 we had a huge (100 year) flood that went through that area. I have not been back to the cemetery after the flood so I am not sure what you will find. If you want to find sunset easily just download Google earth and type in Sunset Colorado. It will show you a aerial view of the location along with the roads to get there. I would strongly suggest a 4X4 as vehicle of choice to get there.

As I recall the cemetery was just to the west and slightly south of the town up a 4x4 road of to the south and west. There were no markings to identify the site. As with most old cemeteries in these ghost towns no one is left to care for them, so they are often neglected.  I stumbled upon the cemetery as I was walking among the trees.

As for information on the area I would contact the Boulder Carnegie library. A woman that used to work there had researched that general area and has written a book about it. Sunset was included in the book. Not sure if she is still there. Mati Anderson. Or get her book. she also had a blog. As I recall she had research most of the families in that area.

Good luck and take pictures and let me know what you find. Happy hunting...

Michael J Sinnwell

Bobbi Cook Responds

Sunset Cemetery

Thank you so much for all of this additional detail Michael!  Especially the tips to finding the cemetery; I would’ve gotten lost for sure!

I’ll definitely look into what your friend has written as well.  Your tips for additional detail look to be exactly what I was needing!!  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this!

My sister and I will head up there next week (with cameras in hand) and I’ll keep you posted.  I drive a Jeep, so I’m fairly confident with the drive itself...I’m just horrible with directions!  LOL I’ll be in touch soon!  Have a great week!

Bobbi Cook

 Hello Michael,

My first attempt at finding the Sunset Cemetery was unsuccessful.  However, I stumbled across the landowner today, and he took me right to it!  It’s in great condition!  He mentioned he did have to re-set a couple of the headstones after the floods, and it looks fantastic!

Unfortunately, I’m in the process of moving & neglected to bring my larger camera with me on this trip, so these aren't the best pics.

Thanks again for all of your help!