Consumers Canyon is filled with more than just coal; it’s filled with stories of the past. Evidence of the once bustling coal town of National can be witnessed with a quick drive up Consumers Road. In the ghost town of National, one can enjoy the beauty of the aspens, green hillsides, Gordon Creek and explore the ruins of old houses and buildings.
Distance from Price: 15 miles, about a 25 minute drive
Driving Distance: Approximately 30 miles round trip
Average Time: Times vary on individual exploration. Plan for about 1-2 hours.
Difficulty: Mild, paved road
Equipment: Vehicle, long pants, walking shoes, water
Hazards: This road leads to an operating mine and is a popular coal route. Be aware of coal trucks and take caution while exploring.
Getting There: From Price, riders should travel north on US Highway 191 toward Helper.
After traveling 4.5 miles on the highway, riders will turn left onto Consumers Road. From here, explorers will travel straight on this road for about 11 miles. There will be evidence of old buildings and foundations to the left of the road.
The Town: National was established in the early 1920’s after the National Coal Company opened its doors. The town shared a post office, school house, hospital and community hall with the nearby towns of Sweets and Consumers. The National Coal Company stopped operations in July, 1938 and was sold under foreclosure by the end of the year.
In 1940, anything of value was sold off to the highest bidder. Mining operations continued again under the new owner of the property, but were short lived and the town soon died permanently.
Today, foundations and crumbling buildings can be spied at the end of the paved road, near the fork and current operating mine.
The towns of Consumers and Sweets are inaccessible because they are now located on private property. Consumers is up the right fork about .5 miles, Sweet is up the left fork about .3 miles.