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Mount Silverheels facts for kids

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Mount Silverheels
Mount silverheels.jpg
Mount Silverheels from Boreas Pass.
Highest point
Elevation 13,829 ft (4,215 m)
Prominence 2,283 ft (696 m)
Isolation 5.48 mi (8.82 km)
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Location Park County, Colorado, U.S.
Parent range Front Range
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Alma, Colorado
Easiest route hike

Mount Silverheels is a high and prominent mountain summit in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,829-foot (4,215 m) thirteener is located in Pike National Forest, 4.9 miles (7.9 km) northeast (bearing 41°) of the Town of Alma in Park County, Colorado, United States.

Mount Silverheels is just east of two fourteeners: Mount Bross and Mount Lincoln.

Legend of Silverheels

The mountain was named for Silverheels, a dance hall girl in the nearby mining camp of Buckskin Joe, now a ghost town. She was nicknamed "Silverheels" because of the silver shoes she wore while dancing. She wore a blue or white mask so as to conceal her face, and her actual name is unknown. Well-compensated by the trappers and prospectors who watched her dance, Silverheels was personally generous, having used her own money to bring in doctors during a smallpox epidemic in Buckskin Joe. After the disease waned, Silverheels left Buckskin Joe and was never heard from again. In the words of Frank H. Mayer, a United States marshal in Park County: "The best we could do was to name the mountain after her."

The smallpox epidemic struck in 1861. Most miners remained behind to protect their claims, but the women and children largely fled to Denver. Silverheels stayed behind to nurse her friends and neighbors. She too contracted the disease but survived, having taken refuge in her cabin located at the base of Mount Silverheels. Once the epidemic was over, the surviving miners raised $5,000 in appreciation of her efforts in fighting the epidemic. However, Silverheels had left her cabin. According to legend, she had remained in isolation because the smallpox had scarred her face. The money was returned to the miners, and she was instead honored by the naming of the mountain. Several years later when Buckskin Joe was desolate from the decline of the gold rush, someone claimed to have seen a black-veiled woman placing flowers on the graves of those who died in the smallpox epidemic. Some since claim to have seen a black-veiled woman wandering around the Buckskin Joe Cemetery.

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