NAME: Gardiner
COUNTY: Colfax
GRID #(see map): 3
CLIMATE: Mild winter, warm summer
Spring, winter, fall
COMMENTS: Worth the trip
REMAINS: Many ruins. The following towns: Gardnier, Swastika, Brilliant, and Blossburg are now part of Vermejo Park Ranch owned by Ted Turner and are now private gated property.  You can no longer visit them unless you have premission and you probably won't as it is a hunting reserve with no less than a $450 per night stay.  Ted Turner believes in reclaimation work and has taken it upon himself to bulldoze many of the exsisting structures of some of the towns and you will be luckily to find even stones of said previous structures.  I believe some of the old coke ovens for Gardnier may be viewed from the Raton golf course, but that's as close as you will probably get. In addition, Turner is not a preditor hunter and the bear and coyote population have skyrocketed.
 It's not uncommon to find grizzly or black bears at these locations.  If you can get in a 4 wheel drive is good, but the road is in fairly good condition and is regrated often by another property owner who lives at the top of the canyon.  You will have to make it through severial posted and locked gates however.  You need to up date these towns so folks will not be dissapointed when they arrive to find them locked.
A geologist for the Santa Fe Railroad, a James T. Gardiner, discovered coal in Dillon Canyon about 1881 and by 1882 operations had begun. It was inevitable that the town was named Gardiner. As it began to grow, the town took on a certain sophistication with a Ladies Club, a local band, the Gardiner Reading Circle, and a sportsmen's club among other social activities. During the early 1920s, Gardiner was at its zenith. But the Great Depression of 1929 started a downhill slide from which the town would not recover. The mines closed in 1939, men lost their jobs and people moved away. A few families remained during World War II to ship residual coke breeze to smelters throughout the southwest. All activity ceased in 1954, the three hundred coke ovens went into ruin and Gardiner became a ghost town. What remains of the town warrants a visit into this picturesque valley.Courtesy Henry Chenoweth.