One hundred years of mining near Vail left metals that killed fish in the Eagle River, and threatened drinking water wells in Minturn. The Site includes the now-flooded Eagle Mine, the abandoned town of Gilman and 8 million tons of mine wastes.
Miners began working the Eagle Mine in the 1880s, searching for gold and silver. The Eagle Mine later became a zinc mining operation, leaving high levels of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc in the soil, and in surface and groundwater. Copper-silver production continued at Eagle Mine until the mine workings were allowed to flood and the mine closed in 1984.