Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Photos: Gallery | Colorado Springs Gazette, News

7 best places to find gold in Colorado

“There’s gold in them hills,” said the grizzled miner pointing toward snowy mountains. Those rich words still hold true long after the vanished cries of “Pikes Peak or Bust!” brought hordes of treasure seekers to the Colorado Rockies in 1859.
Here are some of the best places in Colorado to learn about the mining heritage, get up close to gold in underground tunnels, and try your hand at panning for gold to strike it rich.
- Stewart M. Green, OutThere Colorado

For more Gazette lists, check out our lists page.

Fairplay Gold Panning

Fairplay Gold Panning

The Fairplay Beach, a town park with a fishing hole, hiking trails, and picnic tables, offers gold panning along the rocky banks of the South Platte River for a mere five bucks a week. A lot of gold came out of the South Platte in Fairplay’s heyday and dredges still work the river. 

Gold nuggets and flakes are panned from the river every day.

Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

0
Hidee Gold Mine

Hidee Gold Mine

The Central City area west of Denver was the center of the “Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush” and later dubbed “the richest square mile on Earth”. While the town’s casinos now dominate the landscape, over the hill is the Hidee Gold Mine. 

The Hidee offers great family fun with its 90-minute tour. Nearby is a site where you can learn to pan gold.

STACIE SCOTT, The Gazette

0
Argo Gold Mine and Mill

Argo Gold Mine and Mill

The Argo Gold Mine and Mill dominate the historic mining town of Idaho Springs on I-70 west of Denver. The mine and mill sit at the entrance to the Argo Tunnel, a deep tunnel built to drain water from flooded mines in Central City to the north. The mill recovered gold from chunks of ore, processing over $100 million dollars of ore.

Visitors can also see the entrance to the Argo Tunnel. Afterward, you head down to the rocky banks of Clear Creek for a gold panning lesson.

unknown

0
MOLLIE KATHLEEN GOLD MINE TOUR

Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine

The Mollie Kathleen Mine sits in the heart of the Cripple Creek mining district, dubbed the “World’s Greatest Gold Camp” in the 1890s. The mine, with a 1,000-foot-deep shaft, was discovered by Iowa mother Mollie Kathleen Gortner in 1891. She became the first woman to strike it rich at the Creek. The mine operated until 1961 when it turned into a tourist attraction.

Guides point out gold veins, show mining techniques and tools, and sometimes let you push a one-ton ore cart. At the end, everyone receives a free chunk of gold ore to take home.

TripAdvisor

0
Vindicator Valley Trail

Vindicator Valley Trail

The two-mile Vindicator Valley Trail explores Battle Mountain above Victor in the Cripple Creek Mining District, the richest real estate in Colorado. The easy trail, beginning on County Road 81, passes historic buildings and old mines including the Vindicator and Theresa. The mountainside was a hive of mining activity in the 1890s. Check out the metal-sheathed Theresa Mine, which began digging the precious ore in 1895 and eventually produced over $196 million of gold. 

CHRISTIAN MURDOCK, THE GAZETTE

0
Phoenix Gold Mine

Phoenix Gold Mine

The Phoenix Gold Mine has yielded buckets of gold, silver, copper, and tellurium since 1871. The Phoenix lies alongside Trail Creek west of Idaho Springs. The mine is reputedly haunted by the ghost of a murder victim and Tommyknockers, malicious mine spirits.

After the tour, you’re welcome to grab a pan, take a quick lesson in gold panning from an old miner, and swirl gravel in the creek. You keep all the nuggets you pan.

TripAdvisor

0
Panning Colorado Creeks

Panning Colorado Creeks

Everyone who gets the gold bug thinks they’re gonna strike it rich, no doubt fueled by gold prices hovering at $1,200 an ounce. It’s easy to get the fever by finding a nugget in a clear Colorado stream. The Gold Prospectors Association of America lists eight Colorado counties with gold deposits.

Good spots include Clear Creek, Fairplay Beach, and the Arkansas River, but don’t trespass on private mining claims. Most weekend panners find gold flakes, but there’s still elusive nuggets out there waiting.

Jerilee Bennett

0