Gold Tourism – The Phoenix Mine Tour 1

I recently had a friend from China and her husband come visit. They wanted to spend a day as gold prospectors so we visited Arapahoe Bar to dig (see my post about that site here). We dug the bottom of an existing hole and did very well so they got to take home a nice souvenir vial of Colorado gold. We also made a visit to the Phoenix Mine. You can easily learn about the mine visit schedule, location and fees here

We were lucky enough to hear the intro and history talk from the owner himself, local legend Al Mosch. Here he is in front of the west portal of the mine on the day we visited. Nice of him to pose for me right!?

Al tells a lot of great stories and he was charming around my guests.

If you ask folks who know, many will say the Phoenix should be your first underground mine tour. It’s a fairly short tour, has good walking surfaces so it’s accessible regardless of your physical condition, the tours are led by real hard rock miners and most importantly…there’s a VISIBLE GOLD SEAM you can reach out and touch! Most mines have microscopic gold or gold bound up in complex ores- still great tours but this one should be your first. The mine goes about 500 feet underground into a hillside, but it’s all horizontal so it’s easy for almost anyone. It also helps that it’s just a 30 minute drive west of Denver on I-70 then 6 miles up a good dirt road.

Inside the mine you can also see some cool ore processing equipment. Outside the mine you can pan in Trail Creek which runs across the property. After your tour, your tour guide will be happy to loan you a pan and teach you to use it. You can also see another collection of commercial mining gear:

If you go, I hope you get a blue sky day like we did but maybe with less snow in the panning area 😉 Tell them Kevin from FindingGOLDinColorado sent you!

Gold Panning Tips:

As far as the panning goes, experienced miners will patiently teach you to pan in the chunk of Trail Creek owned by the mine. However, the gold in that area of Trail Creek is pretty sparse in my (limited) experience. It might be better downstream a ways. The staff at the mine told me folks pan and sluice the creek downstream of the mine where it follows along next to the road (so it’s on county property, not private!!) with some success.

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About KevinInColorado

I'm an avid, casual gold prospector. Resident of Summit County, Colorado. Aspiring author, working on a book also called Finding Gold in Colorado (tm). - You can also join the Facebook group 'Finding Gold in Colorado' to get Colorado gold prospecting and mining news. - PLEASE HELP ME MAKE THE SITE BETTER: If you find a typo or dead web link, please, please drop me a line about it or just post a comment. I WILL FIX IT!!

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One thought on “Gold Tourism – The Phoenix Mine Tour

  • Jack

    My girlfriend, our one year old daughter and I, recently visited and toured this mine over the summer – we learned a lot and had a great time! I’d definitely recommend checking it out on a nice day when you’re looking for something to do with the family. The volunteers there are very knowledgeable and engaging with those touring the mine. As a bonus, the mine is closely located to Colorado’s iconic Beau Jo’s Pizza – always a great place to stop by for some delicious grub!