Newmont North America runs the huge open pit Cresson gold mine near Cripple Creek, a small town in the Colorado Rockies. The folks running the largest gold mine in Colorado today have done a lot to support the local community from sponsoring local sports leagues to donating the gold to cover the state capital dome. However, due to safety issues, it’s been a while since there was a way for tourists and fans to see the mine in operation…but no more! As you’ll read in the link below, they are about to open a new viewing area. (n.b. As of September 2016, it is open!)
Click here to read the press release:
I hope this inspires you to start planning a trip because there’s lots of other cool mining history tourism to do in the area as well. First, go underground on the Molly Kathleen gold mine tour and get a sample of their gold ore. One note, the mine tour is 1,000 feet underground and quite chilly. If you don’t bring a jacket, they will offer a free one to borrow – take them up on it! Here’s their website for all the logistics:
Also, while you’re in town, ride the narrow gauge railroad, tour some of the many museums, check out a bar that served the original miners and check out the old stone jail…those miners could get pretty rowdy back in the day so I’m sure a lot of them spent a night or two in those cells 😉
If you’d like to learn more about the gold and geology of this area, my friend Ryan Finley published a nice explanation on the Gold Cube website at: http://goldcube.net/2016/05/01/brief-geology-cripple-creek/
Ok, sure Kevin, the tour sounds like fun and I like trains…but is there any gold I can pan there? Well, maybe barely. There is an open space park at the south end of 2nd Ave in Cripple Creek that includes a stretch of the infamous Cripple Creek stream. The part next to the sewage treatment plant is city property. You may find a few micro-specks there as I did but there’s a reason they called this area “Poverty Gulch” back in the day!!
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