5 Historic Mines Close to Breckenridge, Colorado to Explore this Fall
August 9th, 2018
One of our favorite past times during the fall season in Breckenridge is exploring all of the historic mines and sites in the area. The origin of the majority of mountain towns in the Colorado Rockies was the rich mining land these ranges used to be, so learn a little bit about the areas past and catch some amazing views doing so.
1. Lomax Placer Mine
The Lomax Placer Mine is within walking distance of Main Street in downtown Breckenridge. This was the towns first placer, or surface mine, making it a true foundation of Breckenridge. You may take a tour here and even pan for gold, using historic mining tools just like the 49ers of old. These tours run through September, and only run on Saturdays, so book your tour to Breckenridge’s best hidden gem today.
2. Washington Gold and Silver Mine
Located just outside of town, this underground mine goes down 200 feet and offers tours. Guides will teach you about old mining techniques and lifestyles, while you feel the same cold darkness of the miners of old. These tours offer gold panning and a historic background of the mine itself, giving you an inside look at the true history of Breckenridge. This family favorite comes in at only 15 dollars per adult and 10 dollars per child, making it a perfect activity for the afternoon after a morning hike or bike ride. Who knows, you may even strike gold yourself!
3. Country Boy Mine
This mine, located a few blocks from Main Street, offers the most amenities for guests within a short distance of Breckenridge. First, experience the tour and history of the mine itself with of their experienced guides. The Country Boy Mine is 1,000 feet below the ground, probably the deepest you will ever be beneath the earth’s surface. Examine the equipment, look at all the old photos, and have fun with the exhibits. Follow the tour up with some gold panning, or head straight for the friendly retired burros. For a bit more excitement, send it down the 55-foot ore chute. Pretend you are a piece of gold or silver ore on your way to the forges to be smelted into an ingot. Finish the day off by perusing the gift shop, fully stocked with old fashioned candy and toys (and fashioned to look like an old general store).
4. Jessie Mill and Mine
Choose your own adventure and take a hike down Gold Run Gulch to explore Jessie Mill and Mine all on your own. This historic site has been preserved by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, and therefore has maintained much of its original structure. The Jessie Mill and Mine was once one of Breckenridge’s largest mining complexes and played a crucial role in the growth and prominence of the town.
5. Phoenix Gold Mine
This one’s not located in Breckenridge, but hard to not mention when talking about Colorado’s mining history. Located in the current and historic mining town of Idaho Springs, The Phoenix Gold Mine is a great stop whether you are headed out of Breckenridge or into town from the front range, as it is conveniently placed right along I-70. Featured on television shows such as National Geographic, Ghost Hunters, and Globe Trekkers, its renown is well deserved due to its size and historical prominence.
Still in the mood for a whitewater adventure? There are a few trips left you can venture out on this month! Check out Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River or a scenic float on the Upper Colorado and come on an excursion with Breckenridge Whitewater Rafting.