One of our favorite past times during the fall season in Breckenridge is exploring the historic mines and sites in the area. Many mountain towns in the Rocky Mountain region date back to Colorado’s rich mining history, and the Breckenridge area has numerous opportunities to experience and explore the land’s former mining era!
1. Lomax Placer Mine
The Lomax Placer Mine is within walking distance of Main Street in downtown Breckenridge and was towns first placer, or surface mine, marking it as a foundation of Breckenridge heritage. You may take a tour here and even pan for gold in the museum’s creek, using historic mining tools, just as the 49ers did. These tours run June through September, Tuesday through Sunday, so book your tour of Breckenridge’s best hidden gem today.
2. Washington Gold and Silver Mine
Located just outside of town, the Washington Gold and Silver Mine allows guests to view original mining equipment and structures. Without structured tours, guests can view equipment and exhibits and learn at their own pace.
3. Country Boy Mine
The Country Boy Mine, located a few blocks from Main Street, offers the most hands-on experiences for guests within a short distance of Breckenridge. First, experience the tour and history of the mine itself with of their experienced guides. The 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
The Phoenix Gold Mine is not located in Breckenridge, but is an experience hard to not mention when discussing 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.
Here, visitors can tour an original underground mine and pan for gold. Well behaved dogs are even allowed on tours! 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.