The Lure of Old Historic Mines
As appearing in The Gold Nugget, June 2000
by Rick Mattingly

To many of us, there is something fascinating about old abandoned mines. In our own state of Colorado alone there are around 23,000 abandoned mines! While you may be tempted to investigate, do not do it! The deadly hazards that await the unwary in old, abandoned mines are truly too numerous to count.

If you really must see the inside of an old mine there are mines within the state which are safely maintained expressly for the curious among us. The Colorado Geological Survey provides a list of such mine sites which provide safe, guided tours. This information is duplicated below. Some of these mines are also still active, producing gold, silver and many other valuable minerals which we all make use of every day.


Falling into deep shafts
Rock slides at shaft openings
Collapsing ladders in shafts
Fall into snow-covered shafts
Cave-ins from decayed timber
Cave-ins from loose rock
Bad air and poisonous gas

Blind shafts in tunnels
Cave-ins from loose rock
Cave-ins from decayed timbers
Drowning in flooded tunnels
Bad air and poisonous gas
Discarded explosives
Poisonous snakes
Don't give them the chance.
Stay out and stay alive.

Tourist Mines

Smuggler Mine and Compromise Mine. 970-925-2049.
P.O. Box 128
Aspen, CO 81612
 Reservations required, call for information.
 Contact: Kim Popish

Country Boy Mine. 970-453-4405.
0542 French Gulch Road
P.O. Box 8569
Breckenridge, CO 80424
 Open daily 10-4. Includes underground mine tour, exhibits and gold panning.
 After hours and group tours available by reservation.
 Contact: Doug Tomlinson

Central City/Gilpin County
Hidee Gold Mine. 303-989-2861.
2432 S. Yukon Way
Lakewood, CO 80227
 Open by Appointment Only.
 Geology and mining talks in addition to underground mine tour.
 Lake/Russell Gulch/Cty Rd #6.
 Contact: Ed Lewandowski

Creede Underground Mining Museum. 719-658-0811.
P. O. Box 432
Creede, CO 81130
 Open daily 10-4. P O Box 432, Creede, CO 81130. Fee.
 Contact: Chuck Fairchild

Cripple Creek
The Mollie Kathleen. 719-689-2466.
Gold Mine Tours, Inc.
P.O. Box 339
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
 Open daily at 9.
 Guided underground mine tour designed for all ages.
 Special rates for groups of 25 or more.
 Contact: Dennis Lanning

Georgetown/Silver Plume
Georgetown Loop Railroad and Lebanon Silver Mine. 1-888-4-LOOP-RR.
1106 Rose Street
P. O. Box 781
Georgetown, CO 80444
 Tour includes round trip train ride and docent-guided tunnel mine tour.
 Reservations required.
 Contact: Lee Behrens

Idaho Springs
CSM Edgar Experimental Mine. 303-567-2911.
P. O Box 1184
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
 Open daily 9:30-4:30 June to August.
 Guided underground tour of working mine operated by the Colorado School of Mines.
 Contact: John Jordan/Shannon Mann

The Phoenix Mine. 303-567-0422.
P.O. Box 3236
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
 Underground tour of gold and silver mine.
 Group tours and rates available.
 Contact: Al Mosch

Lake City
Hard Tack Mine. 970-944-2506.
P.O. Box 94
Lake City, CO 81235
 Lake City. Memorial Day thru Labor Day.
 Guided underground tour. Underground Rock shop
 Contact: George Hurd 970-944-2400

Bachelor Syracuse Mine. 970-325-0220.
P. O. Box 380
Ouray, CO 81427
 Open May to September 8-6, 7 days a week. Underground tour
 Contact: Tom Hash

Old Hundred Gold Mine. 970-387-5444 or 800-872-3009.
P.O. Box 430
Silverton, CO 81433
 Open daily mid-May through mid-October 10-4.
 Underground guided tour designed for all ages.
 Contact: Bill Jones

Mining Museums

Central City
Gilpin County Historical Society and Museum. 303-582-5283.
228 High Street
Central City, CO 80427
 Open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day 11-5. Fee.

Colorado Springs
Western Museum of Mining and Industry. 719-488-0880.
1025 Northgate Road
Colorado Springs, CO 90921
 Open 9-4 Monday through Saturday, 12-4 Sunday,
 Call for Winter hours December-February. Fee.

Cripple Creek
Cripple Creek District Museum. 719-689-2634
5th and Bennett Avenues
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
 Open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day 10-5. Fee.
 Contact: Erik Swanson

Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum. 303-273-3815.
16th and Maple Streets
Golden, CO 80401
 Open Monday through Saturday 9-4, Sunday 1-4,
 Closed Sundays in the summer and all CSM holidays. Free.
 Contact: Ginny Mast

Idaho Springs
Clear Creek Mining and Milling Museum. 303-567-4709
23rd Avenue and Riverside Drive
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
 Open daily 9-5, summer 9-8,
 Closed November-mid-April. Fee.

Argo Mine and Gold Mill and Double Eagle Mine. 303-567-2421.
2359 Riverside Drive
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
 Open daily. Above-ground guided tour shows ore processing system,
 Includes optional gold-panning and horse back rides.
 Handicap accessible.

Lafayette Miners' Museum. 303-665-7030.
1087 E. Simpson Street
Lafayette, CO 80026
 Open Thursdays 2-4 or by appointment. Free.

National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. 719-486-1229.
120 W. 9th Street
P O Box 981
Leadville, CO 80461
 Open daily, May through October, 9-5,
 Open Monday through Friday, November through April, 10-2,
 Open weekends in Winter by appointment. Fee.

The Matchless Mine. 719-486-3900.
414 W. 7th Street
Leadville, CO 80461
 Guided above ground tour of the mine associated with Horace and Baby Doe Tabor.
 Contact: Millie J. Arvidson

Nederland Historical Society and Museum. 303-285-3575.
4th and Bridge Streets
Nederland, CO 80466
 Open daily 9-12 and 1-5. Fee.

Ouray County Historical Society and Museum. 970-325-4576.
420 Sixth Street
Ouray CO 81427
 Open daily in the summer 9-5 Sunday 1-5,
 Open in the winter Wednesday-Sunday 1-4.

Mayflower Mill. 970-387-0294.
Hwy 110, Cty Rd 2
P.O. Box 190
Silverton, CO 81433
 Open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
 Tour of Mayflower Mill, Flotation Mill. Two miles north of Silverton.
 Contact: Zeke Zanoni

Lowell Thomas Museum. 719-689-5509.
3rd and Victor Avenue
P.O. Box 191
Victor, CO 80860
 Guidebook Open May to September.
 Mining equipment, exhibits

Walsenburg Mining Museum. 719-738-1107 or 719-738-2810.
101 E. 5th Street
Walsenburg CO 81089
 Open daily in summer 9-4. Fee

Information from the
Colorado Geological Survey
1313 Sherman Street, Room 715
Denver, CO 80203
303-866-2611 or Fax 303-866-2461

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