Enjoy a drive to one of America’s most famous Wild West mining towns, Cripple Creek. This was the very definition of a boom town in the gold rush of 1893, when the town grew from 500 to 10,000 inhabitants. The district has produced 23.5 million troy ounces of gold since then, and continues to be mined. A new kind of gold rush occurred in 1991, when limited stakes gambling was legalized in Cripple Creek. However, the town has taken great pains to retain its Wild West feel, and it still feels like you are stepping back into the late 1800s when you arrive.
The drive to Cripple Creek is via twisty mountain roads, with vistas of the Rocky Mountains, gorgeous forests, and relics of a bygone era.
We will stop at the Cripple Creek Heritage Center for a look at the fascinating history of the area. From there, we have a trolley that will take us to the following spots, before dropping us back at the Center for our drive “home”.
1- The Homestead House which was once the most famous “brothel” in Cripple Creek. Owned and operated by Pearl DeVere, the opulent parlor bustled with activity and became known for its impeccable service, high-powered customers, and its glamorous madams. At a time when $3 a day was considered a good wage for a miner, Pearl charged $250 a night, and got it. Today, the Homestead House is a museum that has been lovingly restored with velvet bedspreads and handmade furniture.
2- Cripple Creek Jail Museum
In the late 1800s, the promise of an easy fortune lured people to the gold mines of Cripple Creek; in just ten years, the population grew from 15 to more than 50,000. Like every Western gold rush town, Cripple Creek had more than our fair share of miscreants and troublemakers. Fortunately, we also had a brave group of men sworn to keep the outlaws in line. Learn their stories in this authentic and fun museum.
3-Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine:
This historic gold mine tour descends 1,000 feet below ground, where visitors learn about the workings of the 1890s hard rock gold miner. Guided tours allow visitors to explore the overlapping evolution of all four mining phases used to extract gold from the Mollie Kathleen, beginning with a ride on a skip to the lower working levels of the mine.
For questions or more information, please contact Karl Klefer