We’re Here to Entertain You

Nowhere in Colorado is the state’s mining history more obvious than in Idaho Springs. Gold was first discovered in Colorado here in 1859. If you’re looking for a fun-filled destination for a day trip, the town is full of family-friendly activities sure to entertain you. Idaho Springs – as an old minig town teeming with history to be savored in museums and tours, is also the home of quaint shops, art galleries, locally-owned restaurants and more. You can tour a gold mine, pan for gold, or even go river rafting in Cleer Creek.

Several mine tours give visitors insight into local mining history. In town is the Argo Gold Mine and Mill, where you can see what a working mill looked like. And not far from town is the Phoenix Gold Mine, a working mine, where you can learn about modern and historical mining techniques and do a little gold panning yourself. 

Adjacent to Idaho Springs is Mount Evans. The road to the peak is a 14-mile ascent on the highest paved road in North America, rising to 14,200 feet above sea level. It’s a beautiful drive above timber line, and if you keep your eyes open, you might see some local mountain goats.

And if your pace tends to be slower, or you’re just looking for a day to unwind, imagine pampering yourself with a therapeutic and relaxing treatment at Indian Hot Springs Healing Waters and Spa. At this century-old destination, you can enjoy a massage or just relax in the hot springs mineral waters (for which the town is named), which have been rated as one of the top ten mineral hot springs in the world. 

So much to do, and so little time. Maybe on your way home, you’ll find yourself planning your next trip!


Strike it Rich

Our beautiful Rocky Mountains offer so much in the way of fun and recreation, and many activities are right in our own backyard. Idaho Springs, just a few minutes up the road from Evergreen, has a real “western mountain town” feel and provides access to a unique and historic pass time – gold panning! If you’re looking for a safe and fun family activity, or possibly you’ve got gold fever and just haven’t told anyone, you can head to a place like the Phoenix Gold Mine, where they’ll connect you with a real miner who can show you the authentic method for gold panning. The Phoenix Mine has a stream running right up along  the road. It’s a typical Colorado mountain stream in a beautiful setting, which picks up gold from the mountains and brings it down where it can be extracted by panning.

Gold panning is a process of separating gold from the sand and gravel that get washed out of the mountains with the gold. It is fairly easy to do with a little practice because gold is heavier than other sediments in the stream, but gold panning does require some patience. You work the pan contents so that the gold settles to the bottom, and wash the lighter stream sediments out of the pan, through a process of shaking the pan and submerging it in the stream. After the lighter sediment has washed out, you agitate the pan, tilt it, and let the pile spill across the bottom – then feel the excitement when you see the pieces and flecks of gold left behind. Catch a little gold fever, and at the same time, get a piece of Colorado history by stepping into the shoes of a miner. You may just strike it rich, possibly not monetarily, but definitely in life experience!