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5 Cool Ways to Explore Idaho Springs Mining History

Idaho Springs Colorado

Idaho Springs was the first place in Colorado where gold was found. As a result, it is packed full of awesome history! Founded in 1859, Idaho Springs is one of only a few original gold mining towns in Colorado that was untouched by fire and not destroyed. Here are 5 cool ways to explore Idaho Springs’ mining history.


The Argo Gold Mine and Mill Tour – Take a guided tour through the Argo Tunnel! In 1893 a ground breaking project began to dig a tunnel from Idaho Springs to Central City. The tunnel  would be used to drain water from the many massive Gold Mines in the area. Today you can take a guided tour through the tunnel and learn all about the history of the area and the men and  women who helped it to become what it is today.

 Take a rafting trip – Spend a day on the water while your AVA Raft guides give a quick history lesson of the area. Check out AVA’s Gold Rush trip and raft over the spot where the very first  piece of Colorado gold was found.

Gold Panning at the Phoenix Mine – Try your hand at panning for gold the same way Idaho Springs’ original settlers did. You even get to take your precious findings home with you!


Visit the Underhill Museum – Dr. James Underhill a Harvard graduate, surveyor and mining engineer, first came to Idaho Springs in 1897. His  home and  office were donated to  the historical society and have since been turned into a small museum packed with history.

Georgetown_Loop_RRTake a ride on the Georgetown Rail Road – The historic Georgetown railroad will give you a bird’s eye view of many of the local mining shafts and much more. You can even combine your ride with a mine tour!

However you decide to spend your time in Idaho Springs you can be sure that you will take in a huge amount of history and knowledge!


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