Already booked an aerial adventure through Arkansas Valley Adventures (AVA)? In the fall, there are a few activities located just 5 minutes from our outpost in Idaho Springs. Locals enjoy a variety of activities related to the harvesting season, such as Oktoberfest featuring local breweries, Pumpkin smashing, and embracing the historic roots of what makes Idaho Springs a unique place to stop and visit.
People travel far and wide to enjoy Colorado’s craft brews that are unique and unlike anything you have tasted before. One prime example of this is Tommyknocker’s pumpkin ale which is a dark ale with hints of maple syrup. Tommyknocker’s also makes their own soda so your kids can have a treat too. My personal favorite is the Strawberries in Cream. This has a cream soda undertone with fresh wild strawberry flavoring.
Pumpkin smashing is the best way to end Halloween in Idaho Springs. Launch a pumpkin a great distance, by using a trebuchet or a slingshot. There are other ways you can join in on the festivities. Smash a pumpkin with a Louisville Slugger or a wooden mallet. While immersing yourself in this activity you can try Pumpkin Ale, local restaurant samples, raffles, and kids face painting.
Historical roots of Idaho Springs begin in the mid-1850s when George Jackson a former California prospector came through Colorado in 1859 wandering up Clear Creek to the confluence of Chicago Creek. George Jackson discovered Gold near the AVA outpost, therefore starting the Gold Rush in Idaho Springs. The rich culture of Idaho Spring truly blossomed by becoming the epicenter of hard rock mining. Idaho Springs highlights the history during Dynamite Days by sharing what life was like during the mid 19th century to the early 20th century while having a chili cook-off and live music.
If history sparks an interest in you, there are many historical tours to do while visiting Idaho Springs and the surrounding area. The Argo Gold Mill was one of the most profitable mills in the area which was completed in 1913. The Argo connected with several mines 4.2 miles away in Central City, dubbed the ‘The Richest Square Mile on Earth’. The tour of the Argo is roughly one hour and fifteen minutes long with knowledgeable staff that prides themselves on having the know-how on processing gold and other valuable metals from ore through the Argo Tunnel. A hydraulic failure in 1943 shut the tunnel and the mill down but was reopened to the public for tours in 2015. I recommend pairing the Argo and Phoenix Gold mine tour to get the full mining experience.