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Idaho Springs History

The town of Idaho Springs is located roughly 30 miles west of Denver and is the first small town visitors to Colorado pass when headed towards the mountains. Locally known as the skinniest town in the US, the residents of Idaho Springs are sardined into a slim section of space wedged between two mountain ranges sitting along Clear Creek. Local legend states that Idaho Springs received its name because a famous Indian chief would journey to the hot springs to bathe in the magical healing springs every year.

Idaho Springs was first discovered in 1859 during the beginning stages of the Colorado gold rush. A man by the name of George A. Jackson was the first to discover gold where Chicago Creek meets Clear Creek. Upon discovering gold, Jackson tried to keep his find a secret for months until he could hold out no longer. In order to pursue his treasure he needed more supplies from those in the Front Range and had no way to pay for goods besides actual gold. When others realized what was going on, there was a huge migration to Idaho Springs. Jackson’s secret was no longer. Once the fight for gold was exhausted, Idaho Springs was still mined well into the 1900’s for other rocks and minerals.

Since then, the town of Idaho Springs has developed into a small tourist town with a historical downtown on its western end. Outdoor activities include rafting, ziplining, hiking, and horseback riding. Make sure to take advantage of our late season discounts and visit this historic mining town.


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