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Colorado Travel: The Prospecting is Good

Description

Well over a century ago, the rush for gold brought prospectors by the thousands to Colorado. Fast forward a few years and Colorado travel was more about ski resorts, hot springs and mother nature than gold mining, but reader be assured: this state has never completely gotten over its gold fever (Denver Nuggets, anyone?). In fact, you can still stake a claim, placer or lode, in parts of Colorado, and set up for business with an affordable gold panning kit. But assuming you’re visiting for the purposes of R&R, not working a claim, you’ll find that there are a number of places to explore the history, and inner workings, of Colorado’s mining heyday without giving yourself over to mining madness completely.

For a look at what just might lie beneath those famous Colorado mountains, the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum in Golden, Colorado is a good place to start. For more in a similar vein, try smaller local museums, like the Mining Museum in Nederland, the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville or the Creede Underground Mine Museum. Frankly, though, it’s hard to be overly impressed by museum exhibits when you can take a tour of the real deal. Which is why, thus equipped with the basics on nuggets and the mother lode, you will do well to let your Colorado travel steer you in the direction of several (some still operational) mines open to visitors.

For example, in Cripple Creek (near Colorado Springs), you can take an hour-long tour deep down into the Mollie Kathleen Mine for a good look at the evolution of mining - and they’ll even let you take home a souvenir piece of gold ore. Sure it won’t pay for your vacation but it’s a start. Nearby, the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company offers tours as well, but this one is still operational, so for a glimpse of modern mining techniques, you’re in business. When it’s open in season, you can also enjoy a tour of the Country Boy Mine in Breckenridge or the Phoenix Gold Mine in Idaho Springs and pan for gold when you’re done. Who knows, you just might be ready to jump a claim before the trip is out.

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Chaffee County Chaffee County Chaffee County
Central ColoradoMore than 100 miles of the Arkansas River and her tributaries flow through the heart of Chaffee County, gracing both Salida and Buena Vista with her beauty and world-renowned whitewater, fly-fishing, scenery and river festivals.
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Colorado Springs Colorado Springs Colorado Springs
Central ColoradoFind yourself in Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak. We have five historic trains to transport you back to the days of cowboys and gold mining. Endless trails allow you to enjoy the abundant sunshine and spectacular scenery. A family vacation in Colorado Springs is the smart choice – great lodging values, a long list of low-cost or no-cost activities, and adventure around every corner. Order your free guide today.
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Grand Lake Grand Lake Grand Lake
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Mesa Verde Country Mesa Verde Country Mesa Verde Country
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Ouray Ouray Ouray
SouthwestOuray has been a special destination of world travelers for more than 100 years. This small intimate community is nestled in some of the most rugged and towering peaks of the Rockies. Set at the narrow head of a valley at 7,792 feet and surrounded on three sides with 13,000 foot snowcapped peaks - Ouray has been eloquently nicknamed the "Switzerland of America."
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Pagosa Springs Pagosa Springs Pagosa Springs
Southwestern ColoradoOur small town atmosphere and endless beauty allows you to feel the true meaning of a vacation. Refresh your spirit in a place away from the crowds. Restore your sense of fun while exploring over three million acres of wilderness and national forest. Reconnect with family and friends. Come to Pagosa Springs and enjoy simplicity on a grand scale.
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Delta County Delta County Delta County
You'll want to discover all of Our Side. Delta County features playgrounds from 4, 000 ft to 11,000 ft. and all the fun stuff in between. Small country farms, orchards burgeoning with fruit, winemakers busy at their craft and chefs stirring it up.
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Lake City - Hinsdale County Lake City - Hinsdale County Lake City - Hinsdale County
SouthwestEncompassing more than one thousand square miles of untamed beauty, Hinsdale County stands unrivaled when outdoor recreation, unique geology, wildflowers, abundant wildlife, and historic significance come into play.
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Rifle Rifle Rifle
WesternSki, snowmobile, hike, fish and do whatever else suites you in beautiful Riflt, Colorado. Locals take pride in their beautiful city, and visitors won't soon forget the breathtaking beauty.
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Cripple Creek Cripple Creek Cripple Creek
Nestled within majestic Rocky Mountain scenery, Cripple Creek offers fun and adventures for the entire family. Try your luck in one of our exciting casinos, check out our fascinating museums, or explore our many history-rich activities such as a ride on the CC&V Narrow Gauge Railroad or a 1,000 foot descent underground into the Mollie Kathleen Mine.
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Alamosa Alamosa Alamosa
Located in the heart of the San Luis Valley, Alamosa’s unique mix of incredible outdoor recreation, unique family attractions and breathtaking scenic wonders makes it a premier vacation destination in Colorado. With affordable lodging, dining and shopping options to complement the endless activities you’ll find here, Alamosa is the perfect location for your next trip. Order your free Visitors Guide today.
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Trinidad Trinidad Trinidad
Southern ColoradoKnown as a heritage town with grand nineteenth-century architecture and brick streets that date to the early 1900s, Trinidad is set in a green valley halfway between Denver and Santa Fe. The town is surrounded by vast state and national recreation areas, including two state parks. Trinidad is the gateway to the Scenic Highway of Legends, where travelers find lakes and stunning dikes that radiate out from the ancient Spanish Peaks. Historic and prehistoric sites abound in every direction.
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South Fork South Fork South Fork
Are you looking for a naturalist paradise with affordability? Then look no further South Fork is your destination. A world class golf course, gold medal fishing in the Rio Grande, and thousands of acres of National Forest to hike, bike, ATV, ski and snowmobile through.
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Palisade, Colorado Palisade, Colorado Palisade, Colorado
WesternLife Tastes Good Here all Year Long!
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Holiday River Expeditions Holiday River Expeditions Holiday River Expeditions
Our rafting journeys include the Colorado, Green, San Juan, Yampa and Salmon River.
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