Trails Reserved for Hiking, Mtn. Biking, Cross Country Skiing, Horseback Riding in Historic Gold Mining CountryFollow Our Mining Legend On
The Vindicator Valley Trail
Begin your adventure into gold rush history from one of 2 trailheads - with access to the Theresa Mine & the Vindicator Mine near Victor, Colorado. The 2-plus-mile loop winds through remnants of 1890’s gold mines. Interpretive signs explain the legend of gold mining in The Golden Loop - a circle of railroads that once served the gold mines & town of Independence.
NOTE: Sturdy hiking shoes & clothing appropriate for mountain weather are necessary gear for these backcountry trails. Sites at the Theresa, Vindicator, Independence & Gold Coin Mines are handicap accessible.
Gold Coin Mine in Victor, Colorado
At Diamond & Fifth, see the Woods Brothers’ famous Gold Coin Mine. The brick foundations & grand hoist are the remains of the Woods’ gold mining empire - the legacy that built Victor, The City of Mines.
While this project is open currently, further work is planned in the future.
Little Grouse Mountain Trail
A short climb up Little Grouse Mountain offers views of the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company valley fill operations as well as a 360-degree view of the mountains to the west and surrounding mountain tops. The Little Grouse Mountain Trail begins at the parking area just west of Victor on the south side of the bridge over Arequa Gulch. At the trailhead is an historic mining equipment display. Brochures at the site describe the equipment, which was saved from historic mines in the District
Gold Camp Trail
Hike up or down the trail through Poverty Gulch where Bob Womack found gold in 1890. The trailheads are just to the west of Hoosier Mine on County Rd. 83, and at the Cripple Creek Welcome Center near the Cripple Creek District Museum. Learn about the famous Gold King Mine, the C.O.D. & the Mollie Kathleen Mine. End your hike at the Cripple Creek District Museum where gold mining history is displayed at the head of historic Bennett Avenue. To get a first-hand look at 1890’s underground gold mining, take the Mollie Kathleen Mine Tour just north of Cripple Creek.
Beginner to intermediate slopes - through picturesque 1890's gold mining country - ski in the sunshine at 10,000 feet.
Lodging available in nearby Victor, CO.
When snow amounts allow for skiing, both hikers and skiers are welcome.Independence Mine & Battle Mountain Trail
July 4, 1891 Winfield Scott Stratton staked claim to the Independence Mine, the richest in the Mining District - the rest is gold rush history. Stroll up to the Independence & then walk across the base of Battle Mountain, below the Portland and Ajax Mines, above the Strong & Gold Coin Mines; take in the bird’s-eye view over historic Victor. In the 1890s, about 500 mines operated & 50,000 individuals called the mining district home. Since then the district has produced over 22 million ounces of gold. A century later, the area is alive again with gold mining & active reclamation. Nearby, the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company operates the largest surface gold mine in Colorado - the Cresson Mine.
The Battle Mountain Trail has opened, though there is construction continuing. Please stay on the trail for your safety!
Independence Millsite Trail
The trail and interpretive site at the Independence Millsite, which has been under construction this summer, is now open to the public just in time for fall color hiking and bicycling.
The new trail is a loop tour of the Independence Millsite just above Victor off the American Eagles Road. The trailhead,is below the county road across from the Independence Mine and Battle Mtn. Trail. This new trail makes it possible to access the Vindicator Valley and Battle Mtn. trails from the parking area.
Stratton¹s Independence Mill segment of the Battle Mountain trail system is an excellent way to see the foundations that are the remains of the gold recovery operations from the turn of the century. The foundations, until now off limits to the public, form the core of the trail which circles the millsite. An interpretive brochure by local historian Ed Hunter includes a sketch map of the foundations and an outline of the historic process.
The site includes gigantic foundations including the remains of a water tank. Please do not climb on the foundations for your safety and the preservation of the structures for future generations. The millsite is privately owned by CC&V.
Golden Circle Trail
A new trail now makes it possible to walk or bike from downtown Victor to the Vindicator Valley Trail near Goldfield.
The Golden Circle Trail which follows an 1890’ s railroad route of the same name, begins at the new Independence Millsite Trailhead off American Eagles Road. The newest trail is now open to the public and provides an easy walk for all ages.
The new trail is about 1.25 miles long and leads from the north end of the new parking area for the Independence Millsite across from the Independence Mine and Battle Mtn. Trail. This new trail makes it possible to access the Vindicator Valley Trail from the parking area. This means visitors can walk from Diamond Avenue in Victor one block up to the Millsite Trailhead and then on to the Vindicator Valley trail via a flat railroad grade (this follows the modern power line easement).
At the trailhead entrance is the historic single drum hoist from the Joe Dandy Mine. It was moved there through the efforts of both the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company and Gold States Mining. In 1928, the Engineering and Mining Journal reported that the Joe Dandy mine was reopening under a lease to the Red Raven Gold Mining Co.and that an electric hoist had been purchased for the operation rather than utilizing a steam-driven hoist as was previously used.
The Golden Loop Historic Parkway
A Series of Interpretive Sites & Trails Through the Cripple Creek Mining District:
*Vindicator Valley Including the Theresa & Vindicator Mines
*Stratton’s Independence Mine A National Historic Register Site
*Independence Millsite Trail *Golden Circle Trail
*The Gold Coin Mine, The Legacy That Built Victor
*Golden Loop Driving Tour Through Historic Mining Backcountry Roads
Trails Are For Hiking - Mountain Biking - Equestrian Use
No Motorized Vehicles.
To Find Our Trails, Take U.S. Hwy 24 West from Colorado Springs; in Divide turn south on Hwy 67; turn left at the sign to Victor on Teller County Rd. 81.
This series of interpretive sites & trails is a project of the Southern Teller County Focus Group & is made possible with funding from the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company, and from a State Historical Fund Grant from the Colorado Historical Society. While enjoying these trails, please respect the property & the remnants of our mining heritage, & for your safety, please stay on the trails.
If you would like copies of the trails brochure or Driving Tour Guides, please write to the Southern Teller County Focus Group at PO Box 328, Victor CO 80860. The tour guides are $1.00 each including shipping. Copies of these materials are available at Victor businesses and the Cripple Creek Welcome Center.
Colorado Springs Audubon chapter
Great Pikes Peak Birding Trail
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