Since 1891, the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, or “Mollie,” has been producing gold ore 100 stories under Cripple Creek. Travel deep underground via elevator and experience America’s only 1,000 foot vertical shaft gold mine tour.
Experience what life was like for the early miners and see real, exposed gold veins throughout the mine. Become a part of the evolution of mining techniques from 1891 to now. Your one hour tour at Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine will be led by knowledgeable guides who will take you through the history of this unique gold mine in Cripple Creek.
|Open Daily 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through October (Last tour departs at 5:00 p.m.)|
Child Under 3
The Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine is located right off of Highway 67 at you enter the town of Cripple Creek. Follow these directions or enter 9388 HWY 67, Cripple Creek, Colorado 80813 into your GPS or Phone.
Off Highway 24:
- Head West on Highway 24 to Divide
- Turn left (South) on Highway 67 in Divide
- Follow Highway 67 and the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine will be on your Left as you enter Cripple Creek
After over fifty years of conducting public mine tours, this country’s only 1,000 foot vertical shaft gold mine tour just got bigger and better as an adventure never to be forgotten descending the earth to explore the underground mine workings of the 1890’s hard rock gold miner. Expect to encounter many new improvements as they explore the overlapping evolution of all four mining phases used to extract gold from the Mollie Kathleen Mine. Witness the operation of numerous pieces of air powered gold mining equipment from drifter drills, tuggers, slushers, stoper drills, jack leg drills, rocker shovel mucking machines, and even an early 1900’s air powered steam hoist that is believed to be the smallest steam hoist ever manufactured.
In a newly opened tour area of the mine, visitors will stand on the 1,000 foot level and gaze upward into the Queen Bess stope that extends 700 feet to the Mollie Kathleen 400 foot level, as they learn the life of the stope-rat miner. Ride aboard the last air powered Tram-Air Locomotive manufactured in Cripple Creek, Colorado, traveling the same century old mine rail that miners rode with shipments of gold ore, as they explore several gold vein structures of the Mollie Kathleen Mine that reveal how gold veins appear in their natural state. For the rock hound, all new this year and worth the price of admission alone, is a 1,000 foot underground mineral display that showcases telluride of gold ore specimens.
Descend underground as you partake in the only 1,000 foot vertical shaft gold mine tour in the USA. Experience the “Old West” as it was for hard rock gold miners of “The World’s Greatest Gold Camp”, Cripple Creek, Colorado, as you explore America’s favorite gold mine tour! Tours last about an hour and the mine is always about 50 degrees, so plan accordingly. However, they do have jackets you may borrow if you’d like.
Once your tour is complete, check out the Company Store at the Mollie. Full of gold ore, great gifts, clothing and novelties, the gift shop has something for everyone!
After your gold mine tour, we highly recommend you try the Hard Rock Diner right on site. The restaurant is a local favorite and a unique dining experience overlooking the gold hills of Cripple Creek. It’s nothing fancy, just high-quality, darn-good food! You HAVE to try it!
Discount rates are only available for PRESCHEDULED groups of 25 or more. Reservations are only valid if pre-payment is received (in full by Check) 14 days Prior to the requested date. For Group rates visit: [School Groups] , [Group Rates]
The Mollie Kathleen gold mine is located at the center of over 30 pikes peak area attractions. The mine site is geologically situated on the SouthWest face of Pikes Peak halfway between Colorado Springs and the Royal Gorge. We are located 1 mile North of Cripple Creek, Co on U.S. highway 67 within minutes of:
Elevation / Climate:
Climate is of dry high altitude. Meaning when it’s sunny it is mild, when it’s cloudy it’s cool. This is true year around. The Cripple Creek area averages 340 days of sunny weather with average temperatures 10 to 15 degrees cooler than Colorado Springs and 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Canon City, Making Cripple Creek, Colorado the BEST PLACE TO BE ON A HOT SUMMER DAY!
Do I need reservations?:
Reservations are recommended for groups of 25 or more. Discounts are only available with pre-payment.
For Group rates visit:
- Underground Temperature: 50 degrees F / 10 degrees C
- How long do tours last?: About 1 hour.
Are tours guided?:
Yes, tour guides are very knowledgeable miners well versed in hard rock gold mining and the history of the Cripple Creek Gold Camp.
Who is Mollie Kathleen?:
Mollie Kathleen Gortner discovered her mine in 1891. For details, please visit:[Mollie]
Is this a real gold mine?:
Yes, the mine is as-real-as it gets. The Mollie Kathleen is documented by the National Geological Survey as a gold production mine.
Will I see real gold?:
Yes, visitors to the Mollie Kathleen view several exposed gold veins in their natural state
What is the skip ride like?:
Entering the mine is comparable to riding an elevator in the Empire State Building (roughly 100 stories), or, if you have stood on the Royal Gorge Bridge, you have looked down about 1,000 feet from the bridge deck to the Arkansas river below. The distinct difference between a traditional elevator ride and a man-skip shaft ride, would be that, as you travel the shaft you can see through the cage walls of the man-skip to see the shaft timbers, landings, and ladders located between various mine levels. The Shaft ride itself takes two minutes at a speed of 500 feet per minute (roughly 5 mph). This may seem fast, however, many modern elevators travel up to 23 mph.
Are their lights underground?:
Yes, both the mine shaft and tour areas are well lit.
Do we walk around underground?:
Yes, Once you arrive on the tour level, your group will depart the man-skip and advance on a flat and level surface, at a slow walking pace, between displays.
Is the tour all walking?:
No, The ride up and down the shaft is like an elevator. Halfway through the tour, visitors board a Tram-air locomotive and ride about 1/4 of the tour distance. They then depart the train and continue on foot, until they load the man-skip and are hoisted to the surface.
What Should We Wear?:
Jackets and state required hardhats are provided. Good walking shoes are suggested.
Is the tour area claustrophobic and tight like most caves?:
No, the mine is not claustrophobic. In order to mine underground, one must haul equipment in and gold out. Therefore, a hard rock mine is made to work in, not crawl through,
Are strollers allowed underground?:
Due to limited space, strollers are not allowed underground. For safety reasons only front-mounted baby packs can be used for carrying infants.
Are wheel chairs allowed underground?:
No, the Mollie Kathleen is a real gold mine and is not ADA accessible, therefore, these items are not allowed underground.
Are pets allowed underground?:
No, if you bring pets on the mine property they must be on a leash or contained.
Are there restrooms underground?:
No, all restrooms are located on the surface of the mining property.