Historic Cripple Creek
Updated with current COVID info
Heritage Center is closed at this time. Call for individual business hours.
3 to 5 hours
About an hour west of Colorado Springs lies Cripple Creek, a historic mining town that perfectly captures the spirit of the western frontier that shaped the state of Colorado. In its early years, the Cripple Creek was known for its gold, with over 500 mines churning out more than 22 million ounces of gold over two decades. Today, you’ll find treasure of a different sort: rich history, year-round events and fun family attractions.
Take one of the most scenic drives in the state (it’s particularly stunning in the fall when the aspens turn) to a sweeping valley dotted with historic structures and grand views. The town has retained many of the storefronts and buildings that were there at its early beginnings, now filled with souvenirs, history, sweet treats and more. On occasion, you can catch a glimpse of the wild donkeys that roam the area and maybe even snap a photo!
On one end of town, you’ll find the Mollie Kathleen Goldmine, which allows visitors to descend 1,000 feet underground and ride in a mine cart. Just down the hill, you can take a ride at the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, a 45-minute trip through pristine mountains and forest (pro tip, your pup is allowed to ride with you on the train). There’s also the District Museum, which allows you to tour historic buildings and check out antique artifacts, the Jail Museum and the Heritage Center, too.
One of Cripple Creek’s most fabulous features is its annual events calendar which is packed with family-friendly activities like the Cripple Creek Ice Festival, Donkey Derby Days and the Top of the World Rodeo. And let’s not forget Gold Rush Days, shows at the Butte Theater, car rallies, motorcycle rallies, music festivals, art shows … For such a little town, Cripple Creek is kind of a big deal.
We think you’ll find that this western adventure is well worth the drive all year long and a perfect way to spend a day in the Pikes Peak region.
Absolutely! Cripple Creek has numerous attractions such as the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, Heritage Center, and Butte Theater AS WELL as beautiful scenic views and hikes! The list goes on and on!
From central Colorado Springs, the drive is typically 35-40 minutes depending on traffic.
The last weekend in September is typically when the changing leaves are at their peak!
This historic museum gives visitors a taste of the shadier side of life in the World’s Greatest Gold Camp, along with a glimpse into the lives of the lawmen charged with keeping the peace.
Our biggest event is the Cripple Creek Ice Fest! Come check out amazing Ice sculptures around February. Several sculptures are made just for the kiddos, with ice slides, mazes, and carnival-like games. The grown kids can enjoy the ice bar complete with liquor luge, for some extra icy goodness. You can see a complete list of events here.
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*2021 Update: CANCELLED due to COVID-19. Cripple Creek Ice Festival, a celebration of ice, chisels and the occasional chainsaw, all hosted in the beloved historic mining town of Cripple Creek.
What to expect at the attractions in and around Colorado Springs during the coronavirus outbreak: masks, reservations and social distancing.
Thanksgiving is a holiday to gather with friends and family. Get out of the house and celebrate by supporting these local attractions that will be open!