Itinerary day 1

History Buff

Pikes Peak or Bust!

Pikes Peak or Bust, the mantra of many early settlers heading to this region in hopes of striking it rich during our gold rush days. Today, that is the perfect mantra for History Buffs coming here to learn about those early characters and get a glimpse of the life they enjoyed.

Breakfast

Breakfast of champions

Normally we like to recommend a sit-down locale, but time is of the essence today. Hit up Taco Express on 8th Street for some absolutely delicious breakfast burritos you can snarf in the car. It definitely doesn’t look fancy on the outside, but the food is fabulous.

Historic Cripple Creek

One of the most lucrative mining towns in Colorado

In its heyday, Cripple Creek saw many fortunes won and lost — the former in the gold mines, and the latter in the saloons. Somehow, this little mountain town has retained it’s character after all these years. Start your visit at their heritage center, high on the hill over looking the city. Admission is always free and their volunteers will be able to direct you to many other historic museums in town, like the Jail Museum and the old Brothel. Take the plunge, a 1,000 foot plunge, into one of the area’s mines at the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, or go for a ride on the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad that passes several old mines. 

Tips

  • The drive to Cripple Creek is best during the fall when the aspens are changing!

Time

  • On-site: 3-4 hours
  • Travel: ~1 hour

Take-away

Keep an eye out for the town’s free-range donkey herd, descendants of beasties used in the mines.

Lunch

Lunch that hits the spot

Finding a spot to eat can be a little tricky in Cripple Creek where there are virtually no chains and most restaurants are tucked inside other larger businesses. We recommend hitting the Crippled Cow (partly because we love the name and the cast-laden mascot.)

Adventures Out West

Check out the Foothills Jeep tour for the most history

History is all around us in the Pikes Peak region, but you’d never know what you’re looking for without someone to point it out.  The folks at Adventures Out West have been regaling folks with tales of the Wild West since 1973, and their cowboy guides know more stories than half of our local historians!  If you’re looking to really dig deep and get off the main track with our local history, then they’re the perfect guide. 

Tours depart from their depot off of 21st Street in Colorado Springs and last from 2.5 to 3 hours. You’ll be paired up with your very own cowboy, complete with nicknames like Butch, Duke or Rowdy.  They’re more than happy to stop along the way for photos, and they know all the best spots.

Tips

  • Be sure to call ahead for reservations 719-578-0935

Time

  • On-site: 2.5-3 hours
  • Travel: ~1 hour

Take-away

Kick back in their custom Jeeps for one heck of a good story, complete with awesome views!