Explore Cripple Creek’s Old West History

Cripple Creek is a historic mining town located at the base of Pikes Peak. While there, you can enjoy the beautiful mountain views and plenty of fun activities. Around one hundred years ago, Cripple Creek saw a huge influx of people seeking gold. When you visit Cripple Creek today, you can discover the history of the town and seek your own fortune at the casinos and gaming halls. If you’re interested in studying the history of the town, as well, there are lots of things for you to do.

Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine Tour

Underground gold mine shaft tunnel drift with orecarts wagons

The Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine Tour usually opens up around the end of April and runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can catch a tour roughly every 30-45 minutes, and they are first-come, first-served. This tour is weather dependent, so it’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure the tour is running.

In this exciting mine tour, you will drop 1,000 feet in America’s only vertical gold mine tour. This tour enables you to witness the evolution of underground mining while viewing gold veins in their natural state. You will also get to hear the sounds and sights of mining equipment. At the end of your tour, you will receive a free gold ore sample.

Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad

Railway line along Cascade Creek near Osier Station, Colorado

The Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad is a great activity for kids, parents, and railroad and history enthusiasts. It will reveal many scenic wonders and transport you back in time to the gold mining days of Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado.

The train is a 15-ton iron horse that was typical of steam engines during the gold rush. Your trip will take you South of Cripple Creek, past the Old Midland Terminal Wye and a reconstructed trestle. You will also pass historic mines and end your trip close to the deserted Anaconda mining camp. You will then be returned to Cripple Creek.

Here is a breakdown of the pricing for this train trip.

  • Adults: $17
  • Children ages 3-12: $12
  • Children under 3: Free
  • Seniors over 65: $15

Cripple Creek Heritage Center

Old illustration of miners pulling a cart in a quartz mine. Created by Chassevent and Sargent after previous engraving by unknown author, published on Le Tour du Monde, Paris, 1862

A great first stop during your trip to Cripple Creek is the Cripple Creek Heritage Center. This state-of-the-art facility will give you an overview of what you can expect to do while you are visiting the town. In addition, the Center overlooks Cripple Creek, so you can get a bird’s-eye view of everything there is to do.

The Center covers nearly 12,000 square feet and is designed to represent the style from the town’s heyday. However, you don’t have to use old-timey equipment, as all technology is from the 21st century. You will find plenty of hands-on exhibits that combine tactile, audio, and video techniques to fully immerse yourself in what it was like to live in the Gold Camp.

You will also find exhibits that show off the local flora and fauna, geology, and recreation opportunities. Some examples of exhibits you might find include:

  • Cripple Creek’s First Residents
  • Gold Camp Lifestyle
  • Business of Mining
  • Treasures of the Cripple Creek Mining District
  • Faces from the Past

Outlaws and Lawmen Jail Museum

The sheriff is meeting with his followers in the office. In orde

The Outlaws and Lawmen Jail Museum can be found in the original Teller County Jail. This jail served the town for almost 90 years and can be walked to from many of the major casinos in town. Cripple Creek saw a huge growth in population from 15 to over 50,000 people when the Gold Rush got started. This meant there were plenty of outlaws that ended up in the jail. At the museum, you can learn about the famous criminals and lawmen who lived in Cripple Creek.

On the tour, you will be able to go inside the original cells to experience what the prisoners did. You will understand what Cripple Creek’s shadier side was like and can easily spend around an hour checking it out. The tour starts with a 5-8 minute informal tour, and then you are released to explore the museum.

Cripple Creek District Museum

Vintage illustration victorian children fashion

At the edge of downtown, you can find the Cripple Creek District Museum. The museum is housed in three historic buildings at the site of the former Midland-Terminal Railroad Depot. At this museum, you can find Victorian rooms, gold rush artifacts, Indian artifacts, mining relics, maps, a photograph gallery, and an Assay office.

On your way out, you can stop at the gift shop, which features Old West memorabilia. You can find items like reproduction Victorian China, mineral samples, old-fashioned kitchenware, costume jewelry, cookbooks, toys, oil lamps, Victorian dolls, a vast book collection, and postcards.

Triple Crown Casinos in Cripple Creek

If you’re looking for a place to stay while you are in Cripple Creek, look no further than the Triple Crown Casinos. You can choose from The Brass Ass and the Midnight Rose Hotel and Casino. While you are there, you can enjoy plenty of casino games, and you can partake in fun slot machines at McGills.

Couple having drinks in casino

The Brass Ass

If you’re a history person, you should check out the oldest casino in Cripple Creek – The Brass Ass. At this hotel and casino, you can find live-action Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat. It also has the most up-to-date video poker and slot machines.


If you’re looking for a spacious casino, McGills is a great bet. It also has the largest variety of video poker, progressive machines, and slots to choose from. You can even get a nice view by hanging out in the mezzanine full of games that overlooks the main floor.

Midnight Rose

At the Midnight Rose, you will find one of the most decorated gaming rooms in Cripple Creek, with many of the best gambling games around. It has Victorian-era surroundings with two floors and contains over 300 of the hottest and newest slot machines, along with the only Poker Room in Cripple Creek.

Use the Shuttle Bus

After you have enjoyed some gambling, you can take our shuttle service to wherever you are staying. Unless, of course, you’re playing and staying at either McGills or the Midnight Rose. Enjoy your time in Cripple Creek while learning about the town’s mining history and making some money of your own.

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