if you love ghost towns…

Stumble upon a trail of gold mines on a mini road trip to Victor and Cripple Creek, CO.

Mind numbing amount of history, numerous 1890’s abandoned gold mines, old homes, outhouse, brick explosive sheds, and so much more.


Victor, CO

Hiking 2 Miles of Colorado Gold Mining History, Vindicator Valley Trail

I’m not really a history buff, my thing is more about adventure, hike, bike, ski, but my guy was in his glory, he loves this stuff.

The trail, the views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the gold mining history on this 2 mile trek was fascinating.

I was hooked…


Part of the “Trails of Gold”, Vindicator Valley Trail, Colorado

The trail was an easy 2 mile loop, with a couple slightly steep uphill climbs, well maintained and had a lot of interpretive signs.

If you love Colorado gold mining history, it’s all here!

There are several abandoned buildings you could poke around in.

Colorado hsitory

Abandoned late 1800’s cabins on “Trails of Gold” hiking adventure

Just below the the trail you see the historic town of Independence, CO., and imagine life long ago, and wonder how they managed the harsh winters and living in this high altitude.

Trails of gold

View of the historic town of Independence, CO

Truly a hiking adventure for any age. We have since brought the kids up here and have spent numerous hours exploring.

You can’t really miss the Trailhead, 2 large mines, the Theresa Mine and the giant Vindicator Mine dominate the hillside.

Cripple Creek, CO

Hike through amazing Colorado gold mining history, Vindicator Valley Trail

LOCATED: out of Divide, CO, turn onto Hwy 67 towards Cripple Creek, drive 13 ½ miles and turn left on Hwy 81 towards Victor, CO. Drive approximately 5 ½ miles, the Trailhead will be on your right. We turned right just before the Trailhead going towards “American Eagle Outlook” and found another Trailhead entrance on the left with several abandoned buildings.

Note: The altitude is 10,218 ft. – quite high for those new Colorado.

Leashed dog, bikes and horse friendly

Part of the “Trails of Gold”, more information:

Like to explore Colorado history? old buildings you can wander in? You might enjoy the 2 very different, yet both exhilarating history adventures below…

We stumbled upon another “history” hike at Twin Lakes, CO. A breathtaking trail along the shores of Twin Lakes to a restored Historic Resort built in 1879. “Inter-Laken”, click here, and take a peek. 

An entire 1800’s town recreated from original 1800’s buildings from the Colorado Mountains. Unbelievable outdoor museum with over 40+ buildings to wander into, “South Park City”, click here, to take a peek.