The Cripple Creek Casinos are a great place to embark on a casino tour. But the casinos aren’t the only attractions that draw tourists to this old mining town from all over America.
Today’s post will cover 10 must-see vacation attractions near the Cripple Creek Casinos. And they’re great ways to unwind after a few days on the casino floor at the other area venues.
Or if you’re an enthusiast of Rocky Mountain culture and what made the area one of America’s most prominent, odds are you will wish to spend time at all the following attractions.
And unlike most small-town attractions, what you are about to discover below are nationally-known landmarks.
1 – Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine kicks off our tour of the top vacation attractions near the Cripple Creek Casinos. It’s one of few mineshaft tours in America and the only one of its kind featuring 1,000 feet of vertical shaft.
Founded by Mollie Kathleen Gortner in 1891, expect to spend between one and two hours here at this family-friendly location. Along with the guided tour, you’re also getting a sensational crash course of the area’s mining history.
However, if you’re cool with tight-knit spaces and falling temps, head over to 1 Mile N. Highway 67 in Cripple Creek and embark on what many claim to be “the best mine shaft tour in America.”
2 – Phantom Canyon Road
You will find many scenic routes in Colorado, and Phantom Canyon Road is arguably the most scenic of its kind. It’s a narrow, unpaved road, and there are no gas stations nearby. With that said, it’s not the road to take a luxury vehicle through. There are also no guard rails nor is there cell service.
Despite being so narrow, there are pull-offs to take if you see another car coming from the opposite direction. However, no pull-off is large enough to de-commit you from making what will be a two-and-a-half-hour drive. Once you turn onto the road, there is no turning back.
But if you’re okay with the risks involved, embark on this popular road at a pace of no more than 20 miles per hour and treat the eyes to the area’s finest scenery. Those who have taken the road are glad they did. But they urge you to exercise extreme caution when you make the drive.
3 – Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad
If you’re not quite ready to drive Phantom Canyon Road, a trip through Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad is a great alternative. Step back in time on the 100-year-old steam engine that will take you upon the same route the gold miners took back in the day.
Whether you love the old railroad or if you’re looking for an authentic insight into the area’s history, this attraction near the Cripple Creek Casinos is for you. It’s also a family-friendly attraction, so if you’re looking for something exciting for the youngest in your travel group, look no further.
4 – Shelf Road
Here’s yet another scenic drive that involves a bit of risk. This mostly unpaved road will take you from Cripple Creek to nearby Canyon City. Along the way, you will once again catch picturesque views of the Rockies, and you’re so high up your eyes will gaze miles into the horizon.
There are ridges, forested land lush with evergreens and deciduous trees, wildlife, and an eclectic set of natural rock formations you need to see to believe.
But again, if you’re okay with the risks involved, you’re getting some of the most illustrious scenery the area offers near the Cripple Creek Casinos.
5 – Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum
If you’re into the Old West, the Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum is right up your alley. It’s a small museum, but nonetheless, reviewers will tell you this one is “rich in history.” Like the Mollie Kathleen Mine Shaft in Section 1 and the Narrow Gauge Railroad in Section 3, this attraction is great for history buffs.
You’re getting an inside look at what jail life was like back in the day, complete with old jumpsuits (those zebra-striped ones), and other cool artifacts. There is also a re-creation of the old sheriff’s office here.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of the hit television show Ghost Adventures, they featured this very museum here. So don’t be surprised if you come across a few interesting attractions that have frequented this place over the last 100-plus years. Yes, it’s haunted.
Find the museum at 136 West Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek, and it’s a great attraction to pair with the nearby Butte Theater. More on the latter in Section 6.
6 – The Butte Theater
You will find entertainment all over the Cripple Creek Casinos. However, if you’re looking for something a little more classic, catch a production at the Butte Theater. This opera house traces its roots back to the 1890s, but they have since been updated with a contemporary flair.
Find the Butte Theater at 139 E. Bennett Avenue. And if you’re playing at Century Casino Cripple Creek, Butte Theater is under 500 feet away from the historic landmark.
7 – Cripple Creek Heritage and Information Center
This is a small museum that will take no longer than an hour to tour. If you’re looking to take a quick break from the Cripple Creek Casinos, it’s a good venue to venture to.
Despite its small size, they feature three floors worth of exhibits, emphasizing mainly local artifacts from a variety of generations. Reviewers urge you to watch the museum’s video, too, which provides sensational insight into the area’s past.
If this is a location that sounds interesting to you, check it out at 9283 S. Highway 67 in Cripple Creek. You will find it a mile from the Butte Theater, and just under three-quarters of a mile from the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine.
8 – Old Homestead House Museum
This location near the Cripple Creek Casinos was once an 1890s brothel, and it’s located at 353 Meyers Avenue in Cripple Creek, within walking distance from the Gold Mine and Narrow Gauge.
It’s not a long tour. So, as with the Heritage Center, it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking to spend no longer than an hour away from the casino floor.
9 – Cripple Creek District Museum
Head over to the intersection of 5th and Bennett and you will find the Cripple Creek District Museum, yet another museum to explore in the area. They offer three floors worth of exploration in a building that once acted as the mining town’s railroad station where the station master himself lived on a 24/7 basis.
Like the other museums on today’s list, you’re getting a plethora of artifacts such as mining equipment used during the time period along with biographies of the town’s founders. It’s yet another sensational location for the history buff in you, especially if you’re interested in the mining industry.
10 – Mount Pisgah Cemetery
If you’re a fan of old cemeteries, Mount Pisgah Cemetery will pique your interest. It’s an outstanding hot spot when you’re visiting the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, Butte Theater, or Lawmen Museum, given its one-mile proximity to each.
The Fallen Soldiers Monument acts as the cemetery’s main draw, along with the artillery and plane they keep on display. Along with the monument and older graves, many venture out to Mount Pisgah because of its dose of impeccable surrounding scenery of the snow-capped Rockies, natural rock formations, and more.
Head over to 997 Teller Road in Cripple Creek and you will find the destination.
The Cripple Creek Casinos are sensational vacation destinations in their own right, whether you’re going long with a larger casino or short with the smaller, more intimate ones. However, you’re short-changing yourself if you don’t at least set a little time aside to check out the vacation destinations listed above.
Have you visited the Cripple Creek Casinos? How about other casinos in Colorado? If so, tell us where you went in the comments and let us know if you visited any of the above attractions. We are looking forward to reading your stories.