DescriptionAs had the Ute Indians before them, bone-weary miners from the nearby diggings soothed their aches in the mineral springs of Idaho Springs. Known particularly for its radium hot springs, the town has been a popular spa since the 1880s. It retains many Victorian buildings and structures characteristic of the brick and stone architecture of the 1880s.
The first major gold strike in Colorado was made in early 1859 at the juncture of Chicago and Clear creeks; a monument less than one-quarter mile southwest on Chicago Creek Road marks the spot. More than 200 mines in the vicinity once produced silver, uranium, tungsten, zinc, molybdenum, gold and lead.
A relic of the early mining days is “Locomotive 60,” which, along with a coal tender and a passenger coach of the Colorado and Southern Railroad, stands on a section of the original narrow-gauge track in the downtown business district. The train made its first run in 1886.
A popular scenic loop is provided by SR 103 south through Chicago Creek Canyon to Echo Lake, then east over Squaw Pass to SR 74 to Bergen Park and Fillius Mountain Park. Follow the highway north to I-70, which returns to Idaho Springs. Another scenic route starts on SR 5 at Echo Lake and goes to the top of 14,260-foot Mount Evans.
Visitor InfoHeritage Museum and Visitor Center 2060 Miner St. IDAHO SPRINGS, CO 80452. Phone:(303)567-4382
Things to SeeArgo Gold Mill & Tunnel
White-water RaftingClear Creek Rafting Co.