The Phoenix Gold Mine

An Adventure for the Whole Family!

The Phoenix Vein was originally discovered in 1871 by a man with the last name Miner. The original discovery site was located high in the cliffs above the Phoenix Counter of today. It was then sold to a Cornish Miner who was said to have made his fortune off of the Phoenix and abandoned the mine. This Cornish miner worked the claim from the Rockford Tunnel located off Stanley Road. When he reached about 1000 ft. in depth he intersected the Phoenix Vein. The Phoenix Vein was worked by the Cornish Miner until he was able to return home and retire in Cornwall, a very rich man. In the 1930 a local real estate investor purchased the Phoenix Claim for the amount of back taxes - $20! The real estate investor never worked the claim and sold it to a Mr Gunderson, a farmer from Minnesota in 1934 for $5000. Mr. Gunderson opened and worked the Phoenix Mine (where today's tour entrance is located). There are  3 levels going to a depth of  500 ft. the mine has been opened down to where the Rockford tunnel intersects the Phoenix vein. The Phoenix Tour includes a look at the main level of  this 1930's work. Mr. Gunderson was forced to close the mine in 1943, also a very rich man from the ore of the Phoenix vein. The Phoenix and many other Gold and Silver mines would have been closed by the United States Government 1943. Attention was turned to mining the materials needed for war. At the time the United States Government would cover half  the cost of recovering war materials, which helped the miners survive during that time. In the 1950's a man by the name of Al Simmons leased the mine from Mr. Gunderson. Taking on two partners, these men swept the gold dust left in the stopes and tunnels and each man made enough money to buy himself a brand new Cadillac!  It was not worked again until Alvin Mosch acquired the property and began his work on it almost 30 years ago. 

Also seen on this tour is the tunnels and rooms of  the Resurrections Vein. When Al's son was around 14 years old, he discovered the Resurrection vein outcropping above the west side of the Phoenix tour of today. After starting in on new ground near the original 1930 tunnel of  the Phoenix, Al's mother located the Resurrection from a point inside the mine. Al's son David named the Vein the Resurrections figuring it was fitting considering the name of the mine. The Resurrection vein was mined through the original Phoenix Tunnel and which led up to the exposure of the High Grade ore found on the Phoenix vein in the deepest part of the main tunnel of the Phoenix Tour. Al never mined the High Grade and has enable many many people over the past 20 some years to see just how the ore looks when it is still in the ground. Beyond this point on the tunnel it is much too dangerous and on unstable ground to extend the tour any farther down. The Phoenix has another level below the main about 100 ft. down, that is accessed through a small tunnel headed down, known as a winze. The winze has a steep ladder taking you down to this level, found next to the ore bucket on the skip (lift) near the beginning of  the tour. The timbers (support) in this area are the result of  the work performed by the men in the 1930's. It is not stable enough to be included on the Mine Tour but Al hopes to some day open that portion to tourists also. To get to the deepest levels of  the Phoenix and down to the depth of  500 ft. where the Rockford tunnel intersects, you must crawl on your stomach through very narrow and very short tunnels, just about the size of a man. It is at this point you truly find out how brave you are. Your host was not brave enough! 

Come on by and see the Phoenix Gold Mine for yourself and learn more about the Phoenix and mining in the era of  the Colorado Pioneers. Historical mining tools, ladders, milling equipment, buckets, emergency equipment and much more is on display through out the tour. You will be able to see Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron Pyrite and Tellurium (Tellurium - the stuff they make solar panels out of) still in the earth. The Phoenix Tour mine is actually lit by Sun Light! The only energy source used to power the Phoenix is all done by Solar Panels!  For Pictures of  the re-opening of the Phoenix 30 years ago and a few from today Click Here!