Tips for Planning Your Trip to The Phoenix Gold Mine


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The Phoenix Gold Mine is between 42 and 54 (F) degrees year round. This can be the best air-conditioning in the area or the only place to warm up, depending on the season! The Phoenix Gold Mine sits at an elevation of  8,200 feet above the level of the sea. If you are from a warmer climate this may be freezing, regardless of the time of  year! We recommend a jacket or sweater for folks not use to our altitude and climate, even in the middle of summer. 

The mine tour is a walk tour at a slight one percent grade. Comfortable walking shoes are advised. The ground is dry inside the Phoenix unless there has been a horrific rain storm or flood on Trail Creek. Wheel Chairs and strollers may be used, but there are ore cart tracks you will need to maneuver around. Your guide will be happy to assist you if you would like to give it a try. Baby backpacks seem to work best for small children and infants. It also makes them feel safer going underground! If one of the folks in your party is afraid of small spaces or just the thought of going in a mine terrifies them, please let your guide know and they will be sure and help coax them along in trying something new! It is especially helpful with children, if your guide knows of their fears. 

If you are from an altitude quite a bit lower then the Phoenix Gold mine, you will find you tire easily and need to rest more often. This is especially important if you decide to take one of the hikes at the Phoenix after your tour. I can not stress enough the importance of drinking lots of water when participating in outdoor activities in the Colorado Mountains.

Cameras and Video Cameras are Welcome at the Phoenix Gold Mine. Feel free to take lots of pictures and share your adventure with friends and family! A flash will be needed for your camera, the tunnels are lit buy solar panels but are not enough light for great pictures. 

The Phoenix does not sell food or water, nor do we have any kind of drinking fountain. We do have picnic tables and you are welcome to bring along a snack or lunch to make your trip perfect for you! It is advised to at least bring drinking water. There are outhouses at the Phoenix but we do not have any kind of running water or electricity for the modern conveniences of  today. We can not except credit cards for this reason. Please pay in cash, check or travelers checks at the time of your tour. 

It is also a good idea to bring something to put any treasures in that you may find in the stream while panning. Empty Film canisters and zip lockbaggies work great. We will lend you a gold pan for your use while at the Phoenix. You may get your feet wet while panning, an extra pair of shoes is not a bad idea. Parents, guardians and teachers should never leave their children unattended at the mine, stream or on the trails. 

Colorado is known for having over 300 days a year of sunny skies, don't let this fool you, the weather can change very quickly in the mountains and on the plains. The weather in Denver or the West side of  the Continental Divide is often very different from the weather in the mountains near Idaho Springs. It is never a bad idea to call ahead to just make sure we are open for tours. Springs floods, heavy rains and of course snow can close the mine. We are located on a dirt county road that can become dangerous very fast at this altitude. We close the mine when we feel our visitors may not make it up the road to the Phoenix safely. If you have reservation for a large group, we will contact you in the event of an unplanned closure. Because we are often in the mine and can not hear the phone, if you do not get an answer, call the Idaho Springs Visitor Center to make sure we are open, especially in the winter. We leave word with them daily as to whether we are open or not. You will find all the phone numbers on the Notes and Queries page as well as mailing addresses and web contacts. Idaho Springs is 18 miles west on I-70 from the C-470 junction. 14 miles East of Georgetown. Check the map page for more info, once you get to the Idaho Springs area.

 Tips for all outdoor trips and travel in Colorado: In the Colorado Rocky Mountains you should always have a jacket or coat depending on the season, extra set of clothes and shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, water, snacks or canned food, sleeping bag or blankets, first aide kit, shovel, flashlight (and our folks believe a gold Pan!) Storms can move in on the Rockies quite quickly! It has also been known to snow in early and late summer! Be prepared in the Mountains and you will have a much safer and much more pleasant trip!

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