- Visitors are encouraged to bring lunches so they can pan for gold as long as they want; picnic benches are available.
The Phoenix Gold Mine Tour is an invigorating and educational experience for most any age, and visitors can pan for riches on the banks of the creek while they're there! During the tour, you can expect to see historical mining artifacts, including tools, emergency equipment and more while also learning about the mine itself and the lives of these 'gold fever' pioneers in the late 1800's. Within its depths from between 500 ft. to 1,000 ft., the famous Phoenix Vein can be seen - visitors can feast their eyes on raw Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron Pyrite and other minerals still embedded in the earth.
The Phoenix Gold Mine has changed hands many times since its discovery in 1871, but ironically, the original founder's last name was Miner! The first few owners made their riches and then returned to their homelands as wealthy men. At one point in 1930, a local real estate investor was able to purchase the mine for what was owed in back taxes - just $20.00! He then sold it to a Mr. Gunderson for $5,000.00, who also became rich before the government made him close it down in 1943, when the government was forcing mines to close due to their efforts to only mine materials needed for the war. In the 1950's, another fortune hunter named Al Simmons leased the mine from Gunderson, and he and his two partners scoured the tunnels for gold dust, with each finding enough to buy their very own Cadillacs! After that, it was closed down until the current owner, Alvin Mosch, bought the property in the early 70's to work the Phoenix Vein and then eventually opened it for tours.
The Phoenix Gold Mine's physical address: 800 Trail Creek Road, Idaho Springs, CO 80452
The Phoenix Gold Mine is open daily, year-round, but they encourage visitors to call first because they shut down during inclement weather. The mine's phone number is 303-567-0422
- Daily: 10am - 5pm
- Adults (13 and older):
$24 for Tour and Panning
$8 for Panning only
- Children (5-12):
$18 for Tour and Panning
- Children (4 and under):
Group Discounts available; please call ahead to make reservations and for more information.
Whatever treasures you find while panning are yours to keep, and once you pay to pan, you can stay all day and continue on your quest for fortune, even after closing hours. Visitors regularly find garnets, quartz, peridot and even gold nuggets!