Throughout the state of Colorado, the landscape is dotted with memories of the silver and gold mining industries of the late 1800’s. A high concentration of abandoned mines can be found about an hour outside Colorado Springs. Miners came to the area trying to reach the Cripple Creek and Victor mining districts with the promise of wealth to be found in the area. There is a great trail system in this area called the Trails of Gold where you can hike past the remnants of this interesting part of American history.
On this day, we hiked the Vindicator Valley Trail. This trail is located off Rt. 81 just outside the little town of Victor. It combines two of my favorite things…ghost towns and hiking! And it is great for photography. Ok, three things!!
The trail is about 2 miles long is a fairly easy hike with some small rolling hills. The scenery is spectacular!
The trail is bordered in most sections by split rail fencing which protects the ruins and hikers from unseen dangers. Posted signs warn to stay on the trail and keep an eye on kids and dogs. One never knows where an abandoned mine might lay as more than 500 mines once could be found in this area.
Many buildings along the trail have historical information markers.
I really wished we had been just a couple weeks earlier so that we could have seen the aspens. It must be even more beautiful in the early fall.
This is one of a few powder magazines that have survived. The explosives were safely and separately kept in these buildings far from the mining operations.
Our trip to Colorado was a short one and the Vindicator Valley Trail was the only hiking trail we were able to do this day since we had limited time. There are nine trails in this area and I hope to explore more in the future. Check here for trail descriptions and maps.
Stop by Victor for lunch after a day of hiking!