Idaho Springs is a city of 1800 people in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It is known also as the Gem of the Rockies.
The most populous settlement in Clear Creek County, Colorado, it was founded in 1859 during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush, and sits 7543 feet above sea level, about 30 miles from Denver.
Most people will tend to arrive from the I-70 Interstate. Denver International Airport is located at about 35 miles away in Denver Denver International Airport, (DEN IATA). Commonly referred to as DIA. It is located about 20 miles to the east of downtown Denver. Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines all maintain hubs at the airport in Concourses A, B, and C respectively. Most other major domestic carriers also have service here
Always check the weather. It is in the Rocky Mountains which can have fluctuating temperatures. So its always a good idea to see what the weather is predicted and what it actually is.
The colder weather months (Nov-Feb) often bring snow and ice to area roads. Visitors who park their cars should be prepared in case their car is "snowed in" by snow removal trucks. Also, pay strict attention to parking rules and snow emergencies to avoid being towed away at the car owner's expense. During the winter months, a snow brush, ice scraper, and plenty of windshield washer fluid is essential, and many natives opt to carry a shovel, some sand, and a bag of ice melt/road salt in the trunk just in case.
Must-haves for winter in Idaho Springs
Between November and March, pack the following:
Must have for summer
To get around all you really need is your two feet; park your car in the downtown area and you can pretty much walk to everything you need to see in the area. To get to other places around town you just drive. Parking can be difficult during the tourist season.
- [formerly dead link] Heritage Museum and Visitor Center, 2060 Miner St.
- Argo Gold Mine and Mill, 2350 Riverside Dr., ☏ +1 303-825-6513. Daily 9AM- 6PM. Here you take a tour of one the famous mines in the area, also gives live demonstrations as well and you can pan for gold here. Added to the list of National Register of Historic Places in 1978
- Phoenix Gold Mine, P.O. Box 3236, ☏ +1 303-567-0422. Tour of a local gold mine filled with lots of history. After the tour you can pan for gold or walk along two of the trails that are nearby. Tours usually take about 45 min to a hour.
- Idaho Springs Waterfall (walk underneath the I-70 there is a paved trail behind City Hall and follow the trail the Waterfall will be on your left, or just follow clear creek and you will see the waterfall). There is also a waterwheel from the 1800s that is right next to the waterfall.
- [formerly dead link] Underhill Museum, 1416 Miner St.
- Pioneer Cemetery.
- Historic Train#60.
- Arapaho National Forest.
- [formerly dead link] Mount Evans Scenic Byway & Wilderness (Take I-70 to Exit 240 in Idaho Springs. Travel south and follow Hwy 103 to Echo Lake. At Echo Lake is the Forest Service’s check-in station, which allows you take Colorado Highway 5 to the summit. This upper section of the road way is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day). Open 24 hours. The road up to the top is the highest paved road in North America.
- “Oh My Gawd” Road (Take I-70 to exit 241 in Idaho Springs.Follow Colorado Blvd. into town. At the fork in the road stay to the right and then take the second right onto Virginia Canyon Road). Take a drive up “Oh My Gawd Road”, the hair-raising shortcut to nearby Central City, This scenic dirt road gets its name from its spectacular views as well as its narrow and curving lanes.
- [dead link] Flipper McGill's Pinball Parlor, 1535 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 885-0984. Play on old and new pinball machines.
- Zipping Colorado, 2697 Stanley Road, Dumont, ☏ +1-888-494-7386, firstname.lastname@example.org. There are around eight zips in all. The zipline course starts along the Clear Creek in Idaho Springs.
Rafting and kayaking
- [formerly dead link] Liquid Descent, 2195 E Idaho Springs Rd.
- Clear Creek Rafting Company, 350 Whitewater Rd.
- Raft Masters, 2804 Colorado Blvd.
You must remember you are hiking in the Rocky Mountains where weather can change very quickly. Always have plenty of food and water and check local weather conditions. Ranger Contact: U.S. Forest Service Idaho Springs +1 303-567-3000.
- St. Mary's Glacier (Take I-70 West from Denver, past the town and three exits of Idaho Springs. Take the next exit marked).
- Squaw Mountain Trail (From the intersection of CO-74 (Evergreen Parkway) and CO-103 (Squaw Passs Road), go west for approximately 12 miles west Just after you pass the turnoff to Echo Mountain Ski Area, there is a dirt road on the left side of the main road. Park here). A 4½-mile roundtrip trail with a elevation gain of 1200 feet, popular with snowshoeing.
- Warren Gulch Trail (I-70 Idaho Springs Exit #241, go through East Idaho Springs and find parking, start your bike ride heading west to fork in road, take the left at the fork onto Miner Street, take this to Soda Creek Road, left onto Soda Creek Rd., 1.5 miles on Soda Creek Rd.(you will pass Indian Springs Resort), to the Idaho Springs Recycling Center on the right, opposite the recycling center is Steves Canyon Rd., turn left onto this road and bike ½ mile down, Warren Gulch is stenciled on a rock at your left, this is the entrance). A 16-mile roundtrip tril for biking and hiking.
- Scott Landcaster Memorial Trail (I-70 Idaho Springs Exit #241, head east on Colorado Blvd., turn south (left) on the one way street just past the Safeway store, make right at stop sign, left at “T” intersection, you are on the bike path.). 10-mile roundtrip trail.
- Devils Canyon Area (I-70 Idaho Springs – Hwy. 103 Exit (# 240), go south on Hwy. 103, approximately 10 miles up there will be a wide shoulder in the road on the left side, park here, bike through the forest service gate, this entrance will drop you into Devils Canyon.). A 6-mile trail.
- Barbour Forks Trail (I-70 Idaho Springs Exit #241, go through East Idaho Springs to fork in road, take the left at the fork onto Miner Street, take this to Soda Creek Road, left onto Soda Creek Rd., past Indian Springs Resort, go approximately 4 miles up to the end of Soda Creek Rd., there is a parking area at the Forest Service gate, trail starts here.). An 8-mile loop.
- Miner Decadence, 1536 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 567-1704.
- The Soap Shop, 1542 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 567-0428.
- Safeway Food and Drug, 2425 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 567-4471.
- Skippers Ice Cream Parlor, 1501 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 567-4544. Family-run ice cream parlor.
- Georgetown Valley Candy Company, 1501 Miner St.
Doesn't have a lot of fast food but it does have a McDonalds, Quiznos and a Carls Jr.
Prices for food may seem to be a little higher than what you would pay elsewhere but this is a big tourist spot so expect to pay a little more. Most of the places to eat are on Miner Street or in the surrounding area.
- Wildfire Restaurant & Bar, 2910 Colorado Blvd, ☏ +1 303 567-2775. Serves great breakfast, American and Mexican food.
- Marion's of the Rockies, 2805 Colorado Blvd, ☏ +1 303 567-2925. Known for its great breakfast and brunch.
- Mangia!, 1446 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 567-4371. Italian food.
- Smokin Yard's BBQ, 2736 Colorado Blvd, ☏ +1 303 567-9273. M-Th Su 11AM - 9PM, F Sa 11AM - 10PM. One of the best places to stop along I-70. Known for its great BBQ and offers complimentary boiled peanuts.
- Beau Jo's Pizza, 1517 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 567-4376. They have been offering mountain pies, which is Colorado style pizza, since 1973. Has a local food challenge called the "14er" which is a 14-pound pizza; you win $100 if you and another person finish it. Offers free Wi-Fi as well.
- Two Brothers Delicatessen, 1424 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 567-2439.
- 1 Buffalo Restaurant and Bar, 1617 Miner St (From I-70, exit 240 or exit 241), ☏ +1 720-502-3121, email@example.com. 11AM-10PM every day. Serves a lot of great American food and has an old time feel to the place. They have added a casual brewpub called Westbound and Down right next door. The restaurant has had a more upscale remodel and still serves buffalo. $.
- Morning Gold Bakery, 1637 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 905-7386.
- Westwinds Tavern, 1633 Miner St, ☏ +1 303 567-0982.
- Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub, 1401 Miner St. A nice place to drink at and also serve beer that they make there as well
- Westbound and Down Brewing Company, 1617 Miner Street (From I-70, exit 240 or exit 241), ☏ +1 720-502-3121, firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM-10PM every day. Local pub which is the sister company to The Buffalo restaurant and sits next to that restaurant. They have started with 4 craft beers and have 6 guest beers. The "Westbound and Down" brews are possibly some of the best in Colorado. They have a top-notch pub menu with everything fresh, not your typical frozen fried foods.
- Java Mountain Roasters, 1510 Miner, ☏ +1 303 567-0304.
- Starbucks, 2900 Colorado Blvd, ☏ +1 303 567-2578.
- Indian Springs Resort (Indian Hot Springs), 302 Soda Creek Rd., ☏ +1 303-989-6666.
- Heritage Inn, 2622 Colorado Blvd, ☏ +1 303 567-4473.
- Miners Pick Bed and Breakfast, 1639 Colorado Blvd, ☏ +1 303 567-4870. Features a gourmet home-cooked breakfast.
- H & H Motor Lodge, 2445 Colorado Ave, ☏ +1 303 567-2893.
- Idaho Springs Motel, 2631 Colorado Ave, ☏ +1 303 567-2242.
- Columbine Inn, 2545 Colorado Blvd, ☏ +1 303 567-0948.
|Routes through Idaho Springs|
|Grand Junction ← Georgetown ←||W E||→ Jct N → Golden → Denver|
|Steamboat Springs ← Winter Park ←||W E||→ Golden → Denver|