Things to do in Idaho Springs

Things to do in  Idaho Springs

Mines in the mountains

Most travelers heading west to the mountains from Denver will pass through Idaho Springs, but this historic mining town is more than just a gateway to the Rockies. There are plenty of things to do in this valley enclave, from shopping and dining along the aptly-named Miner Street to stepping into the shoes of a prospector on a tour of the Argo Mill or Phoenix Gold Mine. Idaho Springs also makes a good base camp for a hike to the alpine lake at St. Mary's Glacier, followed by a restoring soak at Indian Hot Springs.

All about Idaho Springs

When to visit

Idaho Springs shines brightest during the summer and early autumn months. From June to September, the town bustles with adventurers venturing out to hike, mountain bike, and explore foliage-filled trails. If you want a little art with your nature, plan your visit around the annual Fine Art & Music Festival in July, which showcases local artisans and their creations against the picturesque backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

Getting around

Public transportation is limited in Idaho Springs, but you can explore the downtown area’s shops and restaurants on foot. Renting a car is advisable for those hoping to explore surrounding attractions like Mount Evans. Meanwhile, bike rentals are available for those looking for an eco-friendly way to explore the scenic trails.

Traveler tips

The Charlie Tayler Waterwheel is an interesting site outside of downtown—home to a historic water wheel that once powered a mill during the Colorado gold rush. Aside from providing a unique glimpse into Idaho Springs’ mining history, the attraction is a lovely place to enjoy an al fresco lunch. Speaking of food, don’t leave town without trying the local specialty: a buffalo burger.

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US Dollar ($)
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People Also Ask

Is Idaho Springs worth a visit?

Yes, Idaho Springs is great for escaping the city and an ideal stop en route to Colorado's ski resorts. The former mining town is home to the large, intact gold mine, Argo Mill and Tunnel. It’s also known for outdoor activities like rafting, hiking, and soaking in hot springs.

What is Idaho Springs famous for?

Idaho Springs is famous for hot springs and rafting—the top water sport in town. Clear Creek runs through Idaho Springs and offers strong rapids, and it's also a fishing hub. Additionally, Idaho Springs is popular as a pit stop for those traveling on I-70, to and from the mountains.

What is the number one attraction in Idaho Springs?

Argo Mill and Tunnel is the number one attraction in Idaho Springs. Situated in the Historic District, it’s one of the world's largest, most well-preserved gold mills and one of the region’s most noteworthy landmarks. You can tour the mill and learn about its role in the US Gold Rush.

How should I spend a day in Idaho Springs?

Start by whitewater rafting in Clear Creek before heading to a hot spring. Keep things outdoorsy by having an outdoor picnic while fishing nearby. Before the sun sets, take one of seven moderate hiking trails at Loch Lomond Trail, and end by drinking a craft pint at a local brewery.

How many days do you need in Idaho Springs?

Since Idaho Springs is largely a town travelers pass through on their way to the mountains, one day is recommended. If you're not the outdoorsy type, then you'll find less to do. Outdoor activities like white river rafting, fishing, and soaking in hot springs can all happen in a day.

What is the best month to visit Idaho Springs?

If you want to do winter mountain sports, you'll visit Idaho Springs from Dec.–Feb when snowfall is most likely. Spring is pretty with blooming flowers and warming temps, while early summer offers less rain, more sunshine, and higher waters for rafting. Expect the most rain July-Sep.

Frequently Asked Questions
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