Historic Georgetown, the former silver mining camp in the front range of the Rocky Mountains, was established during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in 1859. Once the third largest city in Colorado, it is now inhabited by roughly 1,000 people. However, on the weekends hundreds of visitors come down to enjoy the historic charm of the small town.
The town was a historic center of the mining industry less than a century ago and was therefore nicknamed the “Silver Queen of Colorado”. It continues to bring in tourists who can see the preserved architecture of the Colorado Silver Boom.
While you’re in the area, drive a little out of town and pull up to the side of the road at Guanella Pass Scenic Byway. The Byway has a 11,600 foot summit and breathtaking scenery stretches on for miles in front of you. If you want to see more of Colorado’s beautiful landscape, visit the Georgetown Wildlife Viewing Area, where you will find hundreds of bighorn sheep and mountain goats chewing on the grass.
If you’re not an outdoorsy person before you came to Colorado, you will be when you leave. The magnificent views of sky touching mountains will leave you wanting more. Hang out outside with your family and catch some dinner while fishing on Georgetown Lake. Throw in the fishing rod and watch the Georgetown bighorn sheep herd enjoy the shade nearby. Try your hand at ice fishing on the frozen lake if you’re visiting late in the year.
If you prefer to get in the water, or float on it, take an adventure white water rafting on Clear Creek and the Arkansas River. Find the right company and they will place you in the right stretch of Clear Creek, suitable for your level of comfort. Nervous beginners, risk takers and old pros will be placed in the right place to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
Take a relaxing and fascinating trip on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. The journey up the canyon to Silver Plume takes you past the remains of several gold and silver mines, all while seated in the comfortable and old-fashioned steam locomotive. During your trip, a guide will keep you informed on the history of the old mining camp.
If you came to Georgetown for the vintage charm of the town, you will also enjoy the similar history of Idaho Springs, a nearby town. There you can see what a working mill looked like at the Argo Gold Mine and Mill. A little outside of Idaho Springs you’ll find a working mine, the Phoenix Gold Mine, where they teach you about new and old mining techniques and let you join in on gold panning.
If it is your first time, or your 12th time, skiing and snowboarding, check out the nearby ski areas close to Georgetown and spend the day shredding the slopes. The Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are the two local favorites, so toss a coin and choose the one for you.
Less than an hour away from Georgetown is Denver, the capital of Colorado. An American metropolis dating back to the Wild West era, Denver has a history of its own you can discover at its many museums. The Denver Art Museum, known for its indigenous works collections, is one of the largest art museums between the west coast and Chicago. Denver brings in the best of both worlds with the beautiful wildlife of the nearby Rocky Mountains and downtown’s bustling city life.
Check Tripping.com for cozy cabins and the spectacular mountain views or spend the night at a Victorian bed-and-breakfast inn. Snuggle up next to the fireplace with a book or find a place closer to downtown and stay out late at the local bars.
However you want to spend your time in Georgetown, you can find an accommodation that is has a view of the Rocky Mountains, or closer to the center of town.
If you’re flying in to Colorado, make sure to take advantage of the High Country Shuttle, Clear Creek Country’s shuttle service to and from Denver International Airport.
Once you’ve made it to the town there are self-guided walking and driving tours to keep you moving. The tour takes you through the area’s mining heritage and leaves you with an appreciation of the historical significance of Georgetown’s 19th century architecture. Maps and directions are available at any of the visiting centers.
Don’t forget to climb aboard the Georgetown Loop Railroad and chug over the Devil’s Gate Bridge and through the scenic Rocky Mountains pathway. It is a form of transportation that will bring you back in time to the silver mining days.
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