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Preserving and Educating the Public About Gold Rush History Near Cripple Creek & Victor, Colorado.
The STCFG works with Newmont Cripple Creek & Victor mining and other private land owners to develop positive solutions to historic preservation, recreation, education and post-mining land use.Visit Newmont.com for more information about Newmont CC&V .
Use of trails is at the user's own risk. Some trails have steep, rocky terrain and are not suitable for all hikers.
Thousands struck with gold fever made their way into the area on the southwest side of Pikes Peak in the 1890s. Most of them walked or rode horses. Their goal was to reach the Cripple Creek & Victor Mining District, where newly found gold was bringing promises of easy-found wealth. Watch for and respect wildlife, including bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and rattle snakes.
Today the remnants of that gold rush legacy live on, dotting the landscape, atop mountains, along valleys where city streets used to be filled with miners, wagons and mules going to and from the mines. The great Independence Mine founded by Winfield Scott Stratton, the iron marvel of the Theresa, the giant fire-warped Vindicator and the grand Gold Coin hoist are all sites to be noted in the modern gold camp.
Once again attention is being turned toward walking to the mines, or at least through the mining district, this time for purposes the 1890's miners hardly had time for - mining education, historic interpretation, recreation and just plain fun. The Southern Teller County Focus Group and Newmont teamed up to create a series of trails that lead you through the wealth of gold mining that made Victor and Cripple Creek famous.
The trails are open to foot, horse and non-electric bicycle traffic in summer; skiing and snowshoeing in winter.
No motorized traffic is allowed, including e-bikes.
Visitors to all trails must remember they are crossing private land and must stay on the trails for their safety. The trails are through mountain terrain at elevations of 9,500 to 10,500 feet above sea level. Dress appropriately for mountain weather and bring a hat, sunscreen and a jacket in case of a shower.
Access to the Theresa, Vindicator, American Eagles, and Independence mines are handicap accessible; the trails are open year-round; cross country skiing and snowshoeing are best in spring. There are no services at the trail; camping and overnight parking are not allowed.
Our trails are on COTREX. Click here for info and to download the app.
Map of Hiking Trails to the Troll from Downtown Victor
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE COLORFUL BIRD HOUSES MARK THE HIKING TRAILS THAT LEAD TO THE TROLL - the road access is a different route. Driving directions from Victor - one mile west on HWY 67 to the left hand turn into the parking lot. Two trails lead from there or you can drive up the road and park in the upper lot. It is a .25 mile hike from the upper lot to the troll. Please note that our trails are at nearly 10,000 feet elevation - if you are not healthy enough to walk at this elevation please do not attempt the hike. Also a rattle snake has been seen in the area of the troll so please wear appropriate clothing/shoes, give snakes plenty of room, and be aware at all times.
ALL Trail Maps
Vindicator Valley Trail
This trail offers access to Vindicator Valley, the historic location of the town of Independence and several of the district's largest mines. Interpretive signs with historic photos of 1890's gold mines, information about railroads, gold rush towns, as well as current-day mining and reclamation are located along the trail. The 2-mile loop Vindicator Valley Trail has two trailheads: one across from Goldfield and one at the Vindicator Mine on Teller County Road 831. You can also take the urple Fluorite Trail for a different route. Enter and use at your own risk.
Trail Map - Vindicator Valley Trail
Trail Map - Purple Fluorite Trail
Please note this trail may be affected by mine operations blasting; please respect all temporary closures for your safety.
Little Grouse Mountain Trails
A climb up Little Grouse and Big Grouse Mountains offers views of Newmont Mining Corporation's Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine valley fill operations as well as a 360-degree view of the mountains to the west and surrounding terrain. The new American Eagles Overlook is at the top of this trail. The trail begins at the lower parking area just west of Victor on the south side of the bridge over Arequa Gulch. At the trailhead is an historic mining equipment display. The equipment at the parking area was relocated from historic mines in the district. Three trails lead from the parking lot, two use the road to get up the hill to the trails that lead off to the side; the Little Grouse Trail, the Little Grouse Mtn. Extension, and the Big Grouse Mtn. Trail . You can also access the trails from the upper parking area at the American Eagles Overlook. The Sunnyside Trail leaves the parking area on the left side and heads toward the power substation. Enter and use at your own risk.
Trail Map - Little Grouse Mtn Trail System
For a real adventure start in downtown Victor and follow the birdhouses to find the Troll.....
Rita the Rock Planter, Thomas Dambo's new troll sculpture, is located on our Little Grouse Mountain Trail. Funded by gcDIG, the troll is open to visits dawn to dusk. Please be sure to respect the fragile meadow land, stay on the trail, do not pick wildflowers, stay off historic structures, and pack out all trash and dog waste. Please note that our trails are at nearly 10,000 feet elevation - if you are not healthy enough to walk at this elevation please do not attempt the hike. Also a rattle snake has been seen in the area of the troll so please wear appropriate clothing/shoes, give snakes plenty of room, and be aware at all times.
Map of the District showing location of the Troll
Map of the Trails to the Troll
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE COLORFUL BIRD HOUSES MARK THE HIKING TRAILS THAT LEAD TO THE TROLL - the road access is a different route. Driving directions from Victor - one mile west on HWY 67 to the left hand turn into the parking lot. Two trails lead from there or you can drive up the road and park in the upper lot. It is a .25 mile hike from the upper lot to the troll.
Battle Mountain Trail
The Battle Mountain Trail, designated in 2000 as a Millennium Trail, begins at Stratton’s Independence Mine just outside of Victor on the Range View Road. This .9-mile trail takes you past the famous Independence Mine, where Winfield Scott Stratton made millions at the turn of the century. Winding its way up a gentle grade, the trail traverses Battle Mountain below the Portland I and Ajax mines. Views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Victor are spectacular. The newest leg of the trail ascends a steep grade to the Ajax Mine Overlook. The overlook allows for safe, close-up views of the headframe, hoist and change house. The views are superb. At the Independence Mine a re-creation of the Cresson Ore Sorting House demonstrates an important process in 1890’s gold mining. Enter and use at your own risk.Please Note - The Overlook at the Ajax Mine will be closed until further notice.
Trail Map - Battle Mountain Trail to the Ajax Overlook
Independence Mill Site
Visitors to the Victor can walk through time on this trail through historic gold mining country. The trail and interpretive site at the Independence Mill Site. The trail is a loop tour of the Independence Mill Site just above Victor off the American Eagles Road. The trailhead is below the county road across from the Independence Mine and Battle Mtn. Trail. This trail makes it possible to access the Vindicator Valley and Battle Mtn. trails from the parking area. Enter and use at your own risk.
Trail Map - Independence Mill Site
Golden Circle Trail
The Golden Circle Trail begins at Teller County Road 1 across from the Battle Mountain Interpretive Site and at the Independence Mill Site on the old American Eagles Road. This trail connects the Mill Site with the Vindicator Valley Trail. Following the original grade of the Golden Circle Railroad, the easy, gradual trail is about 1.25 miles between the Mill Site and the lower Vindicator Valley Trail. Enter and use at your own risk.
Trail Map - Golden Circle
Gold Camp Trail
Hike up or down the trail through Poverty Gulch where Bob Womack found gold in 1890; tour some of the most historic country in the district as you retrace the footsteps of 1890’s hardrock miners. The trailheads are just to the west of Hoosier Mine on County Rd. 821, and at the Cripple Creek District Museum. Signs at the Hoosier Trailhead describe mine and its history. Enter and use at your own risk. Periodic closures occur due to active mining in the area.
Downtown Victor Walking Trail
Interpretive signs along a historic trail in downtown Victor provide a tour of the City of Mines. These trails follow city streets and sidewalks past 1899 buildings and historic sites. Brochures with trail maps are available at the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum, at Victor City Hall Visitor Center. A downtown trail also leads from the museum at 3rd & Victor Avenue to the Independence Mill Site and Battle Mountain Trail. Enter and use at your own risk.
Trail Map - Downtown Walking Tour
The Sunnyside Trail leads from the Sunnyside Cemetery Road to Little Grouse Trailhead. From there you can also access the trail up Little Grouse Mountain Trail. This trail has steep, rocky sections. Enter and use at your own risk.
Trail Map - Sunnyside Trail
A trail from Victor's 7th St. to the Sunnyside Cemetery Road is about 3/4 of a mile long and follows the rights of ways in the 1890's town of Lawrence. No historic structures remain in this area but the streets and alleys of the old town continue to exist and are owned by the CC&V Gold Mining Company (CC&V), City of Victor and Teller County. The Lawrence Trail begins at the south end of 7th Street in Victor, or on the Sunnyside Cemetery Road (watch for split rail fence). Parking is best in downtown Victor at the Alta Vista Visitor Center, where you can walk Victor Avenue to 7th St., then follow the street to the trailhead, which is on the east side marked with a large rock cairn and split rail fence. No parking is allowed along the narrow far south end of 7th Street as a courtesy to homeowners there. Parked vehicles unauthorized to be there will be towed.No motorized vehicles are allowed on the Trails of Gold and users must read and obey all warning signs and trail directional signs. Violations and trespassing will result in permanent closure of the trail. This trail has steep, rocky sections. Enter and use at your own ris.
Trail Map - Lawrence Trail