The Argo Gold Mine and Mill is a former gold mining and milling property in Idaho Springs, Colorado, featuring an intact gold mill built at the entrance of the Argo Tunnel. The tunnel was built between 1893 and 1910 to drain the gold mines in Virginia Canyon, Gilpin Gulch, Russell Gulch, Quartz Hill, Nevadaville, and Central City and allow easier ore removal. The success of the tunnel as an access route meant that a large volume of ore began exiting at the Idaho Springs entrance and a large mill was built to process it. At the time it was one of the largest such tunnels and milling operations in the world, directly recovering nearly $100 million in gold (nearly $1 trillion today, adjusted for inflation) and sending another $200 million of high-value ores to smelters in Denver.To visit Argo Mill and Tunnel on your holiday in Idaho Springs, and find out what else Idaho Springs has to offer, use our Idaho Springs.
The property was closed in January 1943 after a major hydraulic accident in the tunnel, and never reopened after a federal moratorium was placed on gold mining during World War II. In 1976 it was purchased by a local investment group led by James N. Maxwell, who wanted to preserve an example of the Colorado gold rush mines. It was renovated and reopened as a tourist attraction and mining museum, and presently continues to offer daily tours. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in January 1978.
Argo Mill and Tunnel Reviews
On our way to the airport from Vail and stopped off for a tour. Great place and super friendly workers! Would visit again! Brooks & Alli were wonderful! more »
We had a small window of time and wanted to see what this place was about so we panned for gold and Brooks was our guide. He made everything SO fun and simple to understand. Also panning for gold is..... more »
The mine itself is very interesting and worth seeing. Unfortunately, the guide we had was somewhat inpatient and fast paced. My friend who walked with a cane was left behind and missed much of the fast-paced explanations which at times sounded like mono-toned memorization. If you want to learn how to pan for gold, watch a video before you go, you will learn more.
The staff here are very pleasant and knowledgeable. My girls enjoyed the mill tour and especially the gold panning and gem find. Great for families, but I feel it's more appropriate for older kids as the tour is somewhat long and detailed, and not stroller-friendly. Wasn't too busy when we went on a Thursday afternoon. I'd say the pricing is okay, less than $100 for our family of 5.
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