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Argo Mill and Tunnel, Idaho Springs

#3 of 25 in Things to do in Idaho Springs
Specialty Museum · Mine
The Argo Gold Mine and Mill is a former mining and milling property consisting of a gold mine and gold mill in Idaho Springs, Colorado, 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 mill was built at the entrance of the tunnel to process ore from the many mines drained by the tunnel. The property had been closed from 1943 until 1976, when it was purchased by James N. Maxwell. He wanted to preserve an example of the Colorado gold rush mines. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in January 1978.
The Argo Mill is open all year for tours, weather permitting. Visitors see a brief history movie, mining equipment demonstration and then are transported to the top of the property. They will get a brief view of the Argo Tunnel then descend down through the Argo Mill. Afterwards, visitors pan for gold.
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Argo Mill and Tunnel reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,096 reviews
  • It was interesting to see how the or was processed. We also got to pan for gold at the end of the tour. Just to warn you thought, there are many flights of steep stairs, some very narrow. Not meant...  more »
  • I enjoyed my tour of the Argo Mill, learning about all the history of the mine and the workers there. The guide was informative and the history was fascinating.  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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