Disclosure: Country Boy Mine provided free tickets in exchange for my review. All experiences and opinions are my own. Yours may differ.
My family recently visited the mountains of Colorado, as we often do. The last couple of years we have been every year, but we usually visit every 3-4 years. We really love all visiting these cute ski towns, that actually have a lot of offer in the summer. Once of our favorite towns to visit during these Colorado vacations is Breckenridge.
If you are familiar with the mountains of Colorado then you know that there are hundreds of mines scattered around. Because mining is such a huge part of Colorado’s past and present there are a lot of cute mining towns that have turned into fun tourist towns. While in Breckenridge my husband and I were able to take a visit to the Country Boy Mine.
Besides tours of the mine, Country Boy Mine has all sorts of fun things to do and see.
In the midst of the majestic Rocky Mountains, the Country Boy Mine was one of the largest and most famous gold mines in Breckenridge, Colorado. Today, we invite you to visit the Country Boy Mine and enjoy the many activities the mine has to offer. Join us for a mine tour into a real gold mine at this historic restored mining site. While at the mine you can also gold pan, pet the burros, slide down the 55 foot ore chute, explore the authentic mine site, view the exhibits and equipment that were used in the mine and visit the general store. Families have been enjoying this historical landmark and the Country Boy Mine tour for almost 20 years. Voted one of the best things to do in Breckenridge!
Country Boy Mine is just a few miles out of downtown Breckenridge. It is an easy drive on a paved road. Eventually you do come to a dirt road but it probably about 1/2 mile on the dirt road, so it wasn’t bad. It was fun driving into the parking lot seeing the old buildings.
We were running a little behind for our tour so we hurried right in to get our tickets so we wouldn’t miss our tour and decided to visit all the machines and buildings afterward.
When you first step into the mine and “brass in” you are asked to put on a hard hat. Country Boy Mine has a picture diorama of how the mine began and what it looks like if you were to stand back and cut open the mountain. It was really interesting to see.
The trip into the mine is an authentic one! Even though the mine now include modern conveniences such as lights, wood planks to walk on and ventilation, it really still is an authentic experience. The tour travels over 1,000 feet into the mountain.This can get pretty chilly so a coat or sweater is recommended. As you may know, mountains contain underground rivers, the wood planks were placed over the old tracks and ground so that visitors don’t have to walk through the stream. Be warned, you will get wet! Water drips down from the rocks above, and during the wet season there is even more water.
The story of the mine is that during the wars miners would receive a “war bonus” for the lead and zinc they would collect. After WWII ended and the war bonus ended the miners put all their tools in the tool shed, locked up and walked away never to return. When the mine was purchase and restored, the owners found all these old tools that the miners used. They are now on display throughout the mine. It is a wonderful piece of history to have the actual tools used in the mine.
Here are a couple of photos from the Country Boy Mine Site:
We learned that the miners used animals to help them in the mine. Rats were used to help warn them of danger. The rats could detect cave-ins and so the miners would feed them scraps of food and if they ever noticed the rats were heading towards the exit, the miners would follow. Donkeys were also used to help the miners. They would help pull the carts full of rock. The mine proved to not be a safe place for the Donkeys as they ended up deaf and blind and eventually weren’t used in the mine.
After the mine tour, which lasts about 45 minutes you have the opportunity to pan for gold. Remember how I mentioned the river running through the mine? Well this river flows through the gold vein in the mine and then out into a stream. Panning for gold is included in the cost of touring the mine. After a quick lesson on panning for gold you are ready to go.
My husband and I wanted to strike it rich in Eureka Springs. We had no such luck, but it was a lot of fun. It was my first time panning for gold!
After a quick visit with Goldilocks the donkey, my husband headed down the “chute” which was a long slide from the top of the mountain where the mine is down to the parking lot. I opted to walk down.
Visiting Country Boy Mine was a fun, educational and unique stop in Breckenridge, CO. I definitely recommend adding this to your travel itinerary.