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Posted: 8/28/2010 1:39:01 PM EDT
On an impulse, the wife and I have decided to check out Cripple Creek tomorrow. We'll be leaving the Springs to get there, which brings me to my question:

Does anyone think a full-sized Dodge Ram 1500 wouldn't fit through the tunnels on Gold Camp Road?

I mean a bloody locomotive went through those things back in the day, so I'm sure it's not a problem, but just thought I'd check if anyone knew.

Now, to the main point ––

Suggestions for things to do there? Places to dine? Etc. etc...

_MaH
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 9:29:53 PM EDT
Matt,

The road is no problem, but be on the lookout for idiots coming at you way too fast on the blind curves (I usually tap the horn when entering the real narrow ones) . There are lots of places to stop and take pictures, with one really good overlook of the springs (especially at night). I suggest the Molly Kathleen mine tour and the Cripple Creek and Victor narrow gauge railway. It is touristy, but a good way to see the area from a different angle. I also suggest a drive to Victor to the American Eagles scenic overlook. This is a great spot for pictures and looks down into the active, large scale gold mining in Victor. The road to the overlook crosses the road that the giant dump trucks use, and I suggest waiting at the crossing to take pictures as they rumble by. Several roads leave the CC/V area to the south, with the Phantom Canyon and Shelf Road being my two favorites. Phantom Canyon meanders south to Penrose on Hwy 50, with Shelf Road ending up in Canon City, again on 50, but miles further west.

I've never been impressed by any of the eating establishments there, but have not checked out the new Wildwood casino yet. I do drag the AR up that way to shoot occasionally as well, so you might want to be on the lookout for good spots you might like to check out for shooting.

Gromit
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 9:55:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2010 10:06:36 PM EDT by Darrellbear]
Ditto on the Molly Kathleen and the train, your kid might like that. The museum/whatever at the east end of the main drag used to have a cool 3D model of one of the mines, made of layers of clear plexiglas. It gave a very good look at the mine layout. The casinos ain't my cuppa tea, I figured out long ago that I might as well toss dollar bills out the car window during the drive. BOL for wild burros in and around town.

I haven't been that way in a long time, but do remember that it's a very pretty drive––Teddy Roosevelt once rode the train from the Springs to Cripple Creek, and remarked on its beauty. Skagway Reservoir near Victor is nice, too. Some cool rock formations along the way too.

Teller 1 road west, then north out of Cripple Creek is also a nice drive, especially when the aspens turn color. The head of the valley on the north side of the hill, opposite CC, is very nice. It'll bring you out at Florissant on Hwy 24.
Link Posted: 8/29/2010 8:47:00 AM EDT
I also enjoy the scenery of Shelf Road. There is easy BLM camping there, and it's a climbing destination that nonclimbers can enjoy (maybe scout it out on your way by for another day): plenty of terrain to walk along and discover.

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/colorado/caon_city/shelf_road/105744267

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 2:06:37 PM EDT
In Cripple Creek right now. Decided to duck into this joint called "Ralfs Grill and Saloon" for lunch. What a mistake that was...

Anyway, we arrived late on a Sunday, so a lot of stuff is closing early, but the drive here was scenic and I know the drive out will be too.

All in all, I'd have to say that Cripple Creek, on my first impression, reminds me a great deal of New Jersey - the best part is getting out.

Gorgeous vistas, though...

_MaH

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 2:44:05 PM EDT
Our most recent trip to Cripple Creek was unpleasant too, poor service in general and a bizarre payment policy at the hotel at the largest casino.

We left pretty quickly.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 2:54:34 PM EDT
IMO Cripple Creek was more fun before the casinos came to town. It had a certain dowdy charm to it, kinda like Leadville in the good ol' days.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:02:19 PM EDT
In thinking about it, Cripple Creek reminded me A LOT of Cheyenne.

A town with a profound and rich history, that seems to be barely hanging on by a thread these days from complete collapse.

Were it not for a specific segment of the town's economy (Cripple Creek - Casinos // Cheyenne - Warren AFB), there would be a mass exodus and the town would be an all but deserted destination with a couple hotels, two desperately competing gas stations, and a few attractions related to the town's history.

What amazed me the most, driving and walking down that main drag in Cripple Creek, was how many buildings stood vacant, the names and slogans of the once tenant businesses still present, as if to tell those who pass by what once was. It tells me one very significant thing –– the economy in Cripple Creek is circling the drain, or on life-support at best. Nobody wants to, or has the money to, start a business presence in any of these buildings, none of the land owners are able to attract new tenants, nor are the land owners able to find the money necessary to keep their properties from the state of disrepair which I've seen.

A sad state of affairs. I don't despite Cripple Creek –– I pity it

_MaH
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