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Colorado Gold Rush: Past and Present

Program Number: 21552RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/26/2014 - 8/2/2014;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Denver, Colorado
Price starting at: $1,646.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road; Natural History; History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 2 Dinners    

Experience the present and feel the past come to life from Cripple Creek to the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. High in the Rockies, gold camps sprouted wherever the magical color appeared, often in places more suitable for viewing than living and working. Colorado is still a major producer of gold and has the country’s most magnificent mountain scenery. Join a native Coloradoan on a journey through the state’s beautiful landscapes to meet experts and mine employees who paint a picture of this historic and still-important element of life in the Rocky Mountains. Go inside the mines, visit mining ghost towns and learn about life during the Gold Rush era.




Highlights

• Explore one of the world’s largest operating open-pit gold mines with an expert.
• Set out on an all-day, 4x4 adventure in the rugged San Juan Mountains.
• Witness the entire process of mining gold from hard rock and transforming it into a gold button through field trips to an underground mine and a historic processing mill.



Activity Particulars

Walking one hour on uneven, unpaved surfaces, stairs. Get in/out of 4x4 with bench seats. Elevations up to 9,500 feet.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Denver, coach to Cripple Creek, 2 nights; coach to Ouray, 3 nights; coach to Denver, departure.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Denver

Settled by gold prospectors in 1858, mile-high Denver today is the capital of Colorado and hub of the Rocky Mountain region. It has gone through booms and busts to become home to skiing, tourism and a thriving multi-cultural community.



Accommodations
Denver: Full-service hotel. Cripple Creek: Full-service hotel. Ouray: Comfortable, centrally located motel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn Select Denver-Cherry Creek
  Denver, CO 1 night
   Double Eagle Hotel
  Cripple Creek 2 nights
   Ouray Chalet Inn
  Ouray, CO 3 nights
   Holiday Inn Select Denver-Cherry Creek
  Denver, CO 1 night
 Holiday Inn Select Denver-Cherry Creek
Type: Hotel
  Description: The prime location of our hotel makes us the perfect home base for your Denver vacation or business trip. Hotel is located in the upscale Cherry Creek area where you'll find some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment in all of Colorado. We are just a few minutes from downtown Denver and the famously trendy LoDo (lower downtown) area.
  Contact info: 455 South Colorado Boulevard
Denver, CO 80246 USA
phone: 303-388-5561
web: www.cherrycreekhoteldenver.com/
  Room amenities: •AM/FM Radio •Alarm Clock •All Guest Rooms Air Conditioned •All News Cable Channel •Cable TV •Coffee Maker •Complimentary Wireless High Speed Internet •Colorado Granite Vanities •Free USA Today Delivered to Room •Hairdryer •Iron / Ironing Board •Modem Connection •Private Bath •Voice Mail •Work Desk With Lamp •Views Of Cherry Creek And The Rocky Mountains
  Facility amenities: Fitness Center, Business Center, Indoor pool, free wireless Internet, restaurant and Lounge, Enterprise Car Rental Desk, 100% smoke free facility
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call hotel for rates Call hotel for rates and reservations
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call hotel for rates Call hotel for rates and reservations
  Check out time: 10:00 AM

 Double Eagle Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 422 East Bennett Avenue
Cripple Creek, CO 80813 USA
phone: 719-689-5000
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Ouray Chalet Inn
Type: Motel
  Description: Located in the heart of downtown Ouray within walking distance of restaurants, stores, and museums.
  Contact info: 510 Main Street
Box 544
Ouray, CO 81427 USA
phone: 970-325-4331
web: www.ouraychaletinn.com
  Room amenities: Phones, wireless Internet, refrigerators, hair dryers, coffee maker, satellite TV
  Facility amenities: Sun deck, hot tub
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in 3 to 5 pm followed by dinner and required orientation You will be staying at Holiday Inn Select Denver-Cherry Creek that night.
  End of Program:
Independent departures after breakfast You will be staying at Holiday Inn Select Denver-Cherry Creek the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk Form to be mailed to Mountains and Plains Institute office.
  Parking availability:
No charge
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Denver, CO
  Nearest highway: I25 and I70
  Nearest airport:  Denver International Airport (DEN)
  From End of Program
  Location: Denver, CO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Denver

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$10+ depending upon traffic
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

25 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

6 miles

 

Denver

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
SuperShuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

22 miles

   

Reservations required for the airport shuttle. Persons who drive, parking is complimentary.

 
Driving Directions
  Denver-Interstate 70 East and West Take I-70, exit Colorado Blvd #276B, proceed south on Colorado Blvd for 5 miles and you will see the Holiday inn Select hotel on the right hand side, at 455 South Colorado Boulevard
Elevation Note: Elevations traveled from 5,000 to 10,500 feet

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Hotel check-in 3-5 pm. Welcome dinner and orientation
(Saturday, July 26)

Note: The program requires participants to be able to get into and out of four wheel drive vehicles and walk on uneven terrain. Program will be at high elevations for extended periods of time. (Cripple Creek elevation 9,494 feet above sea level; Ouray elevation, 7,792 feet above sea level).



   
 Arrive To: Arrive in the Mile High City of Denver by 5:00 p.m. and check into your hotel. Meet your group leader and travelling companions this evening for dinner and complete details about the program.
 Dinner: We dine in the hotel followed by introductions and information about the program ahead.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Select Denver-Cherry Creek
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Depart Denver and travel to Cripple Creek
(Sunday, July 27)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet breakfast
 Morning: We will depart Denver and travel towards Cripple Creek, Colorado. We begin at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry where you will learn about the tools and machinery that modernized mining.
 Lunch: We will have lunch at the Trading Post in the beautiful Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The red rock sandstone creates amazing formations that make this a perfect setting for a lunch under the shade of the trees.
 Afternoon: We will then visit the Heritage Center in Cripple Creek to get an overview of the “World’s Greatest Gold Camp”. The Historic District of Cripple Creek has been designated a National Historic District. Though it was never a “Ghost Town” it is a ghost of its former self.
 Dinner: Dinner tonight is on own to explore the restaurants and the historic town of Cripple Creek.
   
Accommodations: Double Eagle Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Tour Cripple Creek's working gold mines, Historic town of Victor, Heritage Museums
(Monday, July 28)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel Buffet
 Morning: We will start this exciting day with an in-depth tour into the active Cripple Creek Victor Gold Mine, which operates 24 hours a day 365 days annually producing over 250,000 troy ounces of gold. It is one of the largest active gold mines in the world! You will be in awe of the size of the equipment as we tour through this huge open pit mine. Feel the ground shake when the ore is dumped into the crusher and be mesmerized by the entire operation.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: After lunch we will tour the town of Victor, a National Historic District, where you see and feel the Gold Rush Days of a century ago. Another part of the gold story can be found in the last of the famous parlor houses of the Red Light District when you visit the Old Homestead Museum. A fine finish to the day is a stop at the Cripple Creek District Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner tonight is on own to explore the restaurants and the historic town of Cripple Creek.
   
Accommodations: Double Eagle Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Depart Cripple Creek and travel to Ouray
(Tuesday, July 29)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel Buffet
 Morning: Heading toward Ouray, we’ll travel over Monarch Pass, rising over 11,300 feet in elevation. This pass is often considered one of the more scenic passes in Colorado as it offers panoramic views of the south end of the Sawatch Mountain Range. We will then stop at the spectacular Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. At over a two thousand feet deep and only 1,500 feet across, this canyon carved by the Gunnison River is a breathtaking sight.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at a local restaurant in Montrose
 Afternoon: After lunch, we are off to beautiful Ouray, in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. It is known as the “Switzerland of America”, because of its spectacular setting. You may choose to optionally visit the town's hot springs pool or the outstanding History Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner tonight is on own to explore the restaurants and the historic and well preserved Victorian town of Ouray.
   
Accommodations: Ouray Chalet Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: All day four wheel drive excursion into the San Juan Mountains
(Wednesday, July 30)
   
 Breakfast: Local restaurant
 Morning: An opportunity not to be missed! Experience the Real Colorado on a Four Wheel Drive Tour through the breathtaking San Juan Mountains. Soak in the fresh mountain scenery that isn’t seen from the highways. Journey over mining roads and trails only accessible by 4 wheel drive vehicles. Explore gold mines, gold camps, ghost towns, and the unforgettable scenery that can only be enjoyed by getting off the beaten path!
 Lunch: Box lunch during the drive
 Afternoon: Continue Four Wheel Drive journey
 Dinner: Dinner tonight is on own to explore the restaurants and the historic and well preserved Victorian town of Ouray.
   
Accommodations: Ouray Chalet Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Mountain town of Silverton, Old 100 Mine and Mayflower Mill
(Thursday, July 31)
   
 Breakfast: Local restaurant
 Morning: We drive from Ouray on the "Million Dollar Highway" with it's spectacular mountain views. History comes alive in Silverton our destination for today. Begin at the Old Hundred Mine as you ride the electric trammer a third of a mile into Galena Mountain. You will walk through history as you see demonstrations of the progression of mining techniques from the late 1800s to the 1960s. Pan for gold and keep what you find! Then see how the gold was processed at the historic Mayflower Mill that operated from 1929 until 1981. When the mill closed down everyone assumed that it would reopen soon and everything was left in place for its reopening, which never happened. Designated a National Historical Landmark in 2001, the mill still has buckets and tram still in place along with all of the milling equipment.
 Lunch: Lunch in a Silverton restaurant
 Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll visit the San Juan County Historical Museum – one of the best in the west! Exhibits include the jail, mineral specimens, mining artifacts, movies that were made in the area, and a comprehensive collection of household items and interesting memorabilia of the area. San Juan County is the only county in Colorado with no agriculture, just one of the reasons it is a unique place. Discover notorious Blair Street, the former Red Light District of Silverton. Walk on the wooden sidewalks and feel the history come alive in this old mining town.
 Dinner: Dinner tonight is on own to explore the restaurants and the historic and well preserved Victorian town of Ouray.
   
Accommodations: Ouray Chalet Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: HIgh mountains and passes returning to Denver
(Friday, August 1)
   
 Breakfast: Local restaurant
 Morning: Enjoy a day of Rocky Mountain Highs as we travel through the spectacular mountains, over scenic passes and through colorful canyons. See Colorado as it is today as we travel past many of its famous ski areas like Vail and Copper Mountain. Travel through Eisenhower Tunnel, one of the world’s highest vehicular tunnels as we journey back to Denver
 Lunch: Local restaurant in Leadville
 Afternoon: After lunch we continue our journey back to Denver.
 Dinner: We enjoy a final dinner in our hotel.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Select Denver-Cherry Creek
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Departures after breakfast
(Saturday, August 2)
   
 Depart From: Independent departures after breakfast; Check-out by 10 am.
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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