Cripple Creek – Victor

The Cripple Creek-Victor mining district is located in Teller County, with an area about 5.5 miles wide by 6 miles long. Gold was the main mineral mined in this district. A gold rush started in 1891 with the opening of the Gold King Mine on the site of Robert Womack’s El Paso claim. In 1892 the area was renamed the Cripple Creek mining district. Camps consolidated into towns with mineral processing facilitiesas populations rose in the 1890s. By 1894, the town of Victor had been established. Teller County was formed due to the success of this district. Productionin the district peaked in 1900 and the subsequent decline that followed was only slowed by 1934 increases in gold prices, and construction of the Carlton drainage tunnel in 1941. The Cripple Creek Mining District was mined historically in multiple underground operations, but by 1959 the district was mostly inactive with minor output.Mining activity then ceased for approximately a decade.

In 1971 small-scale surface mining using the heap-leach gold recovery method began at the Cresson Mine by the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company (CC&V). This was followed by large-scale surface mining, which grew with the start of production at CC&V’s current mining operation, called the Cresson Project.CC&V has been mining gold in the Cripple Creek Mining District since 1976. AngloGold Ashanti (Colorado) Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti North America Inc (AGANA), is currently the majority owner and manager of CC&V. For more info about CC&V and the Cresson Mine, click here. Currently, the Cresson Mine is the only precious metals mine operating in Colorado. About one half of the gold produced in Colorado has come from the Cripple Creek-Victor mining district.


Below:Historic mining structure at Cripple Creek. Credit: Vince Matthews.
Historic mining structure at Cripple CreekBelow: View of the Strong and Stratton Independence mines with tailings, head frames, smokestacks, and houses, Victor, Colorado. Credit: Stewart Brothers (Firm).Courtesy Denver Public Library, History Colorado.View of the Strong and Stratton Independence mines with tailings, head frames, smokestacks, and houses, Victor, Colorado. Credit: Stewart Brothers (Firm)

Notable mines in the Cripple Creek-Victor District:
  • Gold King Mine
  • Portland Mine
  • Granite Mine
  • Strong Mine
  • Mary MacKinney Mine
  • Anaconda Mine
  • Battle Mountain Mine
  • Independence Mine
  • Gold Cup Mine
  • Elkton Mine
  • Cresson Mine
  • Vindicator Mine
  • Golden Cycle Mine
  • Victor Mine
  • Isabella Mine
  • Eagles Mine