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“Sure you can get down to the bottom...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of ArgoGold Mill and Museum

ArgoGold Mill and Museum
2350 Riverside Drive, Idaho Springs, CO 80452
(303) 567-2421
Website
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Type: Mines, Museums
Attraction details
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Sure you can get down to the bottom...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

It was a fun experience for my son, nephew and I who love mining. Not so fun for the lady on crutches they dropped off at the top of the mountain and told there would be no issue with getting back down to the museum and parking. ADA friendly this is not. I would have rated them higher if the man giving the presentation and driving the shuttle would have been truthful to the poor lady in our group who ended up having to scoot down more than a hundred narrow steps on her butt because she had a torn Achilles and couldn't go down the stairs on her crutches like he said she could.

Visited July 2013
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Out Dated”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Could be a great experience, but fell short due to a lack of having a tour guide. It starts off with a short slide show presentation (seems to have been put together way back in the early 1990's). A guide then shows you and passes around some of the gems found in the mines. This is followed by a short bus ride to the Gold Mine. There you are left on your own to explore the mine and then walk through the Mill. Except for a few signs, there is little to help explain how things operated and what exactly you are viewing in the mill. I expected for the price that a guide would have led the group throught the gold mine and mill giving a talk about what you are viewing and an explanation of how the mill worked. At the very end, you are given a chance to try panning for gold where an attendant actually gives a brief lesson on how to go about this. Personnally I think it was a bit over priced for what you get.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Lots of history and a bit of fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

This is not really a mine tour but rather a mill tour with mining history thrown in. The presentation by our guide gave a good explanation of the difference between placer mining and hard-rock mining. He also gave an interesting explanation of why the tunnel and mill stopped being used. After the film presentation (using artifacts and dioramas from the museum at the Visitor's Center in town), we went outside and got the chance to operate one of the pneumatic drills like the later miners were using (like a horizontal jack hammer). Then after a short bus ride to the top of the tailings pile (this is the largest tailings pile in the world and due to the historic places registry will never be moved), we started the self-guided tour.

They have a lot of old junk laying around the site, including two statues of big-horn sheep. When we were there, we saw a live big-horn laying down between the other two (our guide said that he probably thinks the statues are his parents so he feels safe there.

The end of the tunnel was all that you could see (along with the nasty water running out of it being diverted to the treatment plant), but it does give some idea of how crazy a miner would have to be to go 4 miles into the mountain through this tiny tunnel.

From there we worked our way down through the mill. There were several places where I have to question the safety of allowing crowds to walk (narrow and steep steps with uneven treads, loose floorboards, rusted bottom in the floatation tank, etc.). Maybe this is just part of the thrill, but I kept wondering when we would fall through the floor.

At the end of the tour, we got to pan our ore "sample" to find the gold. They were clear that they put the gold in there, and they pressed the nuggets flat to make them easier to find.

If you take kids, make sure their tetanus shots are up-to-date because there is a lot of rusty metal laying around, and much of it looked pretty sharp.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Storrs, Connecticut, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Interactive, Informative, Would Return!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

As my husband's and my first foray into the gold mining experience I wasn't sure what to expect! We found it easily enough in this beautiful small town. Our guide Tara was very knowledgable, engaging, and informative. Know that school groups may be in attendance as they were with us but during our tour at least they were some of the most well-behaved kids I had ever seen! Also do bring water, but don't bring a backpack.

We watched a short video about the history of the place and could ask questions about mining. I found it very interesting that mining is now so regulated and difficult that even though it's thought that tons of gold still lay in the mountains it may never be reached. After that, we took a short bus ride up to the top where we started at the entrance of an old mine. You can borrow a hard hat if you so desire! It was a short walk that did not drop much in elevation. Thank goodness for electricity lighting our way.

Next we walked around and saw the entrance to the Argo Tunnel and the large building where they would extract the gold with several machines. While it may be a little lackluster to some I had a wonderful time and my husband, who is usually terrific with heights, was a little nervous at the steepness/narrowness of the stairs. Be careful!

My favorite part was mining for the gold upon our return. Your ticket pays for your self-guided tour as well as a small packet of ore guaranteed to have gold inside. The guide was very patient with us showing us a couple times how to mine it and we were so excited when gold pieces appeared! We also panned for gemstones which is much easier and probably more fun for kids - and adults like me - who love instant gratification! We liked it here very much and if we are in the area again we would definitely try the panning again!

Visited July 2013
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Waco, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Had a nice time, basically a self guided tour, there was a class beforehand and was informative. Panned for gold and although we did not get rich, lol, it was fun to find some gold.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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