Cripple Creek History

Cripple Creek’s history begins with the Native Americans, the Ute tribe, who lived off the land.


Cripple Creek was put on the map by a cowboy named Bob Womack, who for almost 15 years searched the southwest slope of Pikes Peak for gold. In 1890 he finally discovered the precious metal in Poverty Gulch, which later became the town of Cripple Creek.

Thousands of prospectors flocked to the region between 1890 and 1910 and it became the “World’s Greatest Gold Camp.” More than 22,400,000 ounces of gold was extracted from more than 500 mines in the Cripple Creek and Victor region. This amounted to $11.2 billion (in today’s dollars) in gold.

Cripple Creek History

After 1900, the area’s gold production declined, and by the early 1940’s gold production was down to less than one percent of what it once was. By 1990, the town was almost dead with only 600 residents, but in 1991 with legalized gambling, the town was revived. Many of the old town’s historic buildings were refurbished as casinos.

In 1995, an open-pit mining operation was established at what was the site of the former Cresson Mine. Today, that mine annually produces over 250,000 ounces of gold and is the largest mining operation in the continental United States.

The Cripple Creek Historic District is designated as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Today, visitors to the area can experience the rich Cripple Creek, history through its shops, attractions and museums.


Thursday, May 23, 2019
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 43°
Low 37°
Chance of Rain 74%
Wind S at 3 MPH
Friday, May 24, 2019
Partly cloudy in the morning.
High 70°
Low 36°
Chance of Rain 4%
Wind SW at 8 MPH
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Clear throughout the day.
High 73°
Low 40°
Chance of Rain 7%
Wind S at 4 MPH
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Partly cloudy starting in the evening.
High 80°
Low 46°
Chance of Rain 5%
Wind S at 7 MPH
Monday, May 27, 2019
Partly cloudy starting in the evening.
High 75°
Low 51°
Chance of Rain 10%
Wind SW at 7 MPH
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Light rain in the morning.
High 59°
Low 43°
Chance of Rain 60%
Wind NW at 3 MPH
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Light rain overnight.
High 67°
Low 37°
Chance of Rain 33%
Wind SW at 2 MPH
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
High 69°
Low 46°
Chance of Rain 34%
Wind W at 3 MPH