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.

Sunday, September 24, 2017
Thunderstorm Thunderstorm
High 57°
Low 42°
Chance of Rain 80%
Wind SE at 16 MPH
Monday, September 25, 2017
Chance of Rain Chance of Rain
High 53°
Low 40°
Chance of Rain 80%
Wind NE at 15 MPH
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy
High 58°
Low 43°
Chance of Rain 20%
Wind SE at 10 MPH
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Mostly Cloudy Mostly Cloudy
High 60°
Low 45°
Chance of Rain 20%
Wind SSE at 15 MPH

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