In early November 2018, Cripple Creek opened its very first Christmas themed casino and inn. For those who like to stay holly jolly all year round, the Christmas Casino and Inn promises to keep you in the Christmas Spirit 24/7/365. Located on Bennett Avenue just up the street from Bronco Billy’s Casino, the Christmas Casino and Inn is situated on the corner next to Johnny Nolon’s Casino and across the street from the Brass Ass Casino.
There are many interesting features to the new Christmas Casino that we can’t wait to share with you. The Christmas Casino and Inn have paid great attention to detail to truly capture that nostalgia we feel during Christmas time. The casino made sure to provide enough holiday cheer without it being overwhelming. Inside guests will find 150 of the most popular slots, over 3 football fields worth of garland, 4,000 ornaments, and 9 life-sized nutcrackers.
So check out some of the unique features for the new Christmas Casino and Inn in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
15-Foot Rotating Christmas Tree
Upon walking into the casino, we are met with one of the most iconic symbols of Christmas, the tree. This massive 15′ white tree is covered from head to toe in Christmas delight. You’ll find a variety of red, green, and gold ornaments that dress it to perfection. Plus, it rotates. if this doesn’t awaken the Christmas-stoked child within you, we don’t know what will.
Rudy’s Diner does made-to-order burgers and dogs, and while it sounds very normal, we can attest to their burgers being delicious. Rudy’s also takes part in hand-making a variety of milkshakes, both normal and Christmas flavored. Make sure to try their Pumpkin Pie shake, Egg Nog shake, or their Christmas Cake – they were our favorite. One of their most popular burgers so far is the Blitzen Bacon Burger, but if that’s not your jam, you can build a burger to your liking. They are open 7 days a week opening every day just in time for lunch.
Cuckoo Clock Nook
If you wander around enough, you’ll eventually find yourself in a pleasant little cuckoo clock nook. Rest your pointer finger from the “repeat bet” button for a moment and get some R&R in the nook. Perhaps you’ll find yourself there finishing up a creamy and sweet milkshake after enjoying your delicious dog or burger.
German Christmas Pyramid
This beautifully handcrafted structure is this second of it’s kind in the United States, straight from Germany and built by the Erzgebirge Palace. this 15-foot rotating structure features five tiers of Christmas wonder and notable elements of the season including The Holy Family, Santas and Snowmen, Musical Angels, Nutcrackers, and Winger Angels. This German Christmas Pyramid has been added to the decor because many of our traditions stem from Germany. Christmas Pyramid’s have been around since the 16th century and many believe the idea for the Christmas Tree was inspired by their pyramid structures.
Stay in the Mr. Claus’ Suite
While Santa is away hard a work for the next batch of Christmas gifts to be made, you can get cozy in his beautiful suite. The room is spacious with big windows to let the light in and complete with a jacuzzi tub. In addition to the Mr. Clause Suite, you’ll find a suite for Mrs. Claus as well as 10 other rooms all decorated in Christmas season delight and dedicated to some of our favorite reindeer. Reserve any room at the Christmas Casino Inn by calling 719-689-0353.
Say Hello to Santa’s Reindeer
There are 8 of Santa’s reindeer hanging out in Cripple Creek right behind the Christmas Casino. They were kind enough to come visit us until the January 1st, 2019! Whether you’re coming to stay and play at the casino or bringing the kiddos for a reindeer meet and greet, hurry in before they head back to the North Pole!
The Christmas Casino and Inn is a unique place where you can celebrate the Christmas season all year round. We’re calling all Christmas lovers from near and far to visit us at your earliest convenience to experience the magic and wonder of the casino and inn. For more information and to reserve a hotel room, visit their website here.
We’ve been getting many calls from visitors who want to get some mountain biking in while they visit our quaint little town. While a simple Google search isn’t likely to give them many answers, we were able to do our own research and tell you just the kind of trails you are looking for.
This is a current list of active bike paths very close to Cripple Creek. If you don’t mind making the trip, there are plenty of other great bike paths that stretch from Cripple Creek to Woodland Park to Colorado Springs. You’ll be sure to find just exactly what you are searching for within a 50 miles radius.
Be sure that when you are biking that you remember you are biking at elevations for 9,500 – 10,500 feet. Drink plenty of water, dress appropriately, and know the signs of altitude sickness.
For those who want to crash (not your bike) directly after you completed your bike path journey, below are some bike paths close to Cripple Creek that will still get you active and adventurous.
Pancake Rocks – Cripple Creek, CO
Known as a moderately difficult bike path, the Pancake Rocks just outside of the Cripple Creek proper near Midland, CO is a very selected bike path for experienced cyclers. There and back, you can ride for 6.7 miles and get a great work out in. This path is best taken April through October and tends to be packed with cars near the trailhead, so try to start your cycling adventure earlier in the morning.
Mountain View Adventure Park – Cripple Creek, CO
Mountain View Adventure Park is a new attraction recently opened in Cripple Creek, CO. While it has many other outdoor features and activities that are fun for everyone, it includes a 2.5k hike and bike trail that is great for beginning mountain bikers or those who just want an easy trail to ride. To see a video of the Mountain View Adventure Park, go here.
Mueller State Park – Divide, CO
Mueller State Park is home to more than 5,000 acres of protected land and 55 miles worth of trails. For a small entrance fee, you can take an easy bike path trail with the family. The bike paths range in difficulty from easy to difficult but will progress in difficulty the more you venture into the park. Adventurers visiting Cripple Creek can find their way to Mueller State Park by taking the small pass toward Woodland Park. To see the current map of biking paths, go here.
Vindicator Valley Trail – Goldfield, CO
Vindicator Valley Trail is a 2-mile trail is small and perfect for beginning bikers. This is a historic location of the once popular area for gold mining and features much of the rustic buildings, signs, and other information reclaimed to the area. This is a perfect family-friendly bike path to help the kids stay active on vacation. There are two ways to access the trailheads: one is across from Goldfield and the other is off Teller County Road 831.
Mason Bike Trail – Victor, CO
Mason Bike Trail is owned by the City of Colorado Springs and opens their trail up to people for outdoor recreation at certain times of the year. Their bike path starts at McReynolds Reservoir and makes the trip to another side of Mason Reservoir. It has been described as a relatively smooth ride up, only about 5 miles there and back. To see the status of openings of the trail, visit their city site.
Little Grouse Mountain Trail – Victor, CO
Bike to the top of Little Grouse Mountain Trail to see views of American Eagle Mine Structures and the Newmont Mining Operation happening in between Cripple Creek and Victor. The bike path also offers stunning views of the mountains. To get to the trail can be accessed near Arequa Gulch just west of Victor.
These bike paths won’t steer you wrong. If you have been on other bike paths in or near Cripple Creek, share your experiences with us here and if you feel like there is something we missed, let us know!
To see other posts on free fun, check out our blog post on family-friendly activities in Cripple Creek.
If you thought our summer fun calendar was great, just wait until we share what’s in store for the fall and winter months! Cripple Creek is well-known for its super-packed events schedule and they don’t let chilly weather or snow stop them from having high-elevation fun in the mountains. Get out your datebook, your digital calendar or your sticky notes and take these down — you’ll want to remember them later.
Mt. Pisgah Speaks Cemetery Tour
— September 15-16
You probably expect spookier events to occur in the month of October, but this fun and fascinating cemetery tour is held while the weather is still a bit warm in the mountains, smack in the middle of the day. Ghosts from the past come to life in this educational-but-slightly-creepy afternoon hosted by the Gold Camp Victorian Society. Learn who is buried in Mt. Pisgah and their history through live reenactments. You’ll get a trolley ride to the cemetery, too! The cost is a $10 donation, which helps support the society’s education and preservation efforts in Cripple Creek and the surrounding region. Make a reservation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-921-6329.
Fall Aspen Tours & Party in Cripple Creek
The drive to Cripple Creek is always beautiful, but the change of the aspen leaves in fall brings a whole new glow to the journey. Gold isn’t just found underground in this gold mining era town — it covers the hillsides in autumn as the leaves change color. 2 Mile High Club hosts a fun tour that begins at the Cripple Creek District Museum (Sept. 22-23 and 29-30). Donations are appreciated and help with supporting the local donkey herd. If you head up the weekend of Sept. 29-30, you can also attend the Cripple Creek Big Aspen Happnin’ Fall Festival block party, with street vendors, inflatables, art, live music and other leafy goodness.
Zombie Scavenger Hunt
— October 27
Gather up a 4- to 6-person team and get ready to explore Cripple Creek amidst mystery and mayhem for the chance to win cash prizes. From 12:15 – 3:15 p.m., you’ll search for clues, share photos to Facebook and finish off the day with food and drinks at the Brass Ass. At 5 p.m., prizes will be awarded at Bronco Billy’s. This is a 21+ event and zombie costumes are strongly encouraged. The cost to join in on the fun is $10 a person in advance and $15 the day of the event. Prizes are $1,000 for first, $500 for second, $250 for third and there are raffle prizes, too! You can get started here.
Gold Camp Christmas
— December 7-8 (Other events throughout December)
This old-fashioned Christmas celebration is a favorite tradition in the Pikes Peak region and well worth the winter drive to check out. The festivities begin with the Gold Camp Christmas Holiday Headframe Lighting throughout the town, turning the whole area into a magical and glowing wonderland that would make Santa proud. There’s a Christmas craft fair, a live tree auction, crafts for the kiddos, a visit from Santa and a parade, too. Take a self-guided tour in your car and enjoy the mine headframe lights or join a guided shuttle tour that goes to Victor, where you’ll enjoy caroling and a bonfire (you can also drive to that event). If you can’t make it Dec. 7-8, you’ll be happy to know that the headframes will be shining all month long and other activities will be occurring.
Cripple Creek Ice Festival
— February 2019
Now, we’re so ahead of the game here that we don’t have the dates and the theme is still a closely guarded secret that we haven’t been able to pry out of the big wigs — yet. But, Cripple Creek Ice Fest is probably the most-loved winter event around, where talented ice sculptors show off their skills with stunning ice sculptures that chill right in the middle of the streets for 10 days. There are usually interactive pieces that the kiddos can touch (and sometimes even play on), fun activities, street vendors and other cool (literally) happenings. Even better, it’s free and gets you out of the house during peak cabin fever season.
We hope you’ve crammed your calendar full of all these super rad to-dos. We’re big believers in always having fun on the agenda, no matter the season. In the meantime, get back over to Cripple Creek’s summer fun list so you don’t miss out on what’s happening right now.
The Cripple Creek Heritage Center is an amazing resource for locals and visitors alike who are interested in learning about Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado. Stepping into the visitor’s center, you can learn about how high we are in elevation, the animals taking up homes in the area, the history of both underground and surface gold mining that still continues today, and much much more. But in the lower level of the Heritage Center, a spectacular art show is taking place, and has been for the past ten years.
In its 23rd year, the Once Upon a Time in the West Art Show is being showcased in the Cripple Creek community, yet again, to show off some of best Western and Native American artistry in the area. But the show is much more than an art show and unlike many you have seen in the region. Each year, the show chooses a theme for the show. This year’s theme was the Year of the Eagle.
Assembling the Art Show
The art show takes three weeks to assemble, and not just because they are hanging lots of art, but because the entire show is decorated with elements of the outdoors. They bring nature inside practically filling the entire lower level to make the exhibit even more of a spectacle. Guests will get a nice whiff of pin trees when they descend into the lower level to view the art show.
The show opened this year on June 22nd to the public, and art already was flying off the walls and into the homes of interested buyers. They’re currently showcasing, paintings, pottery, leatherwork, photography and much more.
The Art Show Ceremony
Around 6:00 pm, the organizer of the show, Jon Zimmer (Walks Alone With Friends), and the Founder of the show, Rod Sutton (Little Bear) dressed in the appropriate Native American regalia to perform a Native American Blessing and a Purification Ceremony where they burned sage. They were careful to the honor the Teller County Stage 2 burn ban, while also honoring the four directions.
The ceremony took place just outside the lower level of the Heritage Center where a Tee Pee and Totem pole were placed amidst haystacks to create the ceremony’s arena. Ray White dressed as an Eagle Dancer and was accompanied by his wife, Jeep White, who played the drums for her Eagle Dancer.
Before guests moved back into the Heritage Center, they could choose to be smudged with sage for purification.
Around 250 people attended the show’s opening night to marvel at the one of a kind art pieces and watch the unique ceremony.
- Sofia Balas
- Dan Russell
- Rod Sutton (Little Bear)
- Jon Zimmer (Walks Alone With Friends)
- Tim Penland
- Vera Egbert
- Matt Atkinson
- Judy Cheyney
- Beth Held
- Rita Randolph
- Michelle Rozell
They are also hosting the band Monument Creek Can Kicker on Saturday, June 30th in the lower level of the Heritage Center between 1 – 4 pm.
Once Upon a Time in the West, the Year of the Eagle, is a free show open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Sunday. The art show will continue through July 5th, 2018 and is open late on July 4th where Cripple Creek will hold it’s 4th of July Fireworks Celebration. We recommend you make a visit to the show, like their Facebook page, and leave a review of your experience!
“Take pictures. Make memories. We’ll drive.™”
That’s Colorado Jeep Tours’ motto anyway.
For those Colorado Natives looking for something fun to do this summer or the out-of-towners looking to experience Colorado outdoors, a trip with the Colorado Jeep Tours is the way to go.
This locally-owned and operated business is four generations strong with heavy ties in the Fremont County Community, makes this one of the most intimate tours you’ll experience in Southern Colorado. Owner of Colorado Jeep Tours, Will Colon, has gained positive partnerships with private landowners which means, people who opt to do the Colorado Jeep Tours adventure get to see parts of Colorado other just won’t if they take their own Jeep or 4x4 vehicle onto Colorado terrain.
With Colon’s 25 years of experience in tourism and his incredible knowledge of the Royal Gorge Region, his expertise as a tour guide is simply unmatchable.
Colorado Jeep Tours will take you on a variety of tours around Southern Colorado, you just have to take your pick of which is best for you. You can take full or half day trips to the Royal Gorge, or Red Canyon, but our personal favorite is the Gold Belt Tour.
About the Gold Belt Tour
The Gold Belt Tour takes you on a trip from Canon City to Cripple Creek and Victor. The Gold Belt Jeep Tour starts at 5,300 feet in Canon City before taking you to over 10,000 where a historic Gold Mining District lies and lives on to this day.
The tour welcomes all ages and lasts for about 6 hours taking you on a trip that follows the Cripple Creek and Florence Railroad route. You’ll journey through tunnelways, taking photos of the breathtaking nature on either side of you.
Lunch is provided upon arrival in the Gold Camp area and guests will make a stop in Victor, Colorado at the Gold Camp Bakery.
What can you expect on a Colorado Jeep Tour?
Your tour guide won’t just drive you through these amazing sceneries in silence. What you can count on is a knowledgeable tour guide who provides you with a detailed history of the area and point out specific views that you would otherwise not see.
The Jeep Excursion will also make it a point to stop by the Garden Park to observe where fossil hunters have been diligently working to uncover remains since 1877. The first skeletons of the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus were extracted from this area by Marsh and Cleveland Quarries and are now featured at the Denver Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. to this day.
When is the best time to take the Gold Belt Jeep Tour?
The Gold Belt Jeep Tour functions year round because Colorado is just that beautiful all year round. However, one of the most photogenic times of the year for passengers is during the fall foliage, when the Aspen trees change from a bright green to a magnificent golden yellow and orange.
This period of time varies each year but the peak of the changing leaves usually happens in Late September and finished in Early October, so it is best to book as soon as possible.
Are dogs allowed on the tour?
Usually, dogs are permitted on the tours, however, restrictions can apply. We suggest getting in touch with Colorado Jeep Tours to see if you will be able to take your loyal and furry friends.
How much are Colorado Jeep Tours?
For the Gold Belt Tour, adults can expect to pay $149 a person and children are $129 a person for the full 6-hour trip. And for an extra $30, you can make a stop at the Holy Cross Abbey Winery for a wine tasting and lovely way to end your tour. Children can get juice for $15.
For more ways to enjoy your next journey to Cripple Creek, see our blog post about other family-friendly activities in Cripple Creek, Colorado!