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Argo Mill and Tunnel, Idaho Springs

Specialty Museum · Mine
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The Argo Gold Mine and Mill is a former mining and milling property consisting of a gold mine and gold mill in Idaho Springs, Colorado, built at the entrance of the Argo Tunnel. The tunnel was built between 1893 and 1910 to drain the gold mines in Virginia Canyon, Gilpin Gulch, Russell Gulch, Quartz Hill, Nevadaville, and Central City and allow easier ore removal. The mill was built at the entrance of the tunnel to process ore from the many mines drained by the tunnel. The property had been closed from 1943 until 1976, when it was purchased by James N. Maxwell. He wanted to preserve an example of the Colorado gold rush mines. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in January 1978.
The Argo Mill is open all year for tours, weather permitting. Visitors see a brief history movie, mining equipment demonstration and then are transported to the top of the property. They will get a brief view of the Argo Tunnel then descend down through the Argo Mill. Afterwards, visitors pan for gold.
To visit Argo Mill and Tunnel on your holiday in Idaho Springs, and find out what else Idaho Springs has to offer, use our Idaho Springs.
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Argo Mill and Tunnel reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,301 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We had a group and could not meet due to Covid restrictions. I did not cancel and got a nasty call on the day of the event where a lady was very dismissive and hung up on me. We will not try to go.....  more
    We had a group and could not meet due to Covid restrictions. I did not cancel and got a nasty call on the day of the event where a lady was very dismissive and hung up on me. We will not try to go.....  more »
  • My comedy partner and I went to Argo to pan for gold. Our guide, Brandon, was awesome! He trained us in the proper gold panning technique and ensured that we found gold! Then, we panned for minerals.....  more
    My comedy partner and I went to Argo to pan for gold. Our guide, Brandon, was awesome! He trained us in the proper gold panning technique and ensured that we found gold! Then, we panned for minerals.....  more »
  • I thought this was going to be a boring tour but they made it really interactive and fun with a lot of neat facts. The tour was just the right amount of time and finished with gold panning and gem... 
    I thought this was going to be a boring tour but they made it really interactive and fun with a lot of neat facts. The tour was just the right amount of time and finished with gold panning and gem...  more »
Google
  • We had a great tour by Kris and learned so much about the amazing history of Argo! We loved going through the Mill and seeing all that has been preserved over the years. The tour was an hour and starts with a quick informative video, then we moved through the outdoor area to the mill. You do have to climb 6 steep flights of stairs at one point but there is also an option to not go all the way up and sit on some benches if you can’t make it. The actual tunnel is very short but impressive! Make sure to bring cash to tip your tour guide! We really enjoyed ourselves and were so happy to have finally taken the tour as it’s been on our list. My only complaint is the gal working the desk inside acted as if we were annoying her by asking simple questions when we bought our ticket. Sorry, but you work in tourism and people have questions. Maybe if you are bothered by communicating with customers, this isn’t the industry for you.
  • $25 per ticket for adults. Most the original artifacts in mill was sold for scrap years ago. I think tourist trap fits this well. Our guide must have been pretty new as he kept looking at the script “as he called it” he did not seem too enthusiastic about his role as guide. He asked if there’s any questions and two seconds later he continued with his speech, not giving anyone A real opportunity to ask a question. Also He walked in front of everybody “as a tour guide should” but while he was talking he did not turn to face us. Wifey and I could not understand a thing he was saying. At the end of the tour you get to do d so one gold panning, each pan given has 3 flakes of Gold “per our guide” worth about $4 which is prepared buy the powers that be ahead of time. “This was also told to us by our guide” I appreciated his honesty but that really does not say much about the organization that runs this place. I have been to 4 mine tours in my life and hands down this was the worst. Just a few miles away is the George Town loop railroad which also give a mine tour “I highly recommend going there and skip this one all together, it’s just not worth it.
  • Nick was our tour guide and knew the history well. Fairly priced for the experience you get. There are lots of stairs so be prepared with comfortable shoes. At the end of the tour you can pan for gold or jewel stones. If you’re not a patient person I’d recommend the jewels. The tour guides work for tips so please remember to bring cash. I’d also recommend that if you’re not from the mountains do this after a few days so you can get acclimated to the altitude. Drink plenty of water before and after you come.
  • Cool history. Just know the mine flooded in 1943 so you can’t go down into it. It was pricey considering you can’t go into the mine. On top of that, the tour guides work for tips which doesn’t make much sense considering how much they charge. The mill is really neat to see and they’ve set up a nice little museum in it. Our tour guide was awesome (Andrew). Gold panning and gemstone panning was a highlight for the kiddos. Overall I have mixed feelings about it but would still recommend a visit at least once.
  • Josh was an excellent tour guide and very knowledgeable about every single thing it seemed. Any of our questions thrown his way he seemed to have an answer for. He also gave us a coupon for a local brewery where we ended up eating and the food and drinks were fantastic. Great experience all around. Plus, we got to pan for gold. Super fun way to end the tour.

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