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Colorado offers an abundance of adventures intrinsic to its environment. From exploring the gargantuan Rocky Mountains to dipping in the sumptuous hot springs, the possibilities of boredom remain nearly impossible. But these adventures seem almost too obvious to those longing for a Colorado concoction of fun. Diving deeper, natives and tourists alike will both learn the most unique experiences of Colorado lie within the mills. With that said, this great state offers an array of Colorado tours of mills aside from the amazing Argo Mill.
Colorado Tours: The Mayflower Mill
Located two miles northeast of Silverton, the Mayflower Mill offers Colorado tours in which guests observe how miners extracted gold, silver and base metals from hard rock ores in the complete processing mill. As the last and most advanced big mill of San Juan, this makes for a unique experience. Furthermore, to enjoy Colorado tours like this one, it’s important to understand the history of the mills themselves.
Built of pre-framed Oregon fir perfect for mountains and harsh winter climates, successful mine manager Charles A. Chase conceptualized the project. With the assistance of the latest industrial equipment of the time like steam shovels and dump trucks, the project welcomed completion in 6 months and began processing ore in February of 1930. Impressively, the mill ran 62 years with 49 years of milling and a 12-year off period, milling 9,700,500 tons of rock. Additionally, the mill produced 1,940,100 ounces of gold, 30,000,000 ounces of silver and 1,000,000 tons of combined base metals! The mill was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2000 and offers self-guided tours in the summer months. Moreover, whether self-guided or conducted, there are more Colorado tours in store!
Other Mills to Explore
Although Colorado once homed a plethora of precious metal mills, there remain only so many well-preserved mills. Despite some being in ruins, there is still fun in learning the history within them. With all things considered, Creede, Colorado remains notable for being one of the last great silver-mining boom towns in our state. Home to the Humphreys Mill which produced about 1,000 tons of shippable ore per month, 700 tons of that being lead and the rest of it being zinc, silver and gold. All of which decreased amounts in order. For more than a decade, the mill operated at a profit and despite the complexity and size of it, a nine-man crew ran the mill at full capacity. Unfortunately, only the foundation of this mill is visible today.
Fortunately, there are many mills if you’re looking for Colorado tours. Check out historycolorado.org to discover mills that appeal to you. However, you’ll find what your heart desires in the greatest mill of Colorado.
The Best of Colorado Tours: The Argo
Intersecting all the major gold mines between Idaho Springs and Central City, Colorado, The Argo Tunnel and Mill makes passage for one to experience the most golden joy in all of Colorado tours. With the aid of preservationists, in 2016 the Argo made sensational improvements to the site, becoming the best mill to experience in all of Colorado. The history of this mill brings visitors joy to learn about and is only 30 minutes west of Denver. To experience one of the state’s most well-preserved mills and an adventure deeply engrained in Colorado, book your trip to the Argo today!