Before people came from all over the country for Breckenridge’s views and ski slopes, they came for the gold and silver embedded in its hills. The area is spotted with abandoned and resurrected mines that tell the story of the hard lives of some of Summit County’s earliest residents.
Among these is the Washington Mine, located on Boreas Pass in the southwestern outskirts of Breckenridge. Meticulously preserved and carefully reconstructed by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, the mine is nearly a three-dimensional diorama of the town’s mining history. What remains of the mine today was once just the small antechamber of a much bigger operation that extended up from the current site. But local historians have salvaged and, in some cases, rebuilt a small, cute campus that nevertheless paints a pretty realistic picture.
The 90-minute to two-hour tours of the Washington Mine run twice daily most days of the week. A great option for families with children — the tour is entertaining, dimensional and, at times, hands on — local historians lead their guests back through the pages of Breckenridge’s history, showing and telling the way people lived in and out of the mines more than 100 years ago. Click here for more information.