Washington Gold And Silver Mine

Useful Information

Location: Illinois Gulch on Barney Ford Hill, just south of Breckenridge off Boreas Pass Road.
Open: Winter: Tue-Sat 10, 14.
Summer: Tue-Sat 10, 14, Sunday 10.
Fee: Adults USD 3, Children (2-12) USD 1, Children (0-1) free, Seniors (65+) USD 1.
Groups (+): Adults USD , Children (3-18) USD .
Classification: MineGold Mine MineSilver Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=3,000 m.
Guided tours:
Address: Washington Mine, 465 Illinois Gulch Road, Breckenridge, CO 80424.
Summit Historical Society, 111 N. Ridge Street, PO Box 745, Breckenridge, CO 80424, Tel: +1-970-453-9022. E-mail: contact
Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, PO Box 2460, Breckenridge, CO 80424, Tel: +1-800-980-1859.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


late 1870s gold and silver discovered in the mountains of Summit County.
1880s mining at Washington Mine started.
1905 the heyday of the mine ended.
1960s finally closed.



Washington Mine demonstrates the methods, equipment, and lifestyle of the underground mining era of Summit County After the discovery of gold, literally hundreds of underground mines of all sizes and descriptions sprang up. The mining area included Breckenridge, Montezuma, Frisco and surrounding regions. "The Washington" was in the 1880s one of the largest mines in the area. With five main shafts and three kilometers of passages, it employed over 30 men. Its heyday ended around 1905, but it was worked until the 1960s with long periods of closure.

The mine was originally operated by Cornish miners. The tunnels were drilled and then blasted, the ore rubbles loaded into one-ton carts by so called muckers. The trammers pushed the loaded carts to the surface. On the surface, blacksmiths prepared and repaired the tolls, sharpened drill steels, and laid steel track in the mine. Scandinavian timbermen shored up the tunnels.

The guided tour includes several surface buildings like the shafthouse, a prospector's cabin, the hoist, the steam generation equipment, and the tramway to the tipple. There is no underground tour.