Carved into the mountains along busy Interstate 70, Idaho Springs offers a mix of mining history and modern pleasures. Accessible Indian Springs Resort, a hot springs/spa/hotel, is a soothing stop for skiers returning to Denver. Walt Whitman and Teddy Roosevelt bathed here, but long after Indians first discovered its refreshing waters.
Three major mine tours leave right from Idaho Springs.
The reopened Phoenix Mine gives a thorough story-filled tour into an actual working hard-rock mine.
A drive up Fall River Road and the half-mile hike to stunning St. Mary’s Glacier is a worthy summertime trek, or test your nerves on dirt Oh My God Road (yes, that’s its real name), which twists by sheer drop-offs and past old mines on the “back route” to gambling spots Black Hawk and Central City.
Idaho Spring’s main drag, Miner Street, is lined with galleries and cafes.
The Tommy Knocker Brewery
is a good bet for a microbrew beers and American fare.
And, of course, some of the best pizza in Colorado is served up daily at the original Beau Jo’s (Dip the crust in fresh honey and you’ll be hooked.) The Buffalo Bar, around since 1885, is another classic establishment; its hearty breakfast is famous.
For those who are real off-road enthusiasts is the "Oh My God Road" a great experience. It's an unpaved ca. 9-mile long road what once a supply road for miners between Central City and Idaho Springs.
It's a great trial for mountain biking.
But to re-iterate: don't miss the Phoenix Goldmine
which is only a few minutes away. It's located on the other side of the Interstate and you will enjoy the miner's tour and to dig for gold.
The Phoenix Goldmine is NOT the one you see from the Interstate - this is the Arco Goldmine.
For your visit you should choose the Phoenix Goldmine which comes with lots of Gold-Digger Flair.