Fall Guide To Cripple Creek

October 6, 2012 12:00 PM

(credit: cripplecreekrailroad.com)

YouReport Photo

Peter Pereira of Centennial took this photo on Highway 67 near Cripple Creek on Sept. 25, 2012.

Charge up the camera and set aside a day to take in the most beautiful season in Colorado. October is the ideal time for Coloradans to soak up the most vivid colors of the year. Aspens will be shining brightly with golden yellow, amber and red leaves starkly mixed in with the green of the pine trees. One of the best day trips to view the fall splendor is a drive down Colorado’s Highway 67 from Woodland Park to Cripple Creek. Almost named the capitol of Colorado, Cripple Creek is a fun destination with activities for young and old.

Getting There

From downtown Denver, take I-25 south toward Colorado Springs for about 65 miles. Then take exit 141 for US 024/Cimarron Street and follow the signs to Pikes Peak/Woodland Park. Continue on US-24 for 25 miles. Turn left on to CO-67 south and continue for 18 miles. Every scenic overlook is worth the stop. Take a slight right on Bennett Avenue to Cripple Creek.

Stop Along the Way

Donut Mill
310 W. Midland Ave.
Woodland Park, CO 80863
(719) 687-9793

Woodland Park is a charming mountain town on the way to Cripple Creek. Known to many as a cinnamon roll heaven, the Donut Mill is a great place to stop to indulge in some sinfully delicious treats. Boasting the best biscuits and gravy around, this bakery has friendly service along with ice cream for donuts a la mode. Many visitors to nearby camping and Cripple Creek make this a traditional stop. Right next to a Starbucks, this is the ideal place to either grab a delicious breakfast or some treats for the afternoon drive home.

Where To Eat

Parrot Dice Grill
Double Eagle Hotel & Casino
418 E. Bennett Ave.
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
(719) 689-5138

The Parrott Dice Grill boasts the best burgers in town. Customers rave about the fresh food and great prices. Not only does it have a wide variety of pizzas but Parrot also has an amazing Purple Parrott burger with avocado, a local favorite. Fall is the best time to indulge in a chili dog before heading out for more of the day’s activities.

The Creek Restaurant and Bar
317 E. Bennett St.
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
(719) 689- 9595

Not associated with any gambling establishment, The Creek is a great place to bring the whole family. This restaurant has a friendly staff with many suggestions for lunch and dinner dishes. The Creek serves up amazing pizzas, fresh salads, delicious home-cut onion rings, great burgers and hearty sandwiches. The establishment’s motto is “The Creek Restaurant and Bar is where the good times flow.” As an added bonus, enjoy the free Wi-Fi and live music.

Home Café
Bronco Billy’s Casino
233 E. Bennett Ave.
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
(719) 689-2142

One of three restaurants in Bronco Billy’s casino, the Home Café has delicious sandwiches, pancakes and steak and eggs. Known for its 49-cent breakfast, the Home Cafe is the best value in town. For the early risers who hit the road with just a coffee and toast, here’s the chance to grab a solid breakfast. With low prices and quick, friendly service, travelers can grab a meal to refuel for the day’s activities.

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Things To Do

Bronco Billy’s
233 E. Bennett Ave.
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
(719) 689-2142

In 1991, gambling brought the town of Cripple Creek back to life. This popular casino offers fun in its historic old building dating back to 1905. To refuel from the fun, visitors can grab a bite to eat at the Home Café, Baja Billy’s or The Steakhouse restaurants. This casino boasts a new table games area including craps, blackjack, roulette and a nickel video poker bar. With fun slots and an old-fashioned atmosphere, Bronco Billy’s is a great place for adults to let loose.

cripple creek Fall Guide To Cripple Creek

(credit: cripplecreekrailroad.com)

Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad
520 E. Carr St.
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
(719) 689-2640

This century-old steam locomotive transports visitors back in time to the gold mining days of Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado. This must-see ride is sure to please everyone from railroad enthusiasts to history buffs. With a conductor who will offer interesting and fun historical facts, this train ride is another chance to view the colorful fall foliage along with fascinating old gold mines. The train leaves every 40 minutes through mid-October and is a 45-minute adventure.

Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
9388 Highway 67
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
(719) 689-2466

One of the best gold mine tours in the state, this is a fantastic place to bring the whole family. Visitors to Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine will be entertained by the hands-on experiences including an air-powered train. The tour offers an amazing walk to where miners made their living and many even died trying. The guide will lead visitors on a descent through a mine shaft 1,000 feet down filling them with interesting historical facts. Leave the mine with a free gold ore specimen containing real gold.

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Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.