Mollie Kathleen Mine

Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine

Useful Information

Location: 9388 Highway 67, Cripple Creek, Colorado 80813.
Cripple Creek, north of Cannon City, west of Colorado Springs. Hwy 50 west, turn right onto Hwy 9, turn right onto County Road #11. Turn right at junction County Road #1 into Cripple Creek, through town and north on Hwy 67 for 2 km.
(38.753254, -105.160554)
Open: All year daily 9-17.
Tours every 30 to 45 minutes.
Fee: Adults USD 30, Children (3-12) USD 18, Children (0-2) USD 2.
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=10 °C.
Guided tours: D=60 min, L=400 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, 9388 Highway 67, P.O. Box 339, Cripple Creek, Co 80813, Tel: +1-719-689-2466. E-mail: contact
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.


09-SEP-1891 gold ore discovered by Mollie Kathleen Gortner.
1891 start of mining.
1961 Carlton Mill closed, mining ended, opened as a show mine.


Mollie Kathleen Mine is a typical Colorado Hardrock Mine, a mine where quartz based gold deposits were mined. It was named after Mollie Kathleen Gortner, who discovered the ore in 1891. She found the gold wired quartz in a valley called Poverty Gulch, becaus her neighbour had been unsuccessful in finding gold for twelve years. She was the first woman in the Gold Camp to strike a gold claim in her own name. This was not easy as the clerk at the Claims Office told her, that she could not file the claim as a woman. She just grabbed the file papers and signed them, and told him to argue with her husband Henry who was an attorney.

The mine is entered by a miners' elevator, a so-called Nine Man Miner Skip. It descends to the 10th level at a depth of 330 m, where the tour takes place. The primitive elevator is one of two, the second was used to transport ore. The elevator has a door which allows to leave it, if it is broken. There is an additional stair along the 350 m deep shaft. Part of the tour is a ride on a miners man-trip train car pulled by an air powered mine locomotive.

The tours into the mines started when people asked miners to take them into the operating mine. Soon more and more visitors came and the work was disturbed by the tours. So the 200 m level was opened for public viewing and the 330 m level was mined. Again the number of visitors grew and the real mine working were now shown during day, while mining took place during night. When the mine was closed in 1961, there were so many visitors, that the mine was immediately continued as a show mine.

On the other side of the road a new Heritage Center was opened in 2007. There are three floors of displays, devoted to local mining history, natural history, especially fossils and wildlife, and displays on other Pikes Peak attractions. There is a movie theater in the basement of the $3.7 million center. Many displays are interactive and kid-friendly. Central exhibits are the side-cut model showing the Mollie Kathleen mine and a life-size reproduction of a stegosaurus.