Hike Home with a Miner
Schedule & Cost
There is a small parking area at the trailhead; please do not park in the Public Works complex. Alternatively, you can leave the car behind and take the Breck Free Ride bus to the Breckenridge Terrace 1 stop and the trailhead is just across Airport Road.
Once miners exhausted gold panning in the streams and rivers around Breckenridge, they moved on to other techniques to get to the precious mineral. This 1.5-mile guided hike goes through what used to be an active hydraulic mine site, where miners sprayed hillsides with giant nozzles to collect gold-bearing gravel.
As you hike up Iowa Hill, authentic mining artifacts and interpretive signs dot the landscape. At the top of Iowa Hill, tour takers can go inside a restored boardinghouse (c 1868) where miners lived. The Mining History Association named Iowa Hill the best hydraulic mining exhibit in the world.
You can also read a Spanish translation of the interpretive panels.
This is an outdoor hike/snowshoe offered in sun, wind, and snow. It is not intended to be strenuous and there are a lot of stops throughout the hike, but please be aware guests from lower elevations may experience the effects of altitude. Hiking boots or sneakers recommended. In the winter season, snowshoes are provided at no extra cost.
Typically, this 1.5-mile guided hike takes 90 minutes. The Iowa Hill trail is not ADA accessible. It is a dirt trail with natural features like rocks and roots. In the winter the trail is covered with snow. Click here for more FAQs.
Families, small groups, kids, couples. This is a great hike for people just arriving in Breckenridge looking for an easy hike with a guide.
“Our guide was exceptional. She was knowledgeable in all areas — the history, the science and the nature. She was one of the best guides we’ve ever had. She was generous with her information and had done her homework. Great job.”
Many miners lived in group boardinghouses during the work week, only returning to town on the weekends for a warm bath, hearty meal, laundry, and maybe drinks and dancing at the saloons.