Tag Archives: Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad

2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 2D

Cripple Creek-Victor Mining District

This area today is being heavily mined by what is known as the Cresson surface mine.  Because of this, the historical structures in the area are moved (the best they can) so where you find things one year might be different the next.  This was very true on this trip as we found various things moved again…

After crossing 250-foot bridge over Arequa Gulch that was constructed by the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company we head into the next section.  We are expecting to stop to take photos on structure on the left side of the road but are surprised to see a Headframe on the right.  After a bit of research, I determine it’s from the Golden Wedge Mine.  This headframe was originally at  38.727941° N / 105.157534° W but it’s been moved to 38.724918° N / 105.167238° W now.

Golden Wedge Mine

Beacon Hill Phonolite Plug

To our left we find the Nichol’s Mine as expected at 38.722430° N / 105.165642° W

Nichol's MineNichol's Mine

Next down the valley is the El Paso Mine at 38.719252° N / 105.170454° W

El Paso Mine

Farther yet down the valley is the Mary Nevin Mine at 38.718397° N / 105.175245° W

Mary Nevin Mine

As you continue on State Highway 67 we will reach a timber wall or cribbing on the right that supported the dump rock of the Mary MacKinney Mine.  This cribbing was originally placed here to permit the passage of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad (F&CC) on what is now the highway.  You can start to see how the current Cresson surface mine is pushing down hill into this area.

Cribbing – Mary McKinney Mine

Anaconda, CO

As we make the tight turn in the highway, this is where Anaconda, CO once stood and the railroad once also had a depot that is now in Cripple Creek used by the tourist railroad today.  We will stop after making the curve in the highway where we can get more of a panoramic view of the changes that have occurred since we were last here.

As we look to our left down the highway we just passed over we can now clearly see why the Golden Wedge Mine Headframe was moved as the Cresson surface mine has pushed into that location now.  We also note the old Blacksmith Shop building is missing (unknown status) and can barley make out where the old dept once stood now.  What was once left of Anaconda’s ghost town is nearly gone now and what remains will be gone soon…

Anaconda, CO

Rotating clockwise, the cribbing  of the Mary MacKinney Mine is back in view of the camera again.

Anaconda, CO

Rotating clockwise again, you can truly see between all these three photos the impact the Cresson surface mine is having now.  It won’t be long and this entire area will be transformed.

Anaconda, CO

Zooming in, I will also capture a closer view of the Chicken Hawk Mine at 38.726301° N / 105.163991° W.  I wonder how much longer it will remain.

Chicken Hawk Mine

Here is a couple of Goggle Earth Images from 2001 and 2012 of the Cresson surface mine to show growth over ~10 years of mining operations.  Anaconda, CO stood basically where you see the hairpin curve in the highway in the middle of these images

Cresson Mine - 2001

Cresson Mine - 2012


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2011: September Outing – Part 2

First destination of the day, a ride on the Royal Gorge Route. We will take lots of photographs and I took my new HD Camcorder for it’s first Railfan action.

We splurged a bit to ride in the Dome Car so the video did not turn out that good during the ride do to the sun glare on the window but I would take some video of the train before and after the trip that turned out very nice!

Above the tracks near Canon City several tunnels that some might mistake to be old railroad; but, Tunnel Drive (Hiking Trail Only) was built by prison inmates for water pipe to bring water into the city.  It does make for a great Railfanning location as you can see clearly down onto the tracks and we took advantage of it.

We will spend the afternoon traveling though Phantom Canyon which is the RR roadbed of the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad

I will setup the new new HD Camcorder as a Dash Camera and record the entire section as if we were the train going through the canyon.  Should make for an interesting documentary video some day interlaced with historical information and photos if I ever get the time to do it; not anytime soon though…

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Posted by on 09/17/2011 in RRAdventures


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2010: Railfanning South of Town; Part II / Day#2

On our second of our four-day trip, we once again headed up Highway 24 and reached Divide where we located their Colorado Midland Depot that they are now trying to preserve.

From there we headed into Cripple Creek to visit their new Pikes Peak Heritage Center that includes historical material from their history including some neat RR displays I will show more later in a future RRAdventures Trip Report.

Railroad Maps

We then traveled to Victor and drove into Phantom Canyon which was once where the Florence and Cripple Creek RR route was; more of this in a future RRAdventures Trip Report too.

Once we reach the other end of the canyon in Canon City, it was back to looking for more surviving RR history. Our first stop was to locate a bank that was once the D&RGW Depot here…

From there we headed to the Dinosaur Depot Museum that sits inside the old Fire House across from the Rio Gorge Railway.

We spotted lots of old RR equipment in a yard near by and also found two Rock and Rail engines sitting there…

We did not take the Rio Gorge Railway train this time but I did take a few photos including this shot of the old AT&SF Depot they use today.

From there we headed to Florence to track down two depots that still survive there. The first was the AT&SF depot that is now a private home and the second was the D&RGW depot now a Senior Center.

Our final destination for Day#2 was to head to Portland to find a bridge on State Route 120 that we were told still had D&RGW markings. Found the bridge but didn’t see any markings on it but there was a D&RGW Trespassing sign in front of it. We could only take a few quick shots and clear the area as the best angle was from on the highway bridge itself…

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Posted by on 09/11/2010 in RRAdventures


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