It’s official – the donkeys of Cripple Creek have been let loose for summer.

Each year come mid-May to early-June, a local herd of donkeys are released from their winter pen in Cripple Creek, Colorado to roam the town during the warmer months of the year, typically until October.

These aren’t just any donkeys either. They’re believed to be direct descendants of the donkeys used to mine the area – the famous Cripple Creek and Victor mining district. Many times when miners would leave the area, they would leave their donkeys behind, setting them loose to roam.

Now, the herd roams freely around town and in the nearby hills during summer in honor of the area’s rich history in mining.

One great opportunity to see the herd is during the annual Donkey Derby Days, which takes place during the last full weekend of June. This event has roots that date back to the 1930s when the town and tourists would gather to watch donkeys be ridden around a track. Donkeys are no longer ridden, but they are led through an obstacle course. It’s quite the spectacle.

Find out more about the Donkey Derby Days event here.

 

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