Less than 50 miles from Colorado Springs lies a town called Cripple Creek, one of the most unique places to visit in the Centennial State. Once a prosperous gold mining camp of over 10,000 people, Cripple Creek is now home to around 1,000 permanent residents. And today, most of the town’s economy is made up of a thriving casino industry, many of which occupy historic buildings.

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This town is home to the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad Line, a ride that takes visitors past several mines and smaller ghost towns in the area.

NEARBY: The Haunted Tunnels of Gold Camp Road!

Cripple Creek is also close to the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, one of the only Colorado mines that visitors can actually tour. The mine shaft drops 1,000 feet into the mountain.

Another interesting aspect of Cripple Creek is the herd of donkeys that roam the streets. Originally left behind by miners at the turn of the century, these donkeys have been around ever since with some thought to be descendants of those left 100 years ago.

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Each year, Cripple Creek hosts an event called “the Donkey Derby Days” in which donkeys are led through obstacles courses (they used to be ridden) with proceeds helping to feed and provide medical services for the herd throughout the rest of the year.

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