Mining Heritage: Argo Mill and Tunnel

The Old West History of Argo Mill

Argo Mill and Tunnel Delivered in Gold

The mill and tunnel provided employment for over eighty years to thousands of miners. Over two hundred million dollars of rich ore was sent directly to the smelters in Denver; the Argo Mill and Tunnel recovered over one hundred million dollars of gold values and these values were calculated when gold was $18.00 to $35.00 per ounce.

The “Mighty Argo” Tour

The five-story mill was renovated and opened to the public as a historic and educational tour in 1978. Most of the equipment used for processing the gold ore remains in place. The bottom level of the mill serves as a museum displaying mining and milling artifacts, old payroll records, milling receipts, and old photographs. Each year, the “Mighty Argo” tours guests from all fifty states and many foreign countries. The Argo Mill and Tunnel is a favorite educational and entertaining outing for many public schools who bring students from all grade levels including engineering students from the Colorado School of Mines.

Featured in Films and Publications

The Argo Mill and Tunnel has been featured in many national publications and has been the set for several film productions. Because of the historic significance and impact that the Argo Mill and Tunnel played in local and state mining history, it was placed on the National Historic Register by the Department of the Interior in 1977.

For More Information

Contact the Argo Mill and Tunnel for tours and gold/gemstone panning. Open year round (weather permitting) during the winter please call to confirm they are open. Hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day are 10am to 6pm. Tours run at the top of the hour – the first tour is at 11am, the last tour is at 4 pm.

Clear Creek County is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Located just west of Denver along Interstate 70, Clear Creek has 396 square miles of public lands to explore, as well as four mountain peaks above 14,000 feet. Clear Creek is comprised of charming mountains towns Idaho Springs, Downieville, Lawson, Empire, Georgetown, and Silver Plume, which are all along the I-70 corridor. Learn more about Clear Creek County here.