Took my yearly trip up to Gold Hill a few days ago. Such a great little town!  I am surprised that so few people know about it, but I guess that is also a blessing!

Located in Boulder County in the foothills west of Denver, Gold Hill is an old-timer among Colorado towns, dating all the way back to 1859. Gold Hill is so old in fact that it was once part of Nebraska Territory!


As the name obviously suggests, Gold Hill was a mining town from the great Colorado Gold Rush of 1859. Massive deposits of gold ore were found in the hills and gulches surrounding the town site. Prospectors flocked to the spot and the town sprang to life.



“Mountain District Number 1 at Nebraska” aka Gold Hill has been plagued by forest fires and floods since it’s very beginnings- The first documented forest fire that threatened the town was recorded in 1860, another huge fire in the 1890s ravaged the town, torrential rains caused flooding that threatened Gold Hill in 2013, and as of my typing this in October 2020, a forest fire caused the evacuation of the town yesterday. But somehow Gold Hill always manages to hang on.


Today Gold Hill is home to around 120 residents. There town has retained it’s historic feel and very little modern-era construction exists in the town. There are no paved streets in Gold Hill, only narrow dirt roads wide enough for one car to travel. Old trucks af every make and model are scattered around the streets and hillsides of Gold Hill.


Gold Hill has an Inn that hosts live bands outdoors in the summer months, an old two-story log hotel, a General Store/Coffee Shop/Cafe and the photogenic Red Store on the eastern edge of town. There is also a school house, museum, and outdoor display of old rusted mining equipment. South and east of town a short distance is the tiny Gold Hill cemetery which was ravaged by forest fire, and still shows the scars.


Gold Hill is a true gem and a fun place to explore, but can get crowded on weekends in the summer time. I’d suggest visit on a weekday in the off-season when you can really take in the beauty of this old mining town.

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  1. Douglas E says:

    I love Gold Hill; go through there a lot on way to Ward and beyond. There are some great places around there to find nice white quartz, and a stop at the General Store is always good,

  2. Douglas E says:

    Oh – also – the Gold Hill Inn has fantastic food, at least they did the last time we were there.

  3. Susan B. says:

    just reading a book, Mollie, written by a distant cousin when she accompanied her husband to Gold Hill in the early 1860’s. Fun to see it is still a community. I would love to visit!
    Thanks for the photos, etc!

  4. june wiebe says:

    The legend of Gold hill one at least is that a native who had a grudge i think, put a curse on the town, that if you ever visit, the reminder of that visit will haunt you and you will always long to return to Gold hill. And you will return, again and again!

  5. june wiebe says:

    Niwot is said to have given the “Curse of Boulder Valley” to the settlers before he died. “People seeing the beauty of this valley will want to stay, and their staying will be the undoing of the beauty,” he said. Whether or not you believe in Niwot‘s Curse, there is certainly truth to the idea that many people who come to Boulder either decide to put down roots or, after leaving for a time, return to it.

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