Trails Link Nature With Mining Relics
~ by Trevor Phipps ~
After Memorial Weekend the summer season seems to officially kick off in the Ute Pass/Teller region.
The weather has finally warmed up and monsoon season has not yet plagued the area. The month of June is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Southern Teller has a lot to offer when it comes to outdoor activities in the mountains. The area has numerous trail systems that offer adventures for dirt bike riders, ATV enthusiasts, “sprocket heads” or mountain bikers, and mountain trail hikers. Many of the hiking trails in the area attract visitors from all over.
One of the best-kept hiking secrets in the district involves the historic town of Victor, associated more with its mining folklore. Hikers and visitors to the area may be in for a big surprise.
There are several mountain trails that offer more than just outdoor exercise. The hiking trails in Victor cover the area and take hikers on a trip to the past. Along the hiking trails, there are historic monuments such as old mining A-frames and other buildings. There are several informational plaques set up along the trails that educate hikers on the significance of certain areas and historical monuments. The trails take adventurers on paths that offer breathtaking views of the city of Victor and mountain ranges to the west.
All of the hiking trails in the area can be found on the city’s official website, VictorColorado.com. The site offers a description of the several trails that are located around the city. There is also the option of viewing interactive maps that show you where the trails start and end.
One of the most popular hiking areas is the Vindicator Valley Trail. This path leads travelers through the old Vindicator Valley, through the historic Independence townsite, and past several old mine sites. The passageway through the valley is a two-mile loop that has two trailheads, one across from Goldfield and the other on County Road 831.
Just before you reach Victor, on the south side of the Arequa Gulch bridge sits the Little Grouse Mountain Trailhead. This trail takes visitors up a small mountain and offers them 360-degree views of the area including views of the current CC&V mining site.
The Independence Mill Site Trailhead is located off the Old American Eagles Road. This trail leads hikers on a journey through old mine structure foundations and an amphitheater that was made from a large water tank.
The downtown Victor Trail takes history enthusiasts on a travel through the historic mining town and goes past several historic Victorian-Style buildings. The trail goes past the Lowell Thomas Museum and past other trailheads.
The Battle Mountain Trail is another highly traveled route that takes trekkers on a journey back to the gold rush days. The trail is just less than a mile long and brings people to many famous mine sites.
Towards the top of the Battle Mountain Trail, The Ajax Trail runs further up the mountain. However, the Ajax Trail is currently closed while mining official complete maintenance on the path to make it safer for the public.