- Located at 110 Smuggler Mountain Road, northeast of Aspen.
- In 1894, the world's largest nugget of silver, weighing 2054 lbs., was harvested here.
- Call (970) 925-2049 to make the nessary reservation for a mine tour.
- $30 for adults; $20 for kids (must be at least 5 years old).
Though many may forget, Aspen first gained notoriety not as a celebrity ski town but as a world-class silver mining town. In fact, Aspen was one of the country's largest mining towns, second only to nearby Leadville. In the 1880s through the mid-1890s, Aspen's population and mining harvests grew at a rapid rate. The introduction of Denver and Rio Grande Rialroads in the late-1880s particularly aided the business of ore. These were the "boom" times. Though the boom days certainly flickered out, the high point for Aspen came through a coveted find in the town's Smuggler Mine, located in Smuggler Mountain, northeast of town proper. In 1894, the world's largest silver nugget was harvested from Smuggler Mine. The nugget, 93% pure silver, wieghed in at 2054 lbs. That's just over a ton of silver!
Over a century later, while the mine may no longer be harvesting precious ore, tours of Smuggler Mine, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are available to the curious public. Tours start at the mine office (110 Smuggler Mine Road, Aspen) and visitors, equipped with hard hats and miners' lights, travel some 1200 feet into the earth in yellow ore carts, just as miners did so many years ago. Reservations are a must for these expeditions. Call Mine Tour Information at (970) 925-2049 to make reservations.
Smuggler Mine, located in Smuggler Mountain, overlooks the town of Aspen from the east. Driving directions from downtown Aspen: Heading east on Main Street, take a left on Neal Street at the point where Main Street deadends at Original Street. Take your second right onto King Street, drive about a quarter mile, then take a right onto Park Circle. Follow this road; Smuggler Mine will be on your left.
Tours, lasting about an hour and a half, are available daily upon reservation, during both the summer and winter seasons (times vary). Please, call (970) 925-2049 to make your reservations. Groups must be 4 people or larger. Children under 5 are not allowed.
A tour inside the depths of the historic silver mine costs:
- $30 for adults
- $20 for children