Snowshoe Through Gold Mine History


Select private tours and hikes, and private museum openings are available at this time. Please make your request no less than 48 hours in advance of your desired date/time. Click here for other guest information. 

The current tour capacity is 6 guests and 1 guide in accordance with the Summit County public health ordinance. Please note that if you have a group larger than 6 people, we may be able to book a private tour with two guides to split the group in accordance with our tour capacities. Please fill out the Private Tour Inquiry form to request a private tour. 

Cost & Reservations

$20/adult (ages 13+),  $15/child (ages 4-12)​​

reservations and payment required 2 hours prior to tour

Face masks are required on all BHA hikes and tours

Where to park

There is a small parking area at the trailhead; please do not park in the Public Works complex. Alternatively, you can leave the car behind and take the Breck Free Ride bus to the Breckenridge Terrace 1 stop and the trailhead is just across Airport Road.

Where to meet

Iowa Hill Trailhead, Airport Road, Breckenridge, CO 80424

This tour is available by private request. Please complete the tour inquiry form no less than 48 hours in advance of your desired date/time. A staff member will be in touch to confirm your tour.


About the tour

Once miners exhausted gold panning in the streams and rivers around Breckenridge, they moved on to other techniques to get to the precious mineral. This 1.5 mile guided hike goes through what used to be an active hydraulic mine site, where miners sprayed hillsides with giant nozzles to collect gold-bearing gravel. As you hike up Iowa Hill, authentic mining artifacts and interpretive signs dot the landscape. At the top of Iowa Hill, tour takers get exclusive access into a restored boardinghouse (c 1868) where miners lived. The Mining History Association named Iowa Hill the best hydraulic mining exhibit in the world. 

What to expect

This is an outdoor hike/snowshoe offered in sun, wind, and snow. It is not intended to be strenuous and there are a lot of stops throughout the hike, but please be aware guests from lower elevations may experience the effects of altitude. Hiking boots or sneakers recommended. In the winter season, snowshoes are provided at no extra cost. Typically this 1.5 mile guided hike takes 90 minutes. The Iowa Hill trail is not ADA accessible. It is a dirt trail with natural features like rocks and roots. In the winter the trail is covered with snow. Click here for more FAQs.

Best for 

Families, small groups, kids, couples. This is a great hike for people just arriving in Breckenridge looking for an easy hike with a guide. 

What guests say

"Our guide was exceptional. She was knowledgeable in all areas -- the history, the science and the nature. She was one of the best guides we've ever had. She was generous with her information and had done her homework. Great job."

Did you know? 

Many miners lived in group boardinghouses during the work week, only returning to town on the weekends for a warm bath, hearty meal, laundry, and maybe drinks and dancing at the saloons.

dates, times, and prices subject to change without notice; all activities weather dependent

Our Mission: The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance preserves unique historic resources in the Breckenridge area and connects residents and visitors to our past through inspiring interpretation of heritage sites and stories.


Our Vision: The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance is a community-supported, nationally-recognized non-profit leader in local historic preservation, interpretation and authentic heritage tourism.


Mailing Address:  PO Box 2460

Welcome Center:  203 South Main Street

Administrative Office:  309 North Main Street

Breckenridge, CO 80424

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© 2018 by Breckenridge Heritage Alliance