Take A Day Trip From the Frisco Lodge: Georgetown, Colorado

Posted by: admin July 29th, 2015

Georgetown-ColoradoPhoto courtesy of Gary A. Haines, Grizzly Creek Gallery

Anyone driving to our Frisco bed and breakfast from the east will have passed it just off of the major thoroughfare of I-70. If you closed your eyes for a minute (not while you were driving, of course), you may have missed it. No, I am not talking about a bighorn sheep or mountain goat sighting, I am talking about the Silver Queen of the Rockies – historic Georgetown, Colorado.

Just about a half hour’s drive from the Frisco Lodge the tiny mountain enclave of Georgetown may only signify the obligatory gas stop on the drive back from a ski day to some Coloradans, but this quaint town actually has a ton of things to see and do. So, take a day to peruse the delightful Wild West sandstone sidewalks, take in some breathtaking views of its majestic mountains and admire the century-old native trees and vintage charm that are trademarks of this historic town. Here are some reasons why you should take a day trip to the Silver Queen of the Rockies.

Georgetown-Loop-RailroadPhoto courtesy of Gary A. Haines, Grizzly Creek Gallery

Georgetown Loop Railroad

One of Colorado’s original tourist attractions, the Georgetown Loop Railroad is still a crowd-pleaser today. Completed in 1884, the railroad’s route connects Georgetown to the former mining camp of Silver Plume over two miles away, gains 640 feet of elevation, crosses four bridges and traverses the narrow walls of the famed Clear Creek Canyon.

From May to the end of September, enhance your train ride with a walking tour of the Lebanon Silver Mine, situated at the halfway point of the railroad loop. Bored in the 1870s, you will have the chance to delve 500 feet into the mine and learn about the early days of silver mining in the area. For the more adventurous, try exploring 900 feet into Leavenworth Mountain – a section of tunnel that extends from the silver mines of Silver Plume to the Silver Queen Mine in Georgetown. Or, you could always go the more educational route with the Everett Silver Mine Tour and Gold Panning. This tour gives visitors a glimpse into the mining era of the 1880s while giving them a chance to pan for real gold.

Hotel-De-Paris-Georgetown-COPhoto courtesy of Gary A. Haines, Grizzly Creek Gallery

History & Museums

For the history buff or general enjoyer of museums, welcome to your happy place as Georgetown offers visitors numerous chances at exploring the area’s past. Some of the highlights include the Georgetown Energy Museum, the Hamill House Museum and the Hotel de Paris Museum.

Georgetown Energy Museum: In operation since 1900, the Georgetown Energy Museum is located in a fully functional hydroelectric generating plant and provides a general history of hydroelectric power with exhibits and photographs.

Hamill House Museum: Want to get a glimpse into life in 19th century Georgetown? This restored Victorian home in the heart of the town’s historic district will offer up a taste of how silver miner, William Arthur Hamill, lived during the silver mining days.

Hotel de Paris Museum: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hotel De Paris served as a first-class French restaurant, showroom for traveling salesmen and luxurious hotel during the silver mining boom. An American hotel of European inspired elegance, the hotel offers 30 minute tours on the hour from 10am to 5pm, but here have also been several reports of hauntings at this famed hotel, so be on the lookout.

Self-guided walking tours of the town are also available. The tour provides you with an insight into the historical and architectural significance of Georgetown’s 19th-century buildings as well as its mining heritage.

Photo courtesy of Steve Nelson, Our Gang Ice Racing

Georgetown Lake

Georgetown Lake is a wonderful spot in the summer for fishing and non-motorized boating, as well as winter fishing and ice racing activities. The lake has an abundant amount of brown, brook and rainbow trout, so set up a chair in the summer and throw your line amidst the beautiful scenery. Boats, rafts and inner tubes are allowed on the lake, but nothing motorized is permitted.

During the winter months the lake freezes solid, creating perfect conditions for ice fishing. But, even more exciting is the ice racing events that have been gracing the surface of Georgetown Lake for over 39 years. Spanning six weekends through January and February, the ice racing is completely free to watch and enjoy.

Streets-of-Georgetown-COPhoto courtesy of Gary A. Haines, Grizzly Creek Gallery

Restaurants & Shopping

With over 20 shops ranging from trading posts to antique shops to outdoor gear, Georgetown is a great place to pick up a unique gift for that special someone back home. But, while you’re spending the day in town, why not try one of the many choices of restaurants, bars, diners, bakeries, ice cream shops and eateries as well?

So, whether you planning on exploring an old silver mine, indulging your inner history geek, casting your rod amidst the beautiful mountain scenery or imbibing on your favorite beverage or food, Georgetown has a little something for everyone. And, at an hour round trip from the Frisco Lodge, how can you go wrong with a day trip to the “Silver Queen of the Rockies?”