“A two-mile loop past abandoned mining buildings in the historic town of Independence, Colorado.
— Mikhaila Redovian
Visitors to all trails must remember they are crossing private land and must stay on the trails for their safety.
The Vindicator Valley Trail is a two-mile loop past abandoned mining buildings in the historic town of Independence, Colorado. The trail highlights the Cripple Creek and Victor gold rush constructions of the 1890s - the Independence Mine founded by Winfield Scott Stratton, the iron Theresa Mine, the giant Vindicator Mine and the Gold Coin Hoist, and views of the current mining operations at the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine.
The trail begins at a small parking lot on the eastern side of the loop, just off of Highway 81. The trail begins to climb after a half mile in a steady and mildly steep grade. From there, things settle into a quick descent, followed by another long but gentle climb. As you turn to complete the loop, you'll enjoy a lengthy descent back to the trailhead. There are many signs are along the trail which tell the history of the mines and area.
After 1.4 miles, the loop steeply descends back towards the parking lot. This area is popular with with other runner and tourists, but bikes and horses are allowed. Yield appropriately.