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Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
336.00 ft (102.41 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Vindicator Trail is situated outside Victor, Colorado, nestled in the foothills surrounding Pikes Peak. It provides a unique historical perspective of the mining culture that helped shape Colorado in the early days of its statehood. In the late 1890s, these areas were some of the richest gold fields in the Cripple Creek mining district. At this time, Victor was one of the most metropolitan areas in the mountains, complete with Victorian stone buildings, paved streets, and streetcars. It boasted nearly 18,000 residents and over 500 mines in the area.

Victor remains one of Colorado's most productive gold mining regions. This hike takes you through the center of the historic mining district directly behind the operating gold mines of today. The entire landscape is dotted with giant iron and wooden structures used by the miners on their claims.

As you wander down the 2-mile path, history surrounds you at every turn. The impressive structure at the beginning of the trail is the Theresa Mine, and its giant tower is visible from miles away. Passing by old blast houses, mining cabins, and relics of old shacks, you arrive at the Vindicator Mines Ore House. Its massive structure dominates the landscape. The trail loop continues for about another mile, all the while passing by many structures that still stand, a true testament to the people who work here in the gold mines.

After you take in everything that Victor, Colorado, has to offer, consider traveling to Cripple Creek to explore the Victorian-era streets of another famous mining district. There are plenty of nearby adventures as well, including Mueller State Park, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, and a site of the old Colorado Midland Railroad along Gold Camp Road. There’s also plenty of great camping in the area, like the Crags Campground and South Meadow Campground.

The Colorado Springs area is full of outdoor adventure. Once you're finished with the Vindicator Valley, try a nearby adventure on the New Santa Fe Regional TrailGrandview TrailRed Rock Canyon Open Space, or Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Donation box at the trailhead.

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

No crowds.

Cons

No tours given.

Trailhead Elevation

9,989.00 ft (3,044.65 m)

Highest point

10,218.00 ft (3,114.45 m)

Net Elevation Gain

336.00 ft (102.41 m)

Features

Historically significant
Geologically significant
Family friendly

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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Unplug and reconnect in the endless beauty of Colorado Springs. Soak up spacious blue skies as you hike refreshing waterfalls, national forests and natural landmarks. From sweeping vistas to rare rock formations, the region is full of reinvigorating experiences.

Trade in screen time for mountain time to discover unforgettable adventures. Ditch your to-do list for your bucket list. Play alongside towering sandstone formations in Garden of the Gods Park. Navigate the twists and turns up Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain and the roaring white waters of the Arkansas River.

With more than 60 inspired things to see and do, the only lines you’ll find here are the ones you cast in a sparkling reservoir. Where the nightlife involves stargazing in the wilderness and turning up means making it to the top of the Manitou Springs Incline.

Escape to the cool Rocky Mountains of Colorado Springs, explorers are always welcome.

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