If you are looking for a break from the hectic pace of I-70 ski traffic this winter, head to the historic mining town of Cripple Creek! Situated 9,494 feet in the mountains, with a population of just over 1,100 people, Cripple Creek is an excellent place to step back to a slower tempo to take in the vast vistas and wondrous beauty of the winter season. Cripple Creek is a town thick with history; the streets and trails are pathways through time, leading adventurers through the rich tapestry of the Colorado Gold Rush.
February in Cripple Creek is all about ICE! Top carving teams from all over the nation will converge to create intricate and awe-inspiring sculptures out of massive blocks of ice for the Cripple Creek Ice Festival 2024. The Ice Festival will take place from Feb. 17 to Feb. 25. It is an enchanting winter celebration that captivates both locals and tourists alike. The town of Cripple Creek will transform the historic streets into a dazzling display of frozen artistry and celebration. These sculptures will reflect the festival’s theme, which can vary from year to year.
As visitors stroll through the quaint town, they will be treated to a magical world of shimmering ice, where the sculptures come alive. Ice Sculpture Fest in Cripple Creek is a testament to the creativity and skill of the artists but also a testament to the town’s commitment to creating a winter wonderland for all to enjoy.
Cripple Creek is also host to the Ice Castles throughout the month of February. Created out of 25,000 tons of ice, the castles are a wonder of nature and human ingenuity. These stunning creations are formed when freezing temperatures transform ordinary icicles into a magical ice fortress. As the ice accumulates, it creates a labyrinth of shimmering corridors, towering spires, tunnels and colorful slides, all made of ice. Visitors are transported into a world of crystalline beauty, where the play of light and shadow on the icy surfaces creates a mesmerizing spectacle. Walking through these frozen wonders feels like stepping into a wintry fairy tale, making ice castles a true marvel of natural phenomena and human creativity that will delight the entire family.
There are many hiking opportunities in and around Cripple Creek. Florissant Fossil Beds offers 14 miles of hiking through Aspen and Ponderosa pine and meandering through the ancient lakebed. Mueller State Park offers 55 miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding trails and year-round camping. There are also several hikes that will take you along historic trails with glimpses into the storied past of the Colorado Gold Rush.
Cripple Creek promises an unforgettable journey steeped in rich history, friendly locals, and an abundance of activities for the entire family.