The town of Leadville, Colorado, located at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, was once the second-largest city in Colorado and home to the richest silver mine in the world. It also has the distinction of having the highest airport in North America, at an elevation of 9,927 feet.
Clear Creek County, located in the central part of Colorado, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The region was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ute and Arapaho people, who utilized the area for hunting and gathering. In the mid-19th century, during the Colorado Gold Rush, Clear Creek County witnessed significant growth and development.

The discovery of gold in the area in 1859 led to a massive influx of people seeking fortune. The Colorado Gold Rush brought in thousands of miners who established mining camps and towns throughout the county. The town of Georgetown became the county seat and a major center for mining and commerce. The area experienced a boom period, with numerous mines producing significant amounts of gold, silver, and other minerals.

The construction of the Colorado Central Railroad in 1877 played a crucial role in the county's development. The railroad facilitated the transportation of people, goods, and ore, connecting Clear Creek County to other parts of the state. It spurred further growth and prosperity, as industries such as logging and tourism began to flourish alongside mining. The scenic beauty of the region attracted visitors, especially to Georgetown, which became a popular tourist destination due to its Victorian architecture and stunning mountain views.

Throughout the 20th century, Clear Creek County went through various economic cycles, with mining declining in the 1930s and ultimately coming to an end in the 1970s. The county shifted its focus toward outdoor recreation and tourism, capitalizing on its natural assets, including the stunning Clear Creek Canyon, mountainous terrain, and extensive trail systems. Today, Clear Creek County is known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and white-water rafting, as well as its preserved historic districts that showcase its mining and railroad heritage.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Clear Creek County, Colorado.

  • 1859: Clear Creek County is established on November 1
  • 1860: The first gold discoveries are made in the area
  • 1861: The county seat is relocated to Georgetown
  • 1864: Georgetown becomes the world's silver capital
  • 1867: The Georgetown Loop Railroad is completed
  • 1884: Idaho Springs becomes the new county seat
  • 1906: The county experiences a major mining strike
  • 1959: Loveland Ski Area, one of Colorado's first ski areas, opens in Clear Creek County
  • 1993: The Georgetown Loop Railroad is restored and reopened as a tourist attraction