Casino Day Trips from Estes Park
The 90 minute drive from Estes Park to Central City and Blackhawk takes you across the scenic Peak to Peak highway and offers spectacular views and the chance to see a variety of wildlife.
With over a dozen casinos, Central City and Black Hawk offer limited stakes gambling. Live blackjack and poker tables are available in the larger casinos and some of the smaller casinos, too. There is also three card poker available with live dealers. Texas Hold’em seems to be the most common and popular poker game played in the gambling towns. The casinos also offer penny to five dollar slots (which will increase to one hundred dollars July 2), and a vast variety of dining choices.
Black Hawk, Colorado is the largest and flashiest of Colorado’s gambling towns and also has the richest history. Black Hawk, “The City of Mills,” is one of Colorado’s oldest cities, one of a number of towns that grew up in “Gregory’s Gulch,” the narrow ravine where Georgia prospector John H. Gregory first discovered lode gold in the western part of Kansas territory in 1859. Within months, thousands of would-be miners poured into the gulch, hoping for more big strikes like Gregory’s. A few found bonanzas, many found paying claims, but the great majority either moved elsewhere to try their luck or, proclaiming the whole “Pike’s Peak Gold Rush” a hoax, went back to their settled lives in the States.
Beginning with opening day on October 1, 1991, gaming proved spectacularly successful in attracting new investment to the gulch in amounts unheard of since the gold boom more than a century before. Entering yet another century, Black Hawk faces the prospect of trying to sustain – and live through – yet another boom period. The opportunities and challenges are there for those who will respect its rich heritage while at the same time welcome its unlimited future with the spirit of adventure that brought forth those ambitious miners and merchants of the 1800s.
Its historic downtown is intact but the big casinos have all but ignored the historic guidelines it seems.
If you drive less than one mile up the road to Central City, Colorado you’ll find a great little hide-away with all the amenities of Black Hawk but no crowds. Plus Central City is home to the Central City Opera, the Teller House and other historic places.
These two historical mining and gambling towns offer visitors a variety of things to do, from mining for gold to hiking, shopping and of course gambling.