Immediately adjacent to Mount Thomas on its eastern to northern boundaries is Golden Gate Canyon State Park. The park was started in 1960 and now encompasses some 13,000 acres, creating a permanent reserve and precluding adverse development or visual impairment of the Mount Thomas views to the east. In fact, Mount Thomas has a “back door” private entrance to the park, which contains a number of historical places of interest, as well as outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities, including 11 marked trails of varying length and degree of challenge, for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, rock climbing, picnicking, fishing, hunting, observing wildlife and enjoying nature in all of its manifestations.
Experts theorize that the area was traversed by “Big Game Hunters” at the end of the last glacial period (about 12,000 to 7,500 years ago), but no definitive evidence has been found from that period. The Utes were known to have inhabited the area about 400 years ago, and more recently, the Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa and Cheyenne. Sporadic settlement occurred in the early 1800’s, followed by a gold rush in the 1850’s that drove up the population of nearby Black Hawk and Central City to about 150,000 people.
Historical sites that can still be visited within Golden Gate Canyon State Park include:
∙ the Tallman Ranch (1870’s)
∙ Old Barn Knoll (1870’s)
∙ Frazer Meadow Barn (1880’s)
∙ Belcher Barn (1890’s)
∙ Reverend Tippit’s Cabin (late 1800’s)
∙ Belcher-Harmsen Ranch (early 1900’s)
∙ Bootlegger’s Cabin (1920’s ?)
∙ Phillips Homestead (1930’s)
The area had a history of moonshine production during Prohibition which locals affectionately dubbed “stump whiskey,” and a reputation for defying, evading and misleading federal revenue agents.
Mount Thomas has approximately 8 neighboring residential properties along its border that does not front on Golden Gate Canyon, which are all lower in altitude, are hidden by trees, and do not affect the views or enjoyment of the property. Thus, the dramatic views from the property are effectively protected in perpetuity.
Nearby are also federally protected areas, including the Arapaho National Forest, James Peak Wilderness, and Roosevelt National Forest. Within Gilpin County are the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and the Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway.
Though solitary, Mount Thomas is not isolated. In addition to the numerous cultural and recreational resources of Denver and Boulder, the neighboring towns provide a variety of diversions and amenities, including:
in Black Hawk –
∙ the new Gilpin County community pool and recreational facility
∙ numerous casinos, including: Ameristar, The Lodge, Monarch, Golden Mardi Gras, Sasquatch, Saratoga, Z Casino, Gilpin Lady Luck, Golden Gates, and Canyon
in Central City –
∙ the Central City Opera House
∙ Hidee Gold Mine
∙ Gilpin History Museum
in Idaho Springs –
∙ the Phoenix Gold Mine
∙ Bouck Brothers Distillery
∙ St. Mary’s Glacier
∙ Argo Mill & Tunnel
∙ Heritage Visitors’ Center
∙ Clear Creek Whitewater Rafting
in Nederland –
∙ the Carousel of Happiness
∙ Eldora Mountain Resort
Reachable by car are Colorado’s premier ski resorts, including Vail, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge. Close by are Eldora and Loveland ski areas.
The location of Mount Thomas is in many respects ideal, because it is a rich and beautiful natural setting close to the cultural resources of Denver and a short distance from skiing, climbing, sightseeing, gaming and numerous other activities.
WARNING: The property, including all of its roadways, is private property. No entry or showings are to take place without prior express written permission by the owner and accompaniment by its representative.
Any unauthorized person or persons will be considered trespassers and may be prosecuted accordingly.
2000 Mount Thomas Drive, Black Hawk, Colorado 80422, United States