Bachelor-Syracuse Mine Tour in Ouray, Colorado is a great experience for food, history, views and FUN!! . To get there you need to head north out of Ouray on highway 550 and when you see the County Road 14 sign veer to the right and drive up the hill and stay on CR14 and follow the Bachlor-Syracuse Mine Tour signs.
Mine tours start every hour, we arrived at 9AM so we could get breakfast and then take the tour. If you can get ready earlier, they start serving breakfast at 8am and the first tour starts at 9am. Now for the business part of our visit…cost everyone over the age of 12 years old aka Adults are $14.99 each and kids 6-12 are $7.99. Kids under 6 are free you just have to keep up with them and keep them out of the water and out of trouble!!!
What a beautiful view from the sign, already worth the trip!!
To the right is the view of the breakfast tent, too bad the smell of bacon cooking can’t come thru pictures…because it smelled wonderful!!
Here is a picture from inside the tent and Stan cooking us breakfast!!! So yummy!! You just have to try it!!
They use cage-free eggs and try to get all ingredients from local farmers when possible. We had the big breakfast which consisted of 2 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 pieces of sausage, miner’s potatoes and toast. (there was an option to have biscuits and gravy instead of toast, but that was just too much food for me that early)
I had already started eating before I remembered that I hadn’t taken a picture of it to show you how wonderful it was. The Big Breakfast is $8.99 and the Tiny Breakfast is $6.99 and it’s 1 egg, 2 bacon or 2 sausage, miner’s potatoes and toast. Completely worth the price, I’m thinking I will be going back again soon just for the breakfast and the beautiful view!!!
Okay, now that our tummies are full, it’s time for the tour!!!
Ronny was our guide and he was completely awesome!!! He told us of the history of the mine and explained to us “non-miners” the terms and lingo used and what all the machines and tools were for. He even answered our silly questions and was always willing to help us out with photo ops!! Which is a big part of any adventure…right??? PICTURES!!
So this is the entrance to the mine. It’s an easy walk 1500 ft walk in at a slight incline in (like 2%) you are walking on the the mine tracks so I wouldn’t recommend taking a stroller because it can get muddy and rocky on the path. I would also recommend close-toed shoes. You have to wear hardhats for safety purposes and if it’s rainy you get to wear the traditional yellow slicker jackets. It’s wasn’t rainy at the time of our tour so we didn’t have to wear the jackets.
A few feet in, Ronny showed us the calcium deposits on the walls. This is a picture with the light from his helmet shining on the wall. It’s just beautiful.
Did you know that when you put a black light on calcium deposits they glow purple???
As we continue on walk Ronny talks about the stream that is on our right he said that it flows at about 150 gallons an hour, which for this tiny stream inside the mountain is a lot. It flows out of the mountain and into Lake Lenore that you drive by in the subdivision. He also told us about the time when they blew into a big inner-mountain stream and it filled the whole tunnel with water and that there is probably still some mining equipment at the bottom of Lake Lenore because it all washed out of the tunnel and moved with the water all the way down to the lake.
750 feet in and we can still see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve got this miner jargon down!!! As you can see the path is lighted and you can still see the tracks that the mine cars rode on.
The picture to the right has “cave bacon” circled in it. Cave bacon is calcium build up and it looks kinda like bacon.
As we get to 1500 ft in we met Jack. Jack is an old miner that hangs out and waits for us tourists and watches us freak out on all the cool things that Ronny tells us. Jack is holding a real “lunch pail” it is a two-tiered pail for lunches. Funny how sayings stick!! In this make-shift class room,
Ronny showed us how they use to mine for silver using a hammer and chisel and then progressing all the way to the air powered jacks. Can you imagine working 12 hours a day for $3 and having to spend a dollar or so of that money to buy candles so you can see what you are hammering??
To the right is what it looks like to mine by candle light. I can’t imagine being the one holding the chisel while someone swung a sledge hammer at it…
As we walked out of the mine to the left was the “Gold Pannin'” area, Ronny showed us how they used to pan for gold and the kids get to try to pan and they get to keep whatever they find!!!
We were completely overwhelmed by the beautiful view. All the new green leaves, the beautiful mountains and the clean mountain air!!
Our tour was over but we were free to
roam around and check out the gift shop and the black smith shop and of course the spectacular views of the the San Juan Mountains.