Matchless Mine

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 10,504 - 10,513 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: E. 7th Street
Fee: $8/person
Attractions: Historic silver mine

The Matchless Mine, located in Leadville, Colorado, is the location of Baby Doe's Cabin. Silver King Horace Tabor made a fortune from the mine beginning in 1878 which was later squandered largely through acts of philanthropy and bad investments. His second wife, Elizabeth Bonduel McCourt Doe ("Baby Doe") lived at the mine after Horace's death in 1899 until her own death in 1935 at the age of 81.

From downtown Leadville head east for about 1.25 miles on E. 7th Street and turn left at the sign.

A person will come out to collect the fee as you leave the parking area. Current prices are $12/person for the guided tour and $8/person for the self-guided.

They have some gold pans for those that would like to give panning a try.

Walking around the property in the clockwise direction will take you by the old powder magazine.

A few very informative information kiosks are spread out around the property to enhance the visit.

An 'A-frame' towers over the mine shaft dangling an ore bucket from its cable. Off to the side is a man basket that was used for raising and lowering the miners and a couple of small rail carts to receive the ore.

The cable from the A-frame runs into a shed where the operator was stationed. An adjoining room houses a fully tooled blacksmith shop, bellows and all.

Also within the same building there is an interesting diorama of a mine miniaturized and built to scale.

The other main attraction to the historic landmark is Baby Doe's Cabin.

With much of its original equipage and numerous photos what was once a home is now a museum.

 Various cans that still have their labels along with pots and pans, plate and kitchen tools form displays along the walls.

Many of the people coming from Denver and all around that visit Leadville during the summer get sent up to the Matchless Mine by the friendly folks at the visitor center. That helps to make it a popular destination while for those in town. Another must see attraction is the National Mining Museum that is only a block or so away from the Visitor Center on West 9th Street. It has an extensive gem collection among its many exhibits. Taken together the Matchless Mine, the National Mining Museum, and the many historic buildings will leave visitors to Leadville well satisfied for the time spent. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.