Black Hawk Tourist Attractions: Casinos & More


Black Hawk, a former mining town settled in the Rocky Mountains, has transformed into a premier tourist destination in Colorado. With its rich history, world-class casinos, and stunning natural surroundings, it offers a unique blend of entertainment, adventure, and cultural experiences. Read this article to learn more about how to make your Black Hawk visit truly unforgettable.


  • Black Hawk boasts over fifteen casinos, offering a thrilling gaming experience in a picturesque, mountain setting.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the Arapahoe National Forest, hike scenic trails, and fish in the nearby Clear Creek.
  • Historic sites, walking tours, and preserved mining artifacts showcase the town's rich gold rush history.

Destination Overview

Black Hawk’s transformation from a small mining town to a vibrant tourist hub is nothing short of remarkable. Originally founded in 1859 during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, the town’s fortunes changed with the legalization of gambling in the 1990s. Today, its unique offerings attract visitors from across the state and beyond.

The town’s main draw is its gaming scene, with over fifteen casinos offering a wide range of gaming options, from classic table games to the latest slot machines. These casinos are not just about gambling, however. They also feature world-class restaurants, entertainment venues, and luxurious accommodations, providing a complete resort experience.

Local Experiences and Culture

While gaming is a significant part of Black Hawk’s appeal, the town’s rich cultural heritage and local experiences are equally captivating. Visitors can immerse themselves in the town’s mining history by exploring the Gregory Diggings, a historic mining site. They can also enjoy a guided walking tour through the town’s preserved buildings and artifacts.

Local cuisine is another highlight, with restaurants showcasing Colorado’s culinary traditions and incorporating locally sourced ingredients. Visitors can savor authentic Western fare, craft beers, and spirits distilled right in Black Hawk.

Gaming and Entertainment

Black Hawk’s gaming scene is truly world-class, with casinos like the Ameristar Resort Casino and Spa offering a Las Vegas-style experience in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. These casinos feature a wide range of gaming options, from classic table games like blackjack and roulette to the latest slot machines and video poker.

Black Hawk offers a variety of entertainment options, including live music venues, comedy clubs, and theater performances. The town’s vibrant nightlife scene allows visitors to enjoy a night out on the town after a day of gaming or outdoor adventure.

Nature and Outdoor Activities

Despite its reputation as a gaming destination, Black Hawk is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by the stunning Arapahoe National Forest, offering endless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and fishing.

The Clear Creek that runs through the town is a popular spot for fly fishing, while the nearby Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers scenic hiking trails and opportunities for wildlife viewing. For those seeking a more leisurely outdoor experience, the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and opportunities for picnicking and sightseeing.

Historical Attractions and Tours

Black Hawk’s rich history is a significant part of its appeal, and visitors can explore this heritage through a variety of historical attractions and tours. The town’s historic district, which includes the Gregory Diggings and the Bobtail Lode, provides a glimpse into the town’s mining past.

Guided walking tours provide an in-depth look at the town’s preserved buildings and artifacts, while the Gilpin County Historical Society Museum offers exhibits and educational programs on the region’s gold rush history.

Dining and Culinary Experiences

Black Hawk’s dining scene is truly incredible, with a range of world-class restaurants offering diverse culinary experiences. From upscale steakhouses to casual eateries, visitors can savor a variety of flavors and cuisines. No matter what your taste or budget, you will easily find a restaurant that suits your needs.

Many restaurants in Black Hawk incorporate Colorado’s culinary traditions, showcasing locally sourced ingredients and regional specialties. The Timberline Grill, for example, is renowned for its Rocky Mountain-inspired cuisine and extensive wine list.

Accommodations and Hospitality

Black Hawk offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference, from luxurious casino resorts to standard hotel rooms to cozy bed and breakfasts. Black Hawk hotels and lodges are known for their exceptional hospitality, ensuring that visitors have a comfortable and memorable stay.

Many of the larger casino resorts, such as the Ameristar Resort Casino and Spa, offer a full range of amenities. These include spas, fitness centers, and multiple dining options. For those seeking a more intimate experience, Black Hawk’s historic inns and boutique hotels provide a unique and charming atmosphere.

Transportation and Accessibility

Black Hawk is easily accessible from major cities like Denver, making it a convenient destination for both day trips and extended stays. The town’s Black Hawk & Central City Shuttle-Tramway provides a convenient and scenic way to navigate between attractions, while the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway offers a breathtaking drive through the Rocky Mountains.

For those arriving by air, Black Hawk is just a short drive from Denver International Airport, and several shuttle services transport visitors to and from the town.


What is the best time to visit Black Hawk?

Black Hawk is a year-round destination, with each season offering unique experiences. Summer is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, while winter provides opportunities for skiing and snowshoeing in nearby resorts. Spring and fall are also great times to visit, with milder temperatures and fewer crowds.

Is Black Hawk family-friendly?

While Black Hawk is known for its casinos, the town offers a variety of family-friendly activities and attractions. The historic district, outdoor recreation opportunities, and cultural events make it a great destination for families looking for a mix of entertainment and education.

What are the must-see historical attractions in Black Hawk?

Some of the top historical attractions in Black Hawk include the Gregory Diggings, the Bobtail Lode, and the Gilpin County Historical Society Museum. Guided walking tours are also highly recommended for those who want to learn more about the town’s rich mining history.

Are there outdoor activities besides hiking and fishing?

Yes, Black Hawk offers a range of outdoor activities beyond hiking and fishing. Mountain biking is popular in the surrounding Arapahoe National Forest, and visitors can also enjoy rock climbing, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing in the nearby state parks and natural areas.

What is the best way to experience Black Hawk’s gaming scene?

To fully experience Black Hawk’s gaming scene, visitors should plan to spend time at some of the town’s larger casino resorts, such as the Ameristar Casino or the Isle Casino Hotel. These venues offer a wide range of gaming options as well as dining, entertainment, and accommodations.

Is it easy to get from Black Hawk to Red Rocks Park?

Red Rocks Park, which is a popular destination for concerts, is located only about thirty miles from Black Hawk. However, the mountain roads are extremely windy and have deer on them at night. If planning to attend a concert at Red Rocks, choose to stay somewhere closer to the amphitheater.

Is there an opera house in Black Hawk?

There is an opera house right next door to Black Hawk in Central City, Colorado. For a cultural experience, visit the Central City Opera House in the Central City/Black Hawk Historic District.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.