Cripple Creek

Mines, Active

Alternative names

Fox Gulch
Slug Gulch

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag
Ore minerals gold; stibnite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale OP
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-1
Latitude 63.5481
Longitude -156.0548
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Cripple Creek is a northwest-flowing headwater tributary of Graham Creek. Mining took place for approximately 3 1/2 miles of Cripple Creek; on a bench between Cripple Creek and Bear Creek (OP003); and near its junction with Graham Creek. The coordinates are for the approximate midpoint of 3 miles of tailings on Cripple Creek marked on the U.S. Geological Survey Ophir C-1 topographic map. This location is accurate. Cripple Creek corresponds to localities 6 and 8 of Cobb (1972 [MF 367]. Fox Gulch is at the head of Cripple Creek.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The bedrock at the head of Cripple Creek consists of sandstone and shale; the lower portion of Cripple Creek is underlain by serpentinized greenstone in fault contact with the sandstone and shale (White and Killeen, 1953; Chapman and others, 1985). Cretaceous or Tertiary monzonite intrusions occur at the head of Cripple Creek (Chapman and others, 1985), and may be the source of placer gold in Cripple Creek (Bundtzen and others, 1987). The gravel in Cripple Creek includes chert, greenstone, andesite, basalt porphyry, sandstone, slate, and granitic rocks (White and Killeen, 1953).
Placer gold was mined for 3.3 miles along Cripple Creek; on a bench between Cripple and Bear creeks (OP003); and near the mouth of Cripple Creek just upstream from its junction with Graham Creek. Both creek and bench placers were mined (Cobb, 1973 [B 1374]). Near the mouth, 5-6 feet of gravel were under 2-12 feet of muck (Mertie, 1936). The average gold fineness at Cripple Creek is 908 (Smith, 1941). Holzheimer (1926) reports stibnite at the head of Cripple Creek.
Mining of stream and bench placers at Cripple Creek began in 1913 and continued until 1947; additional mining occurred in 1967, and intermittently from 1978(?) until the present (2001) (Eakin, 1914; Brooks, 1915; Smith, 1926; Smith, 1930; Smith, 1932; Smith, 1933 [B 836]; Smith, 1933 [B 834-A]; Smith, 1934 [B 857-A]; Smith, 1934 [B 864-A]; Mertie, 1936; Smith, 1936; Smith, 1937; Smith, 1938; Smith, 1939 [B 910-A]; Smith, 1939 [B 917-A]; Smith, 1941; Smith, 1942; White and Killeen, 1953; Cobb, 1973 [B 1374]; Bundtzen and others, 1987; Bundtzen and others, 1992). In 1933, Cripple Creek was the largest non-dredge operation in the district (Smith, 1934 [B 864-A]). In 1936, drag-line mining began along Cripple Creek.
A conservative estimate of production from Cripple Creek is 38,542 ounces of gold and 401 ounces of silver; these totals do not include modern production (Bundtzen and others, 1987).
A small, northwest-flowing headwater tributary to Cripple Creek, called Slug Gulch was also mined during the 1970s by Steve Nerod (Ron Rosander, oral communication, 2001). Slug Gluch is a small valley immediately south of the Porphyry Knob prospect (OP031).
Geologic map unit (-156.057178347078, 63.5474882597729)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary. The source of the gold at Cripple Creek may be the meta-aluminous alkali-calcic to quartz-alkalic monzonite plutons at the head of the creek (Bundtzen and others, 1987).

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Mining of stream and bench placers at Cripple Creek began in 1913 and continued until 1947; additional mining occurred in 1967, and intermittently from 1978(?) until the present (2001) (Eakin, 1914; Brooks, 1915; Smith, 1926; Smith, 1930 [B 810]; Smith, 1932; Smith, 1933 [B 836]; Smith, 1933 [B 834-A]; Smith, 1934 [B 857-A]; Smith, 1934 [B 864-A]; Mertie, 1936; Smith, 1936; Smith, 1937; Smith, 1938; Smith, 1939 [B 910-A]; Smith, 1939 [917-A]; Smith, 1941; Smith, 1942; White and Killeen, 1953; Cobb, 1973 [B 1374]; Bundtzen and others, 1987; Bundtzen and others, 1992). In 1914 there were 5 underground placer mines, and about $15,000 worth of gold was produced (Brooks, 1915). In 1933, Cripple Creek was the largest non-dredge operation in the district (Smith, 1934 [B 864-A]). In 1936, drag-line mining began along Cripple Creek. By 1937, Cripple Creek had a post office, a 2200-foot landing field, and a radio station (Roehm, 1937). More recent production has occurred in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Indication of production Yes; medium
Production notes A conservative estimate of production from Cripple Creek is 38,542 ounces of gold and 401 ounces of silver; these totals do not include modern production (Bundtzen and others, 1987).

References

MRDS Number A010750; A015006

References

Reporters C.E. Cameron
Last report date 8/7/2001