The History of Black Hawk, CO

Casinos, Hotels, Restaurants, & More

Black Hawk, CO has a rich history that many people aren’t aware of. Now known for its many casinos and rock climbing opportunities, Black Hawk has an interesting history as a mining town. Thousands of people flock here to experience all the fun and relaxation each year, but many of them don’t know about our great city. Take a few minutes to find out more about the history of Black Hawk, CO.

The Mining Origins of Black Hawk

The city of Black Hawk, CO, named for a famous Indian chief, was founded by John H. Gregory in 1859 during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. Today Black Hawk holds the distinction of being the least populous city in Colorado, although, at any given time, there are more guests in the hotels and casinos than residents of the city. In 1868, chemistry professor and senator Nathaniel P. Hill made the state’s first successful ore smelter, a device that recovers gold from sulfide ores and was credited with saving hard rock mining in the region. Black Hawk began to flourish during the mining boom of the late 19th century, especially after it was linked by the Colorado Central Railroad to Golden, CO and mills were constructed. By 1899, Black Hawk’s population peaked at more than 2,000 people. Our city sent a dozen men to fight in World War II in 1918, and the population began to decline shortly thereafter. In 1932 Black Hawk experienced a revival of mining and tourism. Today you can see about 18,000 artifacts from Black Hawk’s gold mining history at The Gilpin Museum.

Black Hawk’s Gambling Boom

Fast forward almost 60 years, and Black Hawk became known for something else: gambling. Casinos opened here in 1991, and many gamblers from the Denver area love to visit. Taxes collected from gambling revenue has provided funding for the State Historical Fund. Black Hawk quickly became Colorado’s premier for gaming and exciting entertainment. Visitors approved higher limits in 2010, and sports betting became legal in 2020. Today there are more than a dozen casinos in Black Hawk, with games including blackjack, craps, poker, roulette, and slots. Try your luck at your favorite casino today!

Things to Do in Black Hawk

Even with the rich history of Black Hawk, there’s more to do today than ever before. Our city is known for being an entertainment destination for our casinos, hotels, restaurants, and site seeing. With more than a dozen casinos, there’s a way for everyone to try their luck. Black Hawk is a great place to visit, whether you prefer a lot of exciting action or a more relaxed pace. Our luxurious hotels are always accommodating, and there are many delicious restaurants to choose from. For those who love the great outdoors, Clear Creek Canyon is the perfect place to experience the mountains of Colorado, where you can hike, fish or enjoy the mountain views. A typical day in Black Hawk can be anything you want it to be. Imagine sleeping in and enjoying a delicious brunch. Next, spend the afternoon experiencing the beautiful views of Clear Creek Canyon. Follow that with a relaxing dinner. Then, roll some dice at the craps table to see if luck is on your side before finishing the day with a nightcap. Make Black Hawk your next vacation destination to experience all that we have to offer. Plan your getaway today!