Explore Black Hawk

Just a half hour from Denver, you’ll find one of Colorado’s former mining towns transformed into a different sort of gold rush. Referred to as “the Vegas of Colorado,” the Front Range town of Black Hawk in Gilpin County may only have a population of 127 as of 2020, but the Black Hawk casinos draw thousands of visitors looking for an authentic casino experience amidst the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

whiskey, leather and how to get there

The vacationer to Colorado might shoot down I-70 and hit the Central City parkway to go into Black Hawk, just off exit 243. You couldn’t miss the giant arched red neon to the left of the Squatch Store(the Sinclair Gas Station as Google would know it). But if you want real views of the continental divide, the locals know that HW-119 is the way to go.

When you reach Central City, the smell of the Wild West still slightly lingers. Whiskey and saddle leather aren’t hard to find around these parts. Picture Clint Eastwood and Post Malone sharing a fence line, and you’ve got Black Hawk and Central City.

The Glitzy Wild West

Stepping into these historic towns of Colorado is like entering a realm where grit meets glamour, where the echoes of its mining past mingle with the glitz of its modern-day allure. 

Experience the nostalgia of the town’s oldest bar as you swing through the doors of the Gold Coin Saloon, or opt for a touch of modern luxury at the Monarch Casino’s rooftop pool bar. No matter which side of the coin (pun intended) you fall on, you’re bound to win. 

The nightlife exudes a gritty charm that permeates the streets of Black Hawk on weekend nights. As casino lights flicker, rookie table players share their tales of losses on the patios of Main Street. 

The beats of Bar8042 at The Ameristar amplify the town’s energy on Saturday nights. Meanwhile, seasoned pros gather near Lady Luck Casino, counting their winnings and enjoying a smoke by the parked Colorado railway train car in the heart of town. Black Hawk is secretly a bustling and sleepy town, all at once.

play your cards right, strike gold

Now let’s be clear, Black Hawk isn’t Vegas or anything close, and that’s why it’s so special and one of the best mountain trips close to Denver. Black Hawk, Colorado may have some big boys like Ballys, Ameristar, and the Monarch Casino, where the buffets slay and the slots are loose like yesterday’s goose, but what makes this trip from Denver equally great are the preserved historical spots that give it its charm. 

In just one day, you can indulge in a spa treatment at the Monarch Casino with your gal pals and hit a hike nearby. Afterward, immerse yourself in the vintage charm of an old mining town in downtown Central City. Grab some live tunes at JK BBQ and savor a local brew and slab of pizza at the Dostale Alley Brewery. Finally, end your day at the historic Gilpin Casino, which remains open 24 hours a day, ensuring your adventure never has to end.

rush into (even more) rocky mountain adventure

Whether you’re exploring the town’s rich mining heritage, its vibrant casino scene, or the outdoor adventures opportunities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in these hidden gems of the Rocky Mountains. 

Here’s a roundup of must-do activities to make the most of your time in Black Hawk or Central City:

Gambling and Entertainment

Both Central City and Black Hawk are known for their vibrant casino scenes. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or just looking for some casual fun, the casinos in these towns offer a range of slot machines, table games, and live entertainment options. 

Those seeking group activities will find a plethora of options for bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, or team-building events at the various casinos. Ride in style with Black Label and skip the stress of getting there.

Mountain Views and Outdoor Adventures

For breathtaking mountain views and outdoor activities consider visiting the nearby Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Here, you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing amidst stunning alpine scenery. Check Out Panorama Point if you’re just stopping through – it’s a must-see.

“Oh My God” Road Scenic Byway:

As you travel between Central City and Black Hawk, take a scenic drive along the Virginia Canyon Scenic Drive or the  “Oh My God” Road. This exhilarating 7.6 mile route offers stunning vistas and hairpin turns as it winds through the mountains, providing an unforgettable driving experience with plenty of photo opportunities. Be sure you have the right vehicle and you’ve checked the weather too!

Historical Tours

Central City and Black Hawk are steeped in fascinating history, and both towns offer guided historical tours that provide insights into the area’s mining heritage. Explore well-preserved historic buildings, learn about the Gold Rush era, and gain a deeper understanding of Colorado’s rich cultural past. Take a tour of the Hidee Gold Mine or check out the Gilpin History Museum to learn more about the area. 

where to eat and drink

Dostal Alley Brewpub and Casino

Located in Central City, Dostal Alley Brewpub and Casino is a hidden gem offering a delightful combination of craft beers, delicious Pizza, and a friendly atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot to unwind with some locally brewed beer after a day of exploring.

The Bean and Cream

For breakfast, lunch, coffee, and ice cream, head to the Bean and Cream in Black Hawk. This charming eatery is known for its breakfast burritos, deli-sandwiches, and local, family owned atmosphere. It’s an ideal spot to fuel up before a day of adventures.

Pro Tip-Dont Miss these Local Favorites:

JKQ BBQ– Best Live Music and Dive Vibes. Check out Robbie Hicks who plays there regularly.

The Art Gallery

Best Poker Tournaments- The Lodge

Best Cash Game- GoldenNugget

Best Pool- Ameristar

Best Buffett- Monaarch

Best White Russain- Golden Gate

Best Old Bar- The Gilpen 

Best coffee- Black Hawk Bean and Cream (The B&C)

Ghost Towns:

Hot Springs:

Mine Tours:

National Lands:

Scenic Drives:

Ski Areas:

State Parks:

Golden Gate Canyon (9mi)


Your black label black hawk experience

Reserve a Black Label for your next Black Hawk adventure and ride in style to Colorado’s best casinos. Our local chauffeurs will help you explore these attractions and more, as you sit back, relax and take in the Rocky Mountain views out the window.

Our sleek 14-passenger Mercedes sprinter vans or 5-passenger luxury SUVs will ensure your group travels altogether to the casino, restaurant, spa, hotel, and back home. And with plenty of leg room and storage space, there’s room for whatever wins you may bring home! Book Black Label Transportation and get your Black Hawk trip started.

Written by Amber Boutwell, Marketing Manager

Edited by Rosa Canales, Copywriting Specialist

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