Visitors to Victor can walk back into time on a trail through remnants of an historic gold mill. The trail and interpretive site at the Independence Millsite is just below the famous Independence Mine & Battle Mtn. Trail. The loop tour of the Independence Millsite takes you through massive foundations that once were part of a gold milling process - the mill once processed 10,500 tons of ore per month from several of the mines in the vicinity. The Independence mill was shut down and dismantled in 1928. The equipment, all metal including metal support posts were salvaged or scrapped. The 2-inch thick, gunnited over wire-mesh, wall sections were just knocked down and left where they fell.
The site has been off limits to law-abiding citizens until it was opened as a trail and interpretive site in 2005. In 2011 the Stratton Outdoor Amphitheater was opened for small event venues.
There are 2 trailheads: One is off the American Eagles Road, below the county road across from the Independence Mine and Battle Mtn. Trail. The second is off County Road 81 across from the Battle Mountain Kiosk Interpretive Site. These trailheads also provide access to the Golden Circle Trail, which makes it possible to access the Vindicator Valley and Battle Mtn. trails from the parking areas. Visitors can easily access the trails from downtown Victor, beginning their tour of gold rush history at the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum and historic City Hall. An interpretive brochure at the trailheads includes a sketch map of the foundations and an outline of the historic process. Please do not climb on the foundations for your safety and the preservation of the structures for future generations. The mill site is privately owned by Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company. Wear sturdy hiking boots and bring snacks and water. The closest facilities are in Victor. The trail is closed to motorized vehicles.