Cripple Creek’s Donkey Herd

Our current donkey herd is believed to be made up of several direct descendants of the donkeys that were used to work the mines in the Cripple Creek & Victor mining district in the early years of the gold camp. When miners had to leave the area, often their donkeys were let loose to roam. Today, the donkey herd will roam throughout the gold camp, freely walking through the streets, neighborhoods and hills of the area.

In 1933, two businessmen came up with the idea of holding a Donkey Derby here in Cripple Creek to help encourage tourism. A track was built just south of town and the first Donkey Derby Days Race was held.

Today, the Two Mile High Club continues to put on Donkey Derby Days the last full weekend in June of each year. The donkeys are no longer ridden, but races are held by leading the donkeys through a series of obstacles on Bennett Avenue. Proceeds from the weekend are used by the club to provide feed and veterinary services for the herd.

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