Just outside of Ouray CO on Ouray County Road 14, you can tour the Bachelor Syracuse Mine Tour. The tour takes you 2000 feet into the mine where the guide talks and demonstrates the use of some of the tools used by miners in the late 1800s and into the 1900s. The tour includes stories of hardship and working conditions. At one point, since miners used to work by candle light, they turn off all the lights and illuminate the area with a candle as they demonstrate the use of the tools. The tour itself takes about 1 hour. Each participant is provided with a yellow hard hat and a slicker but participants might want to consider taking a jacket too. Inside the mine, the air temperature is about 56 degrees Fahrenheit year round.
The Ouray County Museum also has a miniature replica of the Red Mountain Mining District from the late 1800s in the basement. There is also a diorama of a mine shaft in the general area. It is a nice addition to their collection.
Twenty three miles south of Ouray over Red Mountain Pass, in Silverton Colorado, you can visit the Old Hundred Mine Tour. This tour also takes visitors into an old mine. Participants walk through a series of displays and the guide discusses mining history throughout. In this tour, the guide actually turns on some of the old compressors (after telling all visitors to cover their ears) and you can clearly understand how loud this equipment was.
At both of the mines, you can pan for gold and actually take home a fleck or two.