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Donkeys have been an integral part of mining throughout the ages. Their role in Cripple Creek's great gold rush was as crucial as the railroads, the merchants, and even the miners themselves.


These sturdy creatures were reliable transportation, able to climb narrow trails along the rough slopes. Their ability to carry heavy loads made them invaluable companions in the camps. 


Donkeys were also used underground in the mines. Long before the invention of electric trams, donkeys were used to haul ore carts along the narrow tunnels. Their stamina and compact size allowed them to work long, grueling hours. 


Modern mining techniques and declining gold production in the late 1920s ended the importance of donkeys in the Cripple Creek District. Turned loose by the miners to roam the hillsides surrounding Cripple Creek, the donkeys quickly returned to their wild ways though many chose to hang around Cripple Creek. 


The Two Mile High Club was formed in 1931 to care for these town donkeys. Our Club operates on 100% donations from local businesses, memberships, individual and family sponsorships, and grants. Each year, the Club faces the challenge of getting enough support to cover costs for vet care, food, and shelter at approximately $2,000 per donkey per year. Our volunteers work tirelessly to provide our donkeys with the best care. 


How can you help? We provide a simple donation process below. A membership donation will put you on our mailing list for updates from our regular meetings held during the year.  


All support is greatly appreciated. Your contribution means more than you know. 




Mid May - Mid October

Our donkeys freely roam the streets of Cripple Creek. Gentle and approachable, the donkeys frequently gobble up your carrots, apples, or donkey treats. Approved treats are available in our museums and retail shops for a small donation. Donkeys will eat ANYTHING, BUT MANY ITEMS WILL MAKE THEM SICK. Please! No chips, bread, popcorn, cookies, or any other processed foods.


Mid October - Mid May

Our donkeys live in their winter pasture during this time, where shelter, water tanks, and room to roam make it comfortable during the winter months. Our club volunteers manage donkey feeding, veterinarian care, medication, and farrier needs year-round. 


When donkeys are in people’s yards and on private property, we ask that you respect that and refrain from walking across personal property; instead, view the donkeys from the street. Often if you stand there with treats in hand, the donkeys will come to you. Thank you for respecting the landowner’s privacy.

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