In 1962, Frank and Barbara Finn founded the historic Gold Hill Inn, and fortunately for us, not much has changed since. A trip down the winding dirt road to this remote restaurant near Denver is like going back in time to the old days of homesteaders, prospectors, miners, and a much simpler, albeit harsher, existence. Tucked away in a quaint community 10 miles and 3,200 feet up the mountain from Boulder, the Gold Hill Inn is a charmingly eclectic and utterly delicious dining experience everyone should enjoy at least once in their lifetime. (But if you know what’s good for you, you’ll make yourself a Gold Hill regular.)
The stunning drive up the mountain to the Gold Hill Inn is just as much of an adventure as the dining experience itself. Note: There are a handful of ways to get to Gold Hill, but the suggested route is up the lovely Sunshine Canyon Drive on the west side of Boulder.
You'll enjoy some of the most beautiful vista views of the Continental Divide the Colorado Rockies have to offer...
...and if you visit soon, you'll travel alongside breathtaking stands of glorious golden aspens, cottonwoods, and other brilliant fall foliage.
Nestled at 8,463 feet with a population of less than 300, the historic mining camp of Gold Hill is a quaint mountain community established in 1859 and just brimming with rustic charm.
There are hauntingly beautiful remains of the old mining days of centuries past.
There are lovable little community hubs to visit like the Gold Hill General Store and Café, which dates back to 1889.
There are unique and endearing mountain homes and cabins peppered throughout the town...
...and they boast delightfully quirky lawn ornaments and flare sure to bring a smile to any city dweller's face.
There are enchanting little rows of mailboxes indicative of the rural nature of the close-knit community.
And when you spy the rusty old 1941 Ford fire engine across from the restaurant, you know you've arrived.
The setting for the Gold Hill Inn is simply too good for words, and it was chosen along with only seven others in the entire nation as an "American Beauty" by Gourmet Magazine. It was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
From May through December, the Gold Hill Inn serves dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 6-9pm and Sunday from 5-8pm.
(And they've got good reason to close their doors in the dead of winter, as they tend to get a good amount of snowfall up there on the hill.)
As soon as you step foot inside the cozy dining room, not only will you feel right at home but you'll also get a sense of the deep-seated history and heritage of the place.
The log building was constructed back in 1924 to serve as a dining hall for the adjoining Bluebird Lodge and in 1962, it was purchased by Frank and Barbara Finn and became the now famous Gold Hill Inn. Today sons Chris and Brian Finn hold down the fort at this well-maintained family-run restaurant that just celebrated 54 years of fine dining and entertainment.
That's right, folks, the Gold Hill Inn hosts evenings of music throughout the season featuring local and regional talent with a strong emphasis on grassroots ensembles.
For dinner, you'll select items from their chalkboard menu to create a three or six course fixed-price meal, which includes an appetizer, soup, salad, entree, dessert, and cheese plate. A generous six course dinner is $37, and a lighter three course meal will run you $29. The Gold Hill Inn also offers a full bar and a unique wine selection that can be purchased at an additional cost to complement your sublime supper.
Head Chef Chris Finn has been wowing diners with his delectable eats for decades and offers an ever-changing menu with seasonal creations using ingredients from local markets. Recent specials include avocado stuffed with smoked fish, roast lamb marinated in buttermilk, cloves, and juniper berries, and a dreamy sour cream apple pie just perfect for a cool fall evening. (Call ahead for current selections and vegetarian dining requests.)
Alright, Denverites, what are you waiting for?!?! Belly up to the Gold Hill Inn's historic bar...
...or get warm and cozy by one of their three great stone fireplaces and listen to some old timers pick some tunes. But whatever you do, call the Gold Hill Inn today for reservations and information at (303) 443-6461, and I can guarantee you'll be back for more!
For another unforgettable dining experience outside of the Mile High City, check out this
remote restaurant that will make you feel a million miles away from it all.