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Location. Location. Location.

The Blackstone Rivers Ranch location on the Rocky Mountain Front Range is perfectly situated just 35 minutes west of Denver, while feeling like it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is 3 miles south of the quaint little mountain town of Idaho Springs – where the Colorado Gold Rush began!  At 8,200 feet above sea level, we’re still lowlander friendly. =)

The ranch can be found on Chicago Creek Road, also known as Highway 103 – the road that leads to Mt. Evans. Many of the design decisions for the ranch pay homage to Idaho Springs’ rich and exciting Colorado history, and is evident in its interior finishes, architecture, furnishings, landscape, various outdoor spaces and building names.  Learn a bit more below – it all has meaning…


Blackstone Rivers Ranch’s story began like many do in the heart of the Rockies.  It was the WILD WEST!  The property was first explored for gold and silver mining, along with logging operations in the 1800’s.  The ranch then served as a working llama ranch in the mid-1900s.  Today, the ranch encompasses 22 acres and is family-owned and operated.  It has become home to the Betz family and their furry friends.  The Betzs have worked to create a place of love, relaxation and wonder.  They care deeply about this magical place, and are involved in every single part of the operation.  They meet every client personally, and oversee each event.  It is their dream and they are so happy to be sharing it with their guests.  They have devoted many years to creating what will become one of the premier destinations for discerning brides, music aficionados, business executives, and party-goers in the region.

What's In A Name?

Blackstone Rivers Ranch’s name is derived from its history and its topography.  The ranch is situated on several mining claims, one of them being The Blackstone Lode.  Guests enjoy two flowing creeks on the property.  The ceremony site and outdoor cocktail lounge borders Chicago Creek.  The gold rush actually began in 1859 where Chicago Creek meets Clear Creek, at the end of our road.  The second creek, Devils Creek, flows past the master suite deck of the Claim Jumper Cabin.  Devilish shenanigans are known to occur here!  So from its historical gold mining days, to its period as a llama ranch, until today, you will enjoy the ranch as the stunning, waterfront, mountain experience that it is.  Hundreds of years of history have created this piece of true Wild West heaven – Blackstone Rivers Ranch.

What's It All Mean?

The ranch defined! Spending time around the ranch is as much educational as it is relaxing. To begin your Colorado Gold Rush education, experience some of the historical mining vocabulary that has inspired the ranch. You may even recognize some familiar terms from our Amenities.

Claim Jumper

A dishonest miner who violates another’s land/mining claim.


A horizontal passage underground that follows along the long, linear length of a vein or rock formation.

Glory Hole

A big, impressive-looking excavation that’s open to the surface. It can be either the top end of a deep mine shaft, or an open-pit mine. It is often the source of an amazing Mother Lode!


A mobile sluice box. Instead of being put directly into the creek, it uses water to pump and transport the water and minerals to another location. It is also able to run more material in less time than the sluice.


Rich ore. Selective mining of the best ore in a deposit.

Mother Lode

Eureka! A very large amount of gold, silver, coal, etc. When one has struck a large amount of gold, it is said that they have hit the “Mother Lode.” We know our couples have!

Rocker Box

Like a sluice box, the rocker box has riffles in it to trap gold. It was designed to be used in areas with less water than a sluice box. The process involves pouring water out of a small cup and then rocking the small sluice box like a cradle, thus the name rocker box or cradle. Let’s rock it!


A device that uses vibration to separate out pieces of gravel from the gold and other ore. Let’s shake it!