Leadville is surrounded by some of the best scenery in Colorado, Mount Elbert and Mount Massive, the largest mountains in the state. Those, along with several large lakes, makes Leadville an excellent hub for outdoor recreation. Hiking, biking, camping and skiing are all common.
Downtown is a national historic district, full of Old West structures, Victorian houses and sites from Leadville’s mining past. There are a number of bars and restaurants throughout town. Stop by Melanzana for authentic mountain apparel made in town.
Dining options are several. Quincy’s Tavern features only item on the menu, steak, served with baked potato and house salad. The Silver Dollar Saloon was built in 1883 and still the place grab a drink in town.
Accommodations are easy to find in this low-budget town. Just far enough from Denver, Leaville provides the peace and quiet you need, when you need it.
When silver was discovered nearby in 1877, Leadville sprang up and led the Colorado Silver Boom. In the late 19th century, it was the second most populous city in Colorado. It’s said to be named by the founding fathers because there were too many “silver” named towns at the time. Doc Holiday lived in town for a period around 1883.
Today it’s population is about 3,000 people. Locals enjoy the high-altitude living at 10,152 feet, which makes Leadville the highest incorporated city in the United States. Alma, CO is the highest incorporated municipality in the country at 10,578 feet.
Things to do in Leadville
Leadville’s central location in the Rockies mountain make it an outdoor playground. Anything high mountain is game here, including hiking, camping, fishing, biking and climbing.
Mount Elbert – The largest mountain in Colorado lies just outside town. Takes US 24 East three miles out of town to CO 300. Follow signs toward Emerald Lake and Mount Elbert.
Camping – Easy to find in much of the federally owned land near town.
- Twin Lakes is less than a 30 minute drive south. There are several national forest campgrounds, as well as dispersed car camping permitted on certain dirt roads. Take US 24 East out of town for 14 miles and take right onto CO 82 toward Independence Pass. There are several dirt roads off this road that permit camping. Look for established campsites.
Fishing – Bring your fishing rod. The headwaters of the Arkansas River is nearby.
- Twin Lakes is popular year round for fishing, with ice fishing in the winter.
- Turquoise Lake is easy to access from downtown. Take County Road 4 and follow signs to lake.
- Crystal Lake is just south of down on Highway 24 (East).
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