It is situated in the midst of Colorado’s Sawatch Range, the dual CDT Gateway Community of Leadville and Twin Lakes is surrounded by mountains with summits above 14,000 feet – known around here as “14ers.” This area was historically home to people of the Ute tribe, Colorado’s oldest residents, until the town of Leadville was founded by white settlers in 1860 following the discovery of gold in the area. Prospectors also found silver, lead (from which the town gets its name), and molybdenum, an important steel hardener. In its heyday, 60,000 people lived in Leadville.
Things to Do
- Hikers and cyclists can choose to conquer a section of the Colorado Trail, a 500-mile route stretching between Denver and Durango, near Twin Lakes; or climb the popular Mineral Belt Trail, which winds through evergreen forests, aspen groves and wildflower meadows.
- Over 100 miles of groomed, multi-use winter trails crisscross Lake County, perfect for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and fatbiking.
- Swimming in Lake is popular and inexpensive. It is a great place to take the whole family for the day. Hang out in the sand, enjoy the water toys, do a cannon ball off the platform.
- Once one of Colorado’s most lawless mining boomtowns, Leadville overflowed with fortune-seeking miners, infamous outlaws and brawny mountain men.
- The section of Twin Lakes at the top of Independence Pass is especially brilliant in the fall. Bright aspen groves on the mountains provide a spectacular backdrop to the sparkling waters of these great glacial lakes. Yellow and orange leaves glow on both sides of Route 82 as it turns from Twin Lakes to Independence Pass and the west side to Aspen.
- Leadville is the only place in the world where you can zipline over a moving train. You’ll jump from an elevation of 11,200′ with views of Colorado’s highest peaks. Open year-round.
- Unparalleled Mine – Visit the spot where one of Leadville’s most notorious silver kings, Horace Tabor, struck him rich and his mistress-turned-wife died alone and penniless in 1935. Explore the mining shaft of origin and the headframe used to extract the extraordinary wealth of Tabor. floor. Next, visit the log-lined cabin where Baby Doe lived out his days.
- Temple Israel: It is the oldest of the area’s frontier synagogues. After a fire in 2006, the building was historically restored to near original condition. It now serves as a museum and research institute on that documents the lives of Jewish pioneers during Leadville’s mining boom era.
- Halfmoon Packing & Outfitting offers horseback riding, wagon rides, stagecoach rides, and overnight nature tours, with some of the most spectacular mountain views in the region.