Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the US with an elevation of 10,152 ft. It has small town vibes with endless opportunity for adventure.
Our favorite Leadville hikes are 14ers. Go big or go home right?? ...Literally! Mt. Massive is the 2nd highest 14er in Colorado at 14,421 ft. We took the southwest slope approach which is a little over 7 miles roundtrip with 3,950 ft of elevation gain.
Mt. Sherman in our opinion is one of the easier 14ers. With 2,150 ft of elevation gain in 4.5 miles roundtrip via the west slopes route you’ll be up and back down in no time.
Pro Tip: Colorado often has afternoon storms. It is not safe to be in the alpine above the treeline when a storm hits. Early morning starts are so, so important! Bring extra water, snacks, and layers! It can be cold and windy above 14,000ft! Also be mindful of signs and symptoms of altitude sickness if you’re not acclimated to the altitude.
Our favorite bike ride is the Mineral Belt Trail. It is 12 miles of paved trail with epic views the entire way. Ride clockwise for a gentle climb, counterclockwise if you want to work a little harder. Leadville was a huge mining town back in the day and the “rail trail” was placed over the old railroad lines that serviced the mines. The bike path travels through old mining areas and even has some old mining towers, ore carts and other equipment on display along the path.
You’ll also be rewarded with beautiful Aspen tree lining the path, dramatic views of the Rockies, and maybe even a Sasquatch sighting.
We have two favorite dispersed campsites in Leadville. NFS land by Turquoise Lake has beautiful spots in the shade along the river and perfect cell phone service. Turquoise Lake has a nice beachy area where you can launch your SUP and many spots for fishing!
And then there’s Twin Lakes which just has some of the most epic views right from your campspot.
Don’t forget to support local shops while you’re passing through. Our favorite is a small company called Melanzana. They design, sew, and sell everything solely from their downtown shop in Leadville. Parker and I both had Melanzana hoodies on when we summited Mt Sherman!