Not everyone came to Colorado seeking gold. Other minerals played an important part in the state's history, as you'll discover in Leadville. And at 10,152 feet, it’s the United State's highest incorporated city.
Leadville was home to H.A.W. Tabor, who became almost as famous for leaving his wife and marrying a younger woman as for discovering one of the richest silver strikes in the state. His second wife, Baby Doe Tabor, became the stuff of legends — there's even an opera about her.
Leadville was a very influential boomtown — it was almost named as Colorado's capital city. Well-preserved, Leadville has 70-square city blocks of Victorian buildings, all part of a designated National Historic Landmark District, along with 20-square miles of a preserved mining district. More than 50 buildings date back to the 1870s, including the Tabor Opera House.
Leadville is located in the geographic center of Colorado, on U.S. Hwy. 24, part of the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. The town's paved Mineral Belt Trail offers year-round recreation for bikers, hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
In winter, head out to Ski Cooper, a great and affordable family ski area; in summer, catch a ride on the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad excursion. And don't miss the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, a truly fascinating look at the powerful industry and all the metals that helped build the state.
Just 20 miles from the town of Leadville at the base of Independence Pass is the historic Twin Lakes area, where you’ll find world-class fishing and some of Colorado's most spectacular lake and peak scenery. Twin Lakes is close to the trailhead of Mount Elbert and the renowned Interlaken Hotel historical site. It’s a true small-town American West experience.