Leadville is a small historic mining town nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rockies and offers plenty of outdoor activity. Whether you are trying to do a rigorous overnight hike or a gentle trek to take in mountain air, there are plenty of hiking options in the area for everyone.
Hope Pass is known for being a challenging, intense, and very rewarding hike. Runners enjoy pushing this section getting them above tree line, but taking it slow also allows for taking in the scenic views. This section of trail covers 9-miles round trip and is 4,500 feet increase in elevation. This trail can be accessed from Twin Lakes from the Willis Gulch trail head. Hope pass is not an official trail, it is actually a connection of two other trails. Find it by turning at the sign that says “Big Willie”.
This 4.6-mile round trip trail is accessible from Hagerman Pass Road. It is fun for the whole family with great views of Mt. Massive and Turquoise Lake. It runs along the Continental Divide in the Mt. Massive Wilderness area and can be either shoe shoed or hiked.
Fancy Pass through Missouri Pass Loop
Located in the Holy Cross Wilderness area, this loop covers two beautiful passes and twists through the Missouri Lake Basin, running through an alpine valley. While being a very popular camping area in the summer, if you get a chance to visit the trail during the fall you will enjoy a lightly traveled area. The trail is an 8.1 mile loop, with a 2,380 feet elevation gain, making this a moderate day on the trail.
If you are looking for some hiking as well as some fishing, the trail to Timberline Lake is a great option. This trail is not too busy a nice 4.3 mile to the lake and back. The fishing is catch and release, but definitely a fun area to do both activities.
A beautiful lake that is in the area is Windsor Lake. To get to this lake there is a steep climb up, gaining 1,000 feet in just 1.6 miles. After the steep incline, it turns to a much smoother meadow area bringing you to the shores of the lake.
For longer hikes like backpacking trips or horseback riding trips, Colorado Trail is the way to go for somewhere just outside of Leadville. While this trail is accessible just outside of the Leadville area, the entire extent of the trail stretches 500 miles all the way from Denver to Durango. Because this trail is so lengthy the trail is actually sectioned into 33 portioned, these segments are simply named Section 1-33. The three sections that can be accessed from around Leadville are 10,11 and 12. These three sections range from 13-20 miles they cover Tennessee Pass to Timberline Creek, Mt. Massive to Clear Creek Road and Clear Creek Road to Silver Creek.
You really can’t go wrong exploring these picturesque trails outside of Leadville, so grab your hiking boots, some friends and hit the trail. If you’re on the hunt for catching the incredible views without all the hard work of a hike, try out AVA‘s Mountaintop Zipline tour in the beautiful Arkansas River Valley.