As you head into the mountains of Colorado, you will find that most of the towns have grown quite substantially and are surrounded by condominiums and private homes. There are, however, a few historic towns that still exist and we truly enjoy visiting them. Leadville is a little unique as it sits at over 10,000 feet (over 3,000 meters) high and can be difficult to reach during the winter as the roads that reach the pass are often closed. There are some snowmobile tours that you can take around the area, which are quite interesting and can even take you to an old ghost town in the area.
Even if you visit during the summer, it is important to remember that it can be quite cold in the high country, especially at night. We were there in September, so the scenery around the town was spectacular with all of the colors of autumn. Walking through the town is like stepping back in time where you can see buildings from the 1800’s. Probably the most iconic building on the main street is the Silver Dollar Saloon, which has amazing character and was supposedly frequented by Billy the Kidd back when he was in the area. There is a lot of memorabilia on the walls and the bar is original to the building.
The old railway station is another place that should be on your list to visit if you make your way into the mountains to see Leadville. The train still operates out of Leadville and during the summer months you book a ticket on one of their daily trips. Seeing the mountains from an old train is something that you will never forget. Leadville is located about 2 1/2 hours outside of Denver, which makes it an easy day trip and you will be rewarded with wonderful views of the Rocky Mountains.
Visiting the historic town of Leadville is certainly worth the time if you are visiting Denver or even spending time in the high country of Colorado. Even if you don’t make it to Leadville, it is worth the effort to get away from the large resort areas and seeing one of the historic old western towns that still exist today.