Leadville, Colorado, Is a Boom Town

Perched 10,152 feet above sea level and ringed by fourteeners, Leadville is the epitome of the Colorado high country. After silver was struck here in 1877, the town swelled from a handful of inhabitants to a population of 30,000 in just three years, attracting miners, merchants, opera singers, and gamblers. When the silver was gone, so went the people, leaving behind piles of tailings and sturdy Victorian buildings. Now home to the iconic Leadville 100 mountain bike race and ultramarathon, the town is experiencing a second, slower boom, with mountaineering, fishing, and bike shops replacing brothels. Thankfully, the saloons are still there. (Michael Byers)
Photo: Michael Byers leadville

Your Leadville guide.

(Michael Byers)

The Arkansas River.

(Don J Schulte/Flickr)

Mount Sherman.

mt sherman
(Peter Elmore/Flickr)

Mount Elbert.

(Noah Katz/Flickr)

High Mountain Pies.

(High Mountain Pies)

Scarlet Tavern and Inn.

(Courtesy of Scarlet Tavern and Inn)

Tennessee Pass Cafe


Leadville Hostel and Inn

(Bunk at the Leadville Hostel and Inn)

The Mineral Belt Bike Trail.


Cloud City Wheelers Mountain Bike Trails.

(Courtesy of Cloud City Wheelers)

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