Eat | You’ll find most of the town’s eateries on or near Harrison Ave., Leadville’s main thoroughfare. Order drinks, gawk at the ancient memorabilia and imagine you’re a Wild West gunslinger at the historic Silver Dollar Saloon (315 Harrison Ave., 719-486-9914). Don’t miss High Mountain Pies (115 W 4th St., 719-486-5555), a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint on 4th Street that serves unique pizzas, subs and ribs to hungry adventurers. For morning joe and snacks, be sure to stop into the very popular City on a Hill (cityonahillcoffee.com) coffee house.
And what’s a Colorado mountain town without a brewery? Stop by Leadville’s first and only craft brewery, Periodic Brewing (periodicbrewery.com), for a drink after long day in the sun.
Sleep | There are plenty of low-cost lodging options in Leadville, such as the Columbine Inn (columbineinn.com), which is adequate, clean and dog-friendly. For a homier alternative, try the McGinnis Cottage Inn B&B (mcginniscottage.com), located in a restored Victorian house and surrounded by gardens. For a feel of what Leadville was like back in its heyday, book at the Delaware Hotel (delawarehotel.com), built in 1886 and chock full of vintage furnishings. Never mind that it’s supposedly haunted—but by friendly ghosts.
Camping also abounds around town. Check out the San Isabel National Forest camping options at forestcamping.com or fs.usda.gov/psicc.
Play | Sterling Mudge, chair of the Cloud City Wheelers (cloudcitywheelers.com) and avid cyclist, describes Leadville as “a year-round outdoor recreation gold mine.” Mountain biking is indeed plentiful, including sections of the Colorado Trail and a smaller, but dynamic system of trails behind Colorado Mountain College. Roadies will enjoy the paved 11-mile Mineral Belt Trail that winds around town, or the hilly six-mile jaunt around Turquoise Lake. All those formidable peaks surrounding Leadville make it a hiker and trail runner’s paradise. Three 14ers—Mt. Elbert, Mt. Massive and Mt. Sherman—are close to town. Twin Lakes, a 15-minute drive, offers family friendly hiking and great views. Stop by the Leadville Ranger Station (810 Front St. 719-486-0749) for details on area trails. SUP the region’s lakes or go fly fishing in the gold-medal trout waters of the Arkansas River.