Cowboy up for Leadville Ski Joring and winter sports weekend, Mar. 6 – 8!

February 24th, 2015

Leadville ski joring

Leadville, Colorado — Historic downtown Leadville, Colo., will be buzzing with horses, cowboys, skiers, snowshoers and mountain bikers during the 66th annual Ski Joring and Crystal Carnival weekend, Mar. 6 – 8, 2015. Ski joring, an annual tradition in Leadville since 1949, consists of horse-and-rider teams pulling skiers down a snow-packed road over jumps while spearing rings in a timed competition. Additional snow-themed events round out the weekend, including Nordic sprints, a winter mountain bike race, a paintball biathlon and, new this year, a full moon barbecue, snowshoe tour on the Mineral Belt Trail and swim at the Lake County Aquatic Center.

You can also enjoy sledding, skating, Nordic skiing, downhill skiing and riding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in Leadville and nearby Twin Lakes. The family-friendly Ski Cooper and Chicago Ridge ski area offers affordable prices, all-natural snow and short lift-lines, with full-day lift tickets for just $48. Leadville’s main thoroughfare, Harrison Avenue, and its side streets are lined with antique and specialty shops, restaurants and museums, offering a bite to eat, a warm drink, a little history and a shopping break throughout the weekend.

Leadville Ski Joring Colorado WeekendThis year’s ski joring event will include three classes on Saturday and again on Sunday: the Open Class, for experienced competitive teams; the Sport Class, for beginners; and the Legends Class, for experienced teams who are getting a little long in the tooth for the Open Class. Skiers must prequalify to compete in the Open Class. New competitors are welcomed; more details and online registration are available at www.leadvilleskijoring.us.

On Saturday morning at approximately 10 a.m., kids can try their hand at ski joring behind a snowmobile. There’s no cost for the kids to participate, and each one who gives it a try will receive a 50-cent piece!

Schedule of Events:

Friday, Mar. 6

5 – 8 p.m.: Full Moon BBQ, Snowshoe and Swim: Barbecue at the Lake County Aquatic Center 5 to 6 p.m.; snowshoe or ski the Mineral Belt Trail 6 to 7 p.m.; swim 7 to 8 p.m. $10 youth; $15 adults. Register by Mar. 2. 719-486-7484.

6:30 p.m.: Harrison Avenue Knock-Out Nordic Sprints — 400-meter sprints under the lights; $3 entry fee; meet at Melanzana at 609 Harrison Ave. Race begins at 7.

Saturday, Mar. 7

All Day: Free sledding on Dutch Henri Sledding Hill — Bring your own tube or plastic sled anytime from dusk to dawn, or rent a tube for $7 per hour from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

7 – 10 a.m. : Pancake breakfast at the Elks Lodge, 123 W. 5th St. All proceeds benefit scholarships for 6th graders to attend YMCA of the Rockies.

8 – 11 a.m.: Dog Ski Joring and Shelter Dog Shuffle at Mt. Massive Golf Course. Register for dog ski joring at 8 a.m., race is at 9. Register for shuffle at 10, race is at 11. $15 per event; proceeds benefit the Leadville/Lake County Animal Shelter.

8:30 – 10 a.m.: Ski Joring — Registration at the Elks Lodge, 123 W. 5th St.

10:30 a.m.: Kids’ ski joring — Kids can try ski joring behind a snowmobile

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Healy House Museum open for tours at 912 Harrison Avenue; last one begins at 3:15. Cost is $6 for adults, $5.50 for those 65 or better, $4.50 for kids 6 – 12 and free for kids younger than 6.

11 a.m.: Ski Joring Draw, Calcutta and Competition — Immediately following the kids’ ski joring; teams draw for time slots, followed by Calcutta Sale. The Sport Class, Legends Class and Open Class competitions will follow in the afternoon.*

1:30 p.m.:* Ski joring competitions usually begin around 1:30 p.m. and last for two hours.

3:30 – 9 p.m.: Leiter Ice Skating Rink — Admission $2.25; skate rentals are $1 for kids; $2 for adults.

5 p.m.: Mineral Belt Mayhem Winter Mountain Bike Race — An 11-mile loop on Leadville’s Mineral Belt Trail at night; registration and check-in at 5 p.m. at Cycles of Life, 309 Harrison Ave.; race starts at 7 p.m.

8 p.m.: Live music and dance at the Elk’s Lodge, 123 W. 5th St.

Sunday, Mar. 8

All Day: Free sledding on Dutch Henri Sledding Hill — Bring your own tube or plastic sled anytime from dusk to dawn, or rent a tube for $7 per hour from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

8:30 – 10 a.m.: Ski Joring — Registration at the Elks Lodge, 123 W. 5th St.

10 a.m.: Broomball games on Harrison Avenue

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Healy House Museum open for tours at 912 Harrison Avenue; last one begins at 3:15. Cost is $6 for adults, $5.50 for those 65 or better, $4.50 for kids 6 – 12 and free for kids younger than 6.

11 a.m.: Ski Joring Draw, Calcutta and Competition — Teams draw for time slots, followed by Calcutta Sale. The Sport Class, Legends Class and Open Class competitions will follow in the afternoon.*

1:30 p.m.:* Ski joring competitions usually begin around 1:30 p.m. and last for two hours.

3:30 – 9 p.m.: Lake County Ice Skating Rink — Admission $2.25; skate rentals are $1 for kids; $2 for adults.

* Exact timing of ski joring events depends on the number of participants.

Ski joring is a dog-free event. Call 719-486-2014 for information about dog daycare and boarding.

Located in the center of Colorado, 103 miles west of Denver and 129 miles northwest of Colorado Springs, Leadville is known for its affordable lodging, rich history, Victorian architecture, friendly small-town atmosphere and beautiful scenery.

Plan your trip today! Visit Leadville online or call 855-488-1222 for more information.

 


4 for free in Leadville and Twin Lakes

February 15th, 2015

Leadville, Colorado — It’s easier to have fun when you’re not worried about your budget. Come on up to Leadville and Twin Lakes, where you can stay and play all week for less than what a weekend at one of the pricier resorts might cost.

Four for free:Dutch Henri Sledding Hill in Leadville Colorado 2015

1. Sledding and tubing at the Dutch Henri Sledding Hill: Free if you bring your own tub or plastic sled. Tube rentals are available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays for just $5 per hour for residents and $7 per hour for non-residents; the hill is open dawn to dusk daily.

2. Nordic skiing and snowshoeing: Trail networks at Mt. Massive Golf Course, Turquoise Lake, Colorado Mountain College and Leadville’s mining district, along with the Mineral Belt Trail, include more than 50 miles of free, groomed trails for Nordic and cross-country skiing, snow skating and snowshoeing. You can also access the Colorado Trail for classic cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Twin Lakes.

3. Tour the Leadville National Fish Hatchery: Enjoy free self-guided tours of the second-oldest federally operated fish hatchery. You can also access miles of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing here.

4. Explore downtown Leadville: Most of the buildings in Leadville were built between 1880 and 1905. There are 70 square blocks included in the National Historic Landmark District of Victorian Architecture, including the largest opera house west of the Mississippi, the saloon visited by Oscar Wilde, and two historic 1879 churches. (Free maps at 809 Harrison Avenue)

In addition to all of the free fun, here are three low-cost options:

1. Go ice skating: The Leiter Ice Rink is one of the best deals around. Admission is $2.25 and skate rentals are $1 for kids 14 and younger and $2 for ages 15 and older. The rink, which includes a snack bar, a warming hut and a great sound system, is open 3:30 to 9 p.m. daily.

2. Go for a swim or a soak: The Lake County Aquatic Center features lap lanes, a dry sauna, a hot tub, slides, a diving board and a large, shallow play area. The pool is kept at 85 degrees to keep you nice and warm. (Admission is $8 for non-resident adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for kids 6-17 and $3 for kids 1-5.)National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville, Colorado

3. Tour the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum: This is the premier showcase of American mining. The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is filled with displays, mine replicas, artifacts, historic photographs and mining treasures. (Tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for teens and seniors, and $4 for kids 6-12.)

Here are three more deals you won’t want to miss:

1. You can rent cross-country skis, boots and poles for just $12/day at Mt. Massive Golf Course. Lessons are also available. Call or text Craig at 719-486-6670 to reserve equipment or find out more details.Family day at Ski Cooper in Leadville 2.14.15

2. Two for Tuesdays at Ski Cooper: Buy two adult lift tickets at Ski Cooper for just $48 every Tuesday through March 10. Grab a friend and get up here!

3. $30 Thursdays at Ski Cooper: Purchase $30 lift tickets at the base ticket office and ski for the whole day every Thursday through April 2. Free live music, plus drink and appetizers specials in Katie O’Rourke’s Irish Pub starting at 3:00 p.m.

Make the most of your winter vacation. Spend it in Leadville and Twin Lakes this year. Visit us online or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news, events and specials.

 


6 ways to make tracks on Leadville trails this winter

January 22nd, 2015

 

Family ski at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center Leadville Co Tim Gormley Jr

Family ski day at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center

Leadville, Colorado — There are as many reasons to love Leadville’s winter trails as there are ways to enjoy them. Crisp, alpine air; panoramic mountain views; plentiful snow and seemingly endless choices, just to name a few. Your options include more than 50 miles of free, groomed, multi-use trails; a professionally managed and operated fee-based trail network and Nordic center, and hundreds of square miles to explore in the San Isabel and White River National Forests and the Mt. Massive Wilderness Area.

Winter mountain biking on the Leadville Mineral Belt Trail

Biking on the Mineral Belt Trail. Photo from Cycles of Life

Here are six ways you can make tracks on the trails in Lake County, Colorado, this winter.

1. Ski — Cross-country skiers can find trails perfectly suited to their preferences and abilities in and around Leadville. The Mineral Belt Trail, a historic route that loops the city, is a good place for beginning and intermediate skiers to familiarize themselves with the area; experts can explore the east-side mining district. Both are groomed regularly and are easy to access from downtown.

2. Bike — Fat bikes and snow bikes are gaining in popularity every year, and Leadville is ahead of the curve on meeting the growing demand for this sport. The Cloud City Wheelers bike club builds and grooms single-track trails for biking, which, combined with the other area trail networks and dozens of ungroomed county roads, create enough choices to keep riders busy for days on end.

3. Snowshoe — From wide, flat trails that gently wind through the trees at the Mt. Massive Golf Course Nordic Area to well-marked trails with lots of ups and downs at the Leadville National Fish Hatchery, to accessing the 500-mile Colorado Trail and 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail in scenic Twin Lakes, there’s something for every snowshoer, no matter their age or ability.

Snowmobiling in Leadville Colorado

Snowmobiling with White Mountain Tours in Leadville

4. Snowmobile — White Mountain Tours offers guided trips on the Turquoise Lake Trail that can be combined with zip-lining for a true Rocky Mountain bucket-list adventure. Turquoise Lake and the east-side mining district trails are open to motorized use. The High Riders Snowmobile Club grooms these trails, along with some county roads, and offers organized rides throughout the winter as well.

5. Race — Enthusiasts of all of these sports can also compete in them in Leadville each year. Winter competitions include the Harrison Avenue Knock-out Nordic Sprints, the Nordic Paintball Biathlon, the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series, the Leadville Snowshoe Marathon and Half-Marathon; a winter triathlon, the Leadville Loppet and the Leadville High-Altitude Snow Drags.

6. Learn — Leadville is an ideal destination for those just starting out or wanting to try before they buy. Fat bike and Nordic ski rentals are available at Cycles of Life and the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. The latter also rents snowshoes, offers Nordic lessons and a fee-based system of groomed, set track and wide skate lanes. Mt. Massive Golf Course offers cross-country ski rentals and lessons, and Alpine Ski and Sports, Bill’s Rentals, Leadville Outdoors and Leadville Ski Country rent a variety of winter sports equipment. Colorado Mountain College – Leadville offers one- and two-day courses as well.

Bring Fido! Four-legged friends are welcomed here. Leashed, well-behaved pooches are allowed on all of these trails; please follow proper trail etiquette and pick up after your dogs. The Mt. Massive Golf Course trails are open to off-leash dogs as long as they are kept under the owner’s control. Cold Nose Warm Heart Pet Care provides boarding and doggie daycare options.

Leadville Winter Trails Map

Leadville Winter Trails Map

Leadville winter trail maps are available at the Leadville Lake County Visitor Center at 809 Harrison Avenue, at many of the businesses listed above and online at . The Leadville Ranger District Office at 810 Front Street or 719-486-7409 is a great resource for trail information and conditions. Please check current conditions with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center before heading out.

In addition to winter trails, Lake County is home to Ski Cooper, one the state’s friendliest and most affordable ski mountains, and back-country skiing, riding and sightseeing Snowcat tours at Chicago Ridge. Budget-friendly winter fun also includes sledding and tubing at the Dutch Henri Sledding Hill; it’s free if you bring your own sleds or tubes. Tube rentals are available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays for just $5 per hour for residents and $7 per hour for non-residents; the hill is open dawn to dusk daily. The Leiter Ice Rink is one of the best deals around. Admission is $2.25 and skate rentals are $1 for kids 14 and younger and $2 for ages 15 and older. The rink includes a snack bar, a warming hut and an excellent sound system, and is open 3:30 to 9 p.m. daily through March. Dog sled tours provide yet another opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery.

We are located in the geographic center of Colorado, just 103 miles west of Denver and 129 miles northwest of Colorado Springs. We’re close to Vail and Copper Mountain as well, with economical lodging options that make it a good hub to explore and enjoy the region. Visit Leadville online or call 855-488-1222 for help in planning your winter getaway!

 


It’s a fun and busy winter in Leadville, Colorado

January 10th, 2015
The Leadville Loppet 5K Fun Run

The Leadville Loppet 5K Fun Run

Leadville, Colorado — There’s a lot happening in Leadville this winter! Take a look at this round-up of events, then start planning your visits. We have friendly and affordable places to eat and stay, so you can stay longer and do more while you’re here.

Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series

Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series

Through Mar. 10 — 2-fer Tuesdays at Ski Cooper
Bring a friend and you both ski for $48!

Through April 2 — $30 Thursdays at Ski Cooper
Ski all day for $30, then relax at the lodge with free live music, plus drink and food specials.

Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 — Pedal Power Winter Snow Bike Race
Head to the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse and Nordic Center for the fourth of the Pedal Power Winter Races. Preregister for $20 at pedalpowerbike.com or sign up at the race prior to the 10 a.m. start for $25.

Saturday, Jan. 17 — Backyard Rail Jam Series at Colorado Mountain College
This is a three-part rail jam series: Jan. 17, Feb. 21 and the final event is the Annual Cloud City Rail Jam on Saturday, Mar. 28. Series registration is open to all riders (16+) and no registration fee for the first two events. Riders will accumulate points throughout the series, with prizes awarded at each event and a grand prize winner announced at the Cloud City Rail Jam on Mar. 28.

Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 — Aria Spa & Club Winter Triathlon
This winter triathlon, part of the Pedal Power Winter Race Series, is held at Leadville’s CMC Timberline Campus. Includes 5k snowshoe, 10k bike and 8k skate ski. Preregistration $35; race-day registration $45; teams $30 per person.

Feb. 2 – 7, 2015 — USSA SBX/SX Hole Shot Cross Tour at Ski Cooper
Check out the new SBX/SX venue at Ski Cooper! The Hole Shot Cross Tour is a competition designed to bridge the gap between grassroots and world cup level for Snowboardcross and Skicross. The event also brings together athletes across the country to identify the top juniors in the country. Athletes 15 (SBX)/ 16 (SX) and older compete together in an open-class style event. The top juniors will be named to U.S. Snowboarding’s and U.S. Freeskiing Project Gold, a group of the top development athletes in the country who will train together in the summer and are invited to other select projects.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 — Tennessee Pass Night Jam Winter Mountain Bike race
Bring your lights to for a fast race through the trees at Ski Cooper with the Tennessee Pass Night Jam. Register at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center at 4 p.m. Race starts at 6 p.m. Part of the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series sponsored by the Cloud City Wheelers.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 — Leadville Snowshoe Marathon
Grab your snowshoes and head for the 2nd annual Leadville Snowshoe Marathon and Half Marathon. It will be held at Mt. Massive Golf Course Nordic Center. Register 6:30-7:50 a.m. @ Mt. Massive Golf Course Clubhouse, Race starts at 8 a.m.

Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 — Leadville High-altitude Snowmobile Drags
The 2nd annual High-altitude Snow Drags and Demo Day will be held at Mt. Massive Golf Course Nordic Center. There will be a limit of 64 contestants, double elimination, divided into three classes: under 800cc, 800 class, and pro modified classes. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. Entry fees will add to cash prizes, as well as gift certificates, gas, food, lodging and other services in the most pristine mountains of Colorado. Entry includes event t-shirt.

Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 — Tommyknockers and Flickering Candles
This National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum fundraiser includes wine tasting, beer and hors d’oeuvres. The event will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Call 719-486-1229 for details.

Saturday, Feb. 21 — Backyard Rail Jam Series at Colorado Mountain College
This is a three-part rail jam series: Jan. 17, Feb. 21 and the final event is the Annual Cloud City Rail Jam on Saturday, Mar. 28. Series registration is open to all riders (16+) and no registration fee for the first two events. Riders will accumulate points throughout the series, with prizes awarded at each event and a grand prize winner announced at the Cloud City Rail Jam on Mar. 28.

Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 — Leadville Loppet, Leadville
The Leadville Loppet, held at Colorado Mountain College – Leadville, is open to Freestyle (skate) and Classic Skiing in 10k, 22k, and 44k races, along with a 5K Fun Run/Costume Party. Preregistration is required for all but the 5K. First race begins at 9:15 a.m.

Friday, Mar. 6, 2015 — Leadville Nordic Knockout Harrison Avenue Sprints
Race on 400 meters of snow, under the lights, down Harrison Avenue in historic Leadville, Colorado. Two skiers start. Fastest advances. $3 Entry. The Leadville Nordic Knockout Harrison Avenue Sprints are part of Leadville Ski Joring weekend. Race day registration only. Register in front of Melanzana between 6:30 and 7 p.m. at 8th and Harrison. Race starts at 7.

Leadville Ski Joring Mar. 7-8, 2015

Leadville Ski Joring Mar. 7-8, 2015

Saturday and Sunday, Mar. 7 – 8, 2015 — Leadville Ski Joring 
A Leadville tradition since 1949, ski joring is one part extreme sport and one part Wild West. Cowboys on horses pull skiers down a snow-packed Harrison Avenue, over jumps, in a timed competition. This captivating winter sport is as much fun to watch as it is to participate in!

Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015 — Mineral Belt Mayhem Winter Mountain Bike Race
An 11-mile loop on Leadville’s beautiful Mineral Belt Trail at Night! Start and finish on Harrison Ave. during Leadville’s Crystal Carnival Weekend. Register for the Mineral Belt Mayhem at Cycles of Life, 309 Harrison Ave. at 4 p.m. Race starts at 6 p.m. Part of the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series sponsored by the Cloud City Wheelers.

Sunday, Mar. 8 — Leadville Nordic Paintball Biathlon
Take cross country skiing and throw in some paintball guns. The Leadville Nordic Paintball Biathlon is really that simple. There’s a 1K race for kids at 10 a.m., a 5K at 11 a.m. and a 10K and noon. Paintballs and paintball guns are provided. Prizes to the top two skiers in each age category.

Saturday, Mar. 28 — Cloud City Rail Jam at Colorado Mountain College
This is a three-part rail jam series: Jan. 17, Feb. 21 and the final event is the Annual Cloud City Rail Jam on Saturday, Mar. 28. Series registration is open to all riders (16+) and no registration fee for the first two events. Riders will accumulate points throughout the series, with prizes awarded at each event and a grand prize winner announced at the Cloud City Rail Jam on Mar. 28.

Saturday, April 4 — Easter Egg Hunt at Ski Cooper
Bring the kids and their Easter baskets, and don’t forget the camera! The hunt starts near the Lodge at at Ski Cooper at 9 a.m. sharp.

April 18, 2015 — East Side Epic Winter Mountain Bike Race
The East Side Epic is the last of four Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series events for 2015. A tour of Leadville’s historic Mining District. Register at Cycles of Life, 309 Harrison Ave. at 8 a.m. Race starts at 10 a.m. at 700 East 8th St.

Plan your Leadville winter getaway with our free vacation guide! Search for Leadville hotels or give us a call at 855-488-1222 for more information.


Winter and holiday festivities in Leadville, Colorado

November 26th, 2014

Powder at Ski Cooper in Leadville by Scott Smith

Leadville, Colorado — Skiers and riders, rejoice! You’re are always thankful for the low prices here, but you have even more to be grateful for this year: Ski Cooper is opening for the season on Fri., Nov. 28, more than two weeks ahead of schedule. You can stay longer and do more this winter in budget-friendly Leadville, where the plentiful snow and the Rocky Mountains’ highest peaks beckon you to get out and play. Read More »