Tips for Enjoying the Leadville Races

August 11th, 2015

LT100 MTB Racer Crosses the Finish Line

Leadville, Colorado — There are three big Leadville races coming up, with the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race on Aug. 15, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Lake County Aug. 19-20 and the Leadville Trail 100 Run on Aug. 22-23. These races continue to grow in popularity, and we are anticipating large crowds again this year. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your visit during any — or all — of these high-altitude endurance competitions.


Sunscreen and a hat: The higher you go, the more protection you need from the sun. We’re at 10,152 feet above sea level, so you need a lot of sunscreen and a good hat. Read more tips about high elevation.

Hydration: The elevation and lack of humidity will affect you quicker than you think. Drink water, and plenty of it. Check out additional tips to avoid altitude sickness.

Weather: The old saying is true: if you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait 10 minutes. The forecast for this time of the year is for lows in the 40s and highs in the low 70s. There is always a chance of rain in the mountains in the summer, so dress in layers and bring a waterproof jacket or umbrella.

Have a seat: These are long days; a camp chair comes in handy.

Arrive early: We are expecting big crowds again this year. Make sure you allow extra time to get into town and to find parking. Please check for signs about parking limits and restrictions, and respect private property.

Race Details: The Leadville Race Series athlete guides include schedules, course maps and information about each race:


The Herald Democrat has a great article about road closures during all three events with information provided by the Lake County Office of Emergency Management. Click for road closures for the USA Pro Challenge.



There are four public parking lots:
♦ West 3rd and Harrison Ave
♦ East 4th behind the Tabor Opera House
♦ 1000 W 4th, High School North Lot
♦ Community Park across the street from the North Lot at the intersection of W 6th Street and McWethy


♦ Diagonal parking is permitted on the south side of the street up to the alley on the following streets: East 8th, East 7th, East 6th, East 5th, and East 4th streets
♦ Leadville Municipal Ordinance allows for homeowners to purchase private parking signs to put in front of their homes. These parking spaces are clearly marked with a red and white sign. If you park in one of these spaces you will be ticketed and your vehicle may towed
♦ Remember to park in the direction of traffic and 12 inches or less from curb
♦ There is a two-hour time limit for parking in some areas
♦ No parking in front of driveways


Safety tips from the Leadville Police Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office:


♦ Ride in single file with the flow of traffic
♦ Observe all traffic signs and traffic laws
♦ Wear proper reflective clothing and safety equipment
♦ Use hand signals when stopping and making turns
♦ Make sure your bike is in good working order before you begin your ride
♦ Bicycles should be ridden on streets and roads instead of sidewalks
♦ It’s against the law to ride your bike while intoxicated


♦ Drive at the posted speed limit
♦ Yield to all emergency vehicles by pulling over to your right as far as you safely can
♦ Adjust your speed during adverse weather conditions
♦ Designate a sober driver or call a cab
♦ When school bus lights are flashing yellow and red, slow down and stop
♦ Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks
♦ Buckle up, the life you save might be your own
♦ No U-turn on double yellow lines


♦ Always use the crosswalk
♦ While walking or running on a roadway, move against traffic
♦ While running on a roadway, wear bright and or reflective clothing


We hope you’re planning to stay a while and enjoy all that Lake County has to offer. Here are some ideas for you. You can also download our visitor guide or pick one up at the visitor center at 809 Harrison Avenue.


There are lots of great places to eat and grab a drink  in Leadville. Plan ahead for the crowds and allow extra time for service.


♦ Eight Leadville museums
♦ Route of the Silver Kings (east side of town)
♦ Top of the Rockies Zipline
♦ Play golf at Mt. Massive Golf Course
♦ Hike or bike the Mineral Belt Trail
♦ Ride the Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.)
♦ Top of the Rockies walking tour or driving tour
♦ Kiddie Corral at 9th and Poplar for those with toddlers
♦ UTV tours with Elk Mountain Adventures
♦ Twin Lakes Interlaken Boat Tours
♦ Rent a canoe, kayak or SUP with Twin Lakes Canoe and Kayak
♦ Go fishing on the Gold Medal waters of the Arkansas River or one of our many lakes
♦ Explore shops on Harrison and side streets
♦ Play disc golf at Colorado Mountain College
♦ Go horseback riding with Halfmoon Packing
♦ Go for a swim at the Lake County Aquatic Center
♦ Take guided tours offered by The Delaware Hotel
♦ Tour the Leadville National Fish Hatchery

Thanks for planning a visit to Leadville and Twin Lakes. Come back in a few weeks for the fall foliage and explore the area without the race crowds!

USA Pro Challenge Brings World’s Top Athletes to Leadville and Twin Lakes, Colorado, Aug. 19 – 20

July 7th, 2015

USA Pro Cycling Challenge Leadville

Leadville, Colorado — One of the largest cycling events in U.S. history and the largest spectator event in Colorado history, the USA Pro Challenge is back for 2015. Featuring a challenging course, the fifth annual race will spotlight the best in professional cycling and some of America’s most beautiful scenery. The world’s top athletes race through the majestic Colorado Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure. You can watch two of the most difficult stages right here in Lake County.

On Wed., Aug. 19, Stage 3 takes racers from Copper Mountain to Aspen. The climbing starts right away with the ascent of Fremont Pass, followed by the gorgeous shores of Turquoise Lake and then a sprint through historic downtown Leadville, the highest-elevation city in North America. From there, it’s through Twin Lakes and over Independence Pass with a breathtaking descent into Aspen. Actually, most of this stage is breathtaking since more than half of it takes place above 10,000 feet in elevation.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Twin LakesThere’s no rest for the weary. The following morning, Thurs., Aug. 20, the competitors tackle Independence Pass in the opposite direction for Stage 4. The day starts with a 20-mile climb to the peak at 12,905’ before descending into Twin Lakes. The racers still have the climbs of Trout Creek Pass and Hoosier Pass to conquer, with sprints in Buena Vista and Fairplay on the route to Breckenridge.

The elevation, rugged terrain and spectacular mountain scenery in Lake County have attracted athletes from around the world for decades. The USA Pro Challenge falls right between two of the world’s most epic high-altitude endurance races, the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race on Sat., Aug. 15, and the Leadville Trail 100 Run on Sat. and Sun., Aug. 22 and 23. The Stage 3 route follows the mountain bike course as it passes Turquoise Lake and into Leadville. This same section was part of the Coors Classic stage race that took place in Colorado from 1980 to 1988.

An overnight stay in Leadville or Twin Lakes on Aug. 19 will provide spectators the chance to watch these elite athletes on consecutive days. Harrison Avenue is the place to be on Aug. 19. Racers will turn onto Leadville’s main thoroughfare at W. 6th St., the finish line for the Leadville Trail 100. They’ll kick it into high for that day’s sprint when they cross 3rd St. There will be bike-themed events throughout the day, with lots of options for a meal and a cold drink and time to explore downtown after the racers pass through. Check road closures for Aug. 19.

On Aug. 20, the historic village of Twin Lakes, set on the shore of Colorado’s largest glacial lakes and ringed by the state’s highest Fourteeners, offers an especially scenic spot to cheer on the athletes as they come down Independence Pass. In addition to the Twin Lakes Inn and Twin Lakes General Store, there will be food trucks on site to provide refreshments. Onlookers should plan to arrive early to find parking. Read tips for enjoying the race events in Leadville. Check road closures for Aug. 20.

Area lodging options include B&Bs, inns, a Victorian hotel, motels, vacation rentals, lodges and cabins. Camping is allowed in designated campsites only. Sugar Loafin’ Campground and the Leadville RV Corral offer sites with full hookups. National forest campsites at Turquoise Lake and Twin Lakes may be booked through Click for more information about places to stay in Lake County or call 855-488-1222.

Leadville is located in the geographic center of Colorado, 103 miles west of Denver and 129 miles northwest of Colorado Springs, on U.S. Highway 24, part of the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. Once one of America’s richest, longest-lived and bawdiest mining boomtowns, 70 square blocks of the downtown area have been designated as a National Historic Landmark of Victorian architecture. Activities include fishing, camping, golf, hiking, whitewater rafting, four-wheeling, biking, museums, historical tours and train rides. Nearby Twin Lakes, located 15 minutes from Leadville at the eastern entrance to Independence Pass, is also a National Historic District and a popular summer destination for camping, boating, hiking and fishing.

Celebrate July 4th and Escape the Heat in Leadville!

July 1st, 2015

Leadville Parade

Leadville, Colorado — Fireworks, a parade, a free cookout and a 5K are just a few of the reasons to head to Leadville for the July Fourth weekend, when this authentic mountain town hosts its annual Independence Day celebration. Known for its Old West heritage, beautiful mountain scenery, affordability and outdoor recreation, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America. With average high temperatures in the mid-70s this time of year, it’s the perfect place to escape the summer heat and explore one of Colorado’s most historic towns.

Leadville Mineral Belt TrailThe Independence Day festivities begin at 8:30 a.m. with the Firecracker 5K run or walk through downtown Leadville. Preregistration is available at Melanzana at 716 Harrison Ave., or race-day registration takes place from 7 – 8 a.m. at Harrison Avenue and West 6th St., for $15. All proceeds benefit Skyline Baseball and the nonprofit Leadville-Lake County Sports Hall of Fame.

At 10 a.m., the annual July Fourth Parade begins on Harrison Avenue, which is lined with historic buildings against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. The Leadville-Lake County Airport, North America’s highest-elevation airport, is celebrating after the parade with an aircraft and classic car display, music and free cookout, including hot dogs and hamburgers, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Leadville/Lake County Fire Department will serve root beer floats as well. The airport is located at 9150 County Road 23.

The Tony Hren Memorial Fireworks Display, sponsored by the Leadville Lions Club begins at dusk. The best place to view the fireworks is at the Lake County High School football field on West 4th Street.

There are lots of options for enjoying the whole weekend. The streets of downtown Leadville are lined with restaurants, museums, antique stores and specialty shops filled with books, outdoor wear and gear, art, gifts, souvenirs and clothing. Other activities include an ATA Registered Trap Shoot on July 3 and 4 at the Leadville Rod and Gun Club Range.

Mt. Massive Golf Course LeadvilleSummertime visitors to Leadville and Twin Lakes can choose from a long list of budget-friendly activities and attractions that highlight the area’s history, location and surroundings.

A self-guided walking tour takes visitors through highlights of the 70-square-block National Historic District of Victorian Architecture, including the largest opera house west of the Mississippi, the saloon visited by Oscar Wilde and two historic 1879 churches. Museum Passports are available at the Visitor Center at 809 Harrison Ave. The paved Mineral Belt Trail loops the city for an 11.6-mile hike or bike ride packed with historic sites and mountain scenery. Guided tours of the Evergreen Cemetery, mining district and downtown Leadville are also available through the Delaware Hotel.

Turquoise Lake in LeadvilleJust outside of town, the scenic and tranquil Turquoise Lake and Mount Massive Golf Course — North America’s highest course — provide options for high-altitude recreation. A few minutes south on US Highway 24, the Leadville National Fish Hatchery offers free hatchery tours, a one-mile family-friendly hike on the Evergreen Lake Nature Trail and trailheads for three trails that access the Colorado Trail. Visitors to Twin Lakes can enjoy lunch, take a hike, cast a line on the shore of the state’s largest glacial lake and stroll through the historic 1880s village. A 102-mile stretch of the Arkansas River, which has its headwaters in and runs through Lake County, has recently achieved Gold Medal status; that means it’s one of the best trout-fishing spots in the country.

Conveniently located in the geographic center of Colorado, Leadville is just 103 miles west of Denver and 129 miles northwest of Colorado Springs, on US Highway 24, part of the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. Lodging options include B&Bs, inns, an 1880s Victorian hotel, cabins, lodges, vacation rentals and modern motels. Information about lodging, shopping and dining in Lake County can be found at or by calling call 855-488-1222.

Leadville BBQ & Brew Festival Attracts Top Pit Masters & Breweries June 26-27

May 24th, 2015

Leadville BBQ and Brew Festival

Leadville, Colorado — Mmmmmm! The mouthwatering smell of barbeque is sweeter at 10,152 above sea level, where the air is fresh, cool and clean. You’re going to want to be here June 26 and 27 for the inaugural Leadville BBQ and Brew Festival—the highest-altitude sanctioned barbeque event ever held. It will attract some of the country’s best pit masters to this historic Colorado mountain town. Microbrews, performances by local bands, a shine-and-show area for motorcycles and a family-fun zone round out the two-day festival. Read More »

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Leadville in May and June

May 8th, 2015

Mt. Massive Golf Course Leadville Leadville, Colorado — Early summer is the perfect time to head to the high country. You won’t find any crowds, so you can relax and get a head start on vacation season. And with our affordable prices, you can stay and play longer. Here are five reasons to visit Leadville and Twin Lakes in May and June: Read More »