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LEADVILLE, Colo. (Nov. 6, 2007) — Looking for the ultimate winter destination? With an average of 310 days of sunshine a year, almost 50,000 acres within four nationally designated Wilderness Areas, and the state’s highest mountains, Lake County, Colo., offers abundant high-country recreation, incredible mountain scenery, charming shops, restaurants and lodging options, plus something you might not expect in a resort community: affordable prices.


Lake County’s plentiful, natural snow provides for a vast number of popular winter activities, including snowshoeing; alpine, telemark and cross country skiing; snowmobiling; snowboarding and dog sledding. Here are eight great reasons to head to Leadville and Twin Lakes this winter:


  1. Ski CooperSki Cooper’s reasonable prices — just $39 for a full-day lift ticket — make it one of the most affordable ski experiences in the state. Five lifts serve 400 skiable acres; an additional 2,500 acres at Chicago Ridge are served by Snowcats. Amenities include a new Children’s Center, Day Care, Ski School, Day Lodge, Tennessee Pass Nordic Center and the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse. Opening day is scheduled for Nov. 22, snow permitting.


  1. High-country Trails — There are 16 groomed, well-marked trails in Lake County, ranging from beginner to expert, from three to sixteen miles in distance, and between 9,000 and 12,000 feet in elevation. The Mineral Belt Trail, a 12.5-mile all-season, paved ADA-accessible trail passes through the historic district and stands of trees and foliage, with access to multiple trailheads. In the winter, the Mineral Belt Trail is groomed for skate skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
  2. Ski Joring — In this sport, skiers are pulled over a series of jumps by a horse and rider. The goal is to stay on your skis, spear rings and complete the course in the least amount of time. Ski joring is the highlight of Leadville’s annual Crystal Carnival, which takes place the first weekend in March, along with a snowshoe race series, Loppet race and dog sledding.


  1. Tenth Mountain Hut-to-Hut Trail SystemThe European tradition of hut-to-hut skiing can be enjoyed in the majestic mountains surrounding Leadville. Huts located in spectacular settings, perched high on mountain ridges with magnificent views, provide skiers a cozy shelter at the end of the trail. This is the most extensive backcountry hut system in North America, with 30 huts and 350 miles of U.S. Forest Service trails. Backcountry ski, snowshoe, mountain bike or hike while staying in a safe, comfortable shelter. For more information or reservations, visit or call 970-925-4554.


  1. Victorian Days Weekend Step back in time for an old-fashioned holiday experience during Leadville’s Victorian Days Weekend. Featuring a parade of lights, carolers, Victorian home tour, refreshments, a visit from Santa, a holiday tea, a catered Victorian-style dinner and parlor casino games, this year’s event will run from Friday, Nov. 30 through Sunday, Dec. 2.
  2. Competitive Events — Got a competitive streak? Lake County can help you satisfy that need with the Leadville Loppet Race, snowshoe races, turkey shoots, ice fishing competitions, winter mountain bike races, ice golf, and Ski 100 Nordic Ski Race, just to name a few.
  3. Romantic GetawaysLake County’s lodging options ranging from an elegant Victorian hotel, charming inns and B&Bs to lodges, cabins, and vacation rentals. Many offer special packages throughout the winter months. Call 1-888-LEADVILLE for lodging information.
  4. Delectable Dining — Hungry? Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or an elegant dinner, Leadville and Twin Lakes offer a surprisingly wide selection of eateries — many of which boast of local, state-wide and national recognition. Choices includes coffee, pizza and sandwich shops, a brew pub, Mexican cantinas, a steak house, and restaurants specializing in Italian, Chinese and American and bistro-style cuisines.


At an elevation of 10,152 feet, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America, located in the geographic center of Colorado, 103 miles west of Denver and 129 miles northwest of Colorado Springs. All of the highways in Lake County have been designated as the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway.




About Leadville and Twin Lakes
Leadville, the highest incorporated city in North America, is located in the geographic center of Colorado, 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. Once one of America’s richest, longest-lived and bawdiest mining boomtowns, 70 square blocks of the downtown area has been designated as a National Historic Landmark of Victorian architecture. Activities include skiing, fishing, camping, golfing, 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. Visit for more information.  

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