Leadville, Colorado was founded in 1860, and is renowned for being one of the biggest, wildest, richest and longest-lived mining camps on the American frontier. That proud and rugged pioneering heritage lives on today, apparent in the creative, resilient and individualistic residents who choose to make their home in this extraordinary community. The neighboring community of Twin Lakes, Colorado boasts rustic charm and two large glacial lakes with views that will take your breath away.
A charming Victorian town of 2,600 people, Leadville is the main settlement in Lake County, population 7,700. Its altitude, at 10,152 feet above sea level, is a distinguishing factor, as well as its location in the geographic center of Colorado at the foot of the highest 14ers in the state (14ers are peaks in excess of 14,000 feet—there are 52 in Colorado). Leadville is 100 miles west of Denver and 128 miles northwest of Colorado Springs.
The state tourism office includes Lake County in what they term the Rocky Mountain Playground, an area comprised of notable neighboring year-round resort communities (and ski areas) of Vail, Breckenridge and Aspen.
Unlike its resort counterparts, however, Leadville and Twin Lakes maintain relative affordability in the face of increasing demand for primary and secondary homes in the Colorado mountains. Residents count the genuine nature of the community, the lack of crowds and traffic, the abundance of outdoor recreation, and the phenomenal scenic beauty as its attributes.
Quality of life is paramount for those who value Leadville’s unique character and amenities, with recently expanded Ski Cooper alpine ski area, Mt. Massive Golf Course, Twin Lakes, Turquoise Lake and hundreds of miles of summer and winter trails. The Leadville Race Series attracts endurance athletes from around the world for its epic biking and running events. Leadville has the highest airport in North America and is home to the Timberline Campus of Colorado Mountain College.
The primary industry in Leadville and Lake County is tourism, with mining a close second; the Climax Mine is 13 miles from Leadville and extracts molybdenum.