11 Reasons to Love Leadville's Winter
The area's abundant snow provides for a vast number of popular winter activities, including snowshoeing, alpine and telemark skiing, Nordic and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding and dog sledding.
1. 100 Miles of Groomed Winter Trails
Nearly 100 miles of free, groomed trails in Lake County, ranging from beginner to expert. Perfect for biking, Nordic and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing! Leadville and Lake County often have the earliest and latest skiing in the state, for the longest season to get out and enjoy the trails. There are also trails suitable for for hiking, winter biking and snowmobiling.
2. Backcountry Skiing and Snowcat Tours
You also can take a snowcat to the top of the Continental Divide with Chicago Ridge Snowcat Tours, to see the scenery or to ski backcountry bowls. This area is roughly the size of Vail’s Back Bowls, with similar length, pitch and vertical. The slopes vary from 3,000 to 10,000 feet in length, with vertical drops up to 2,000 feet per run.
3. Dog Sledding
No need to trek to Alaska; a team of trotting huskies can pull you through snow-laden valleys and frosty pines right here in Leadville. With Alpine Adventures Dogsledding and Winterhawk Dogsled Adventures, you can experience this unique, back-in-time mode of travel. Plus puppy kisses. What's not to love?
4. Downhill Skiing at Ski Cooper
Skiing and snowboarding at Ski Cooper is different. It isn't like the mega resorts. Instead, it offers an uncrowded, family friendly experience with low prices and soft, all-natural snow. There, you'll find terrain variety for everyone, a down-to-earth atmosphere, smiling faces, and the very essence of the authentic skiing experience.
5. Nordic and Cross-Country Skiing
Experience the peace and quiet of winter with Nordic or cross-country skiing, on trails that wind through evergreen forests and around lakes. Many are groomed for smooth skiing, including those at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center.
6. Ice Skating
Twirl under the sun or stars, play a rousing game of ice hockey, or try curling at Leadville's outdoor rink, with a new warming hut opened in 2016. At 30,000 square feet, Huck Finn Ice Rink is one of Colorado's largest manmade rinks.
Zip down Dutch Henry Sledding Hill, perhaps the highest, fastest sledding hill in all of Colorado, just a one-minute drive south of downtown on Highway 24. It's free!
Snowmobiling is a great way to take in the mountains' winter beauty. Explore the Mining District and the road around Turquoise Lake on your own on groomed trails. Or take a guided tour on groomed, high-mountain terrain or a high-performance ride through powder-filled back country bowls. Combine your tour with winter ziplining for an adrenaline-filled day!
9. Snow Zipping
Ziplining isn't just for summer. With Top of the Rockies Zip Line, you can take in views of Colorado's two highest snow-covered peaks from 11,200' and zip through a winter wonderland! Combine your trip with a snowmobile tour for extra excitement.
10. Ski Joring
Have you ever seen a horse and rider pull a skier over jumps? That's called ski joring, and the first weekend in March, Leadville closes its main street, brings in snow, builds ski jumps, and hosts a sport like no other. Come cheer the teams at Leadville’s Ski Joring and Crystal Carnival Weekend! And join in a Nordic ski race, dog ski joring, kids' ski joring behind snowmobiles, fat tire bike rides, and more for a weekend your family won't soon forget.
The winter is full of special events, including the Leadville Loppet Race, Ski Joring and Crystal Carnival, snowshoe races, winter mountain bike races, ice fishing competitions, and more. Check our calendar!