Enjoy a Real Winter in North America’s Highest CityNovember 15, 2020
[Updated Jan. 5 2020]
Snow and real winter have come to Leadville and Twin Lakes, Colorado! At 10,152’, North America’s highest-elevation city offers snow from early season through late spring. Check out our outdoor activities—all naturally socially distanced. Plus great museums and restaurants to warm you up!
Ski Cooper’s Wide-Open Spaces
Ski Cooper, a ski “resort” without the pretense, is open for the season. Just 15 minutes from Leadville, Cooper offers wide-open spaces, no lift lines, and terrain for all abilities:
- Beginners and families, come for low prices, soft all-natural snow, and a family-friendly vibe.
- Expert skiers and boarders, check out the 19 new advanced runs that opened in Tennessee Creek Basin in early 2020.
- Those who want to ski and ride better, come learn with us! First-timers through advanced skiers and boarders are welcome. You can take Ski and Ride School lessons on your own, with your family or your own group. No open-group lessons will be held this year.
For Covid safety in 2020-21, guests must buy all passes in advance online.
Great Ways to Play in the Snow
Ski and Snowshoe Trails: In Leadville, we welcome snow in the fall and keep it through spring! Nordic ski, snowshoe, fat bike, or snowmobile on our 100 miles of affordable groomed trails. Trek above treeline or through open meadows with stunning mountain and lake views. Tour past historic mining equipment and original headframes in Leadville’s historic East Side Mining District.
Trails at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center are open. So are the Timberline Trails for fat biking and the Mount Massive Golf Course Ski and Snowshoe Trails. The Mineral Belt Trail and East Side Mining District are groomed regularly. Check current conditions!
Ski-in Dinners and Sleep Yurts: The Nordic Center, Cookhouse and Sleep Yurts at Tennessee Pass are open for the season. Snowshoe or cross-country ski one mile through the forest to a gourmet candlelight dinner featuring local foods. Sleep well in luxury yurts with soapstone wood stoves and down comforters. The next day, explore 27 km of groomed trails.
Snow Zipping: Fly above snow-covered trees at 12,800’ on the Top of the Rockies Zip Line! It’s open all winter.
Snow Zooming: Snowmobile tours to explore the historic mining structures just outside Leadville are now running. As snow cover allows, you can also zoom above treeline for high-octane fun and energizing views of the Sawatch and Mosquito ranges.
Backcountry Winter Safety
Backcountry safety is especially important in winter, so please only venture into the backcountry when you’re prepared. Avalanche danger is especially high this year due to snow conditions.
Please be sure to know your destination, and if you’re not experienced, bring a friend or guide who is. Learn more with our Colorado Backcountry Winter Safety Resources. And sign the Colorado Backcountry Winter Safety Pledge!
For Backcountry Experts
For Experienced Winter Backcountry Enthusiasts: Ski or snowshoe to off-grid huts. These hut trips and yurt trips are recommended for those who have experience in winter backcountry travel and avalanche safety equipment and skills.
- 10th Mountain Huts: Colorado’s hut system has several options near Leadville for backcountry adventure. This winter, hut capacities have been reduced with single-party reservations only, and new minimum booking requirements added.
- Leadville Backcountry Yurts: The Marceline and The Emma yurts are perched at 12,000 feet.
- Weston Pass Hut: This backcountry lodging at the top of Weston Pass is open with enhanced safety measures and single-group reservations only. Spend the days getting into the backcountry with everything from mild slopes to steep bowls.
New Winter Warmers
Warm Outdoor Dining: To keep you warm and Covid-safe this winter, Buchi Café and Treeline Kitchen have added outdoor pods for winter dining. Treeline also offers patio dining beside a fire pit.
Before and After Leadville: This brand-new cocktail bar from the owners of Treeline Kitchen features cocktails, mocktails, light fare, and desserts.
Two Mile Brewing Co.: North America’s highest brewery welcomes its first winter with new lagers and ales, sammies, and more.
Tuck & Vittles: This new bar opened at FREIGHT in the fall and currently delivers custom charcuterie boards.
Twin Lakes Inn & Saloon: The Inn is now open for TWIN-ter, with weekend dinners and brunches.
Rest Days at the Museums
For an enjoyable day off the skis, head to these fascinating Leadville museums:
National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum: Discover the story of American mining, from past to future (open Tuesday-Saturday).
Healy House Museum and Dexter Cabin: Tour one of Leadville’s earliest homes (open Friday and Saturday).
Temple Israel: Learn about the lives of Jewish pioneers during Leadville’s mining boom era (open Friday – Monday and other days by appointment).
No matter what activities you choose, get ready to experience a real winter at the top of the Rockies!