While you might think Turquoise Lake is named for its blue waters, this fresh glacial lake of nearly 1,800 acres once hosted a turquoise mine. While precious stones are no longer pulled from the earth here, you’ll discover a gem of an alpine lake rich with opportunities for outdoor fun.
Mountain bike along the singletrack that runs along the lakeshore, 12 miles roundtrip. Or ride the paved road that encircles the lake and climbs to vantage points overlooking Mt. Elbert, Mt. Massive, and the Upper Arkansas River Valley. In winter, you can fat bike this road, which is groomed regularly as part of Leadville’s winter trails system, for stunning views of snowcapped mountains and the wintry lake.
Two boat ramps let you launch your boat, canoe, kayak, or SUP onto nearly 1,800 acres of sparkling blue waters.
If you’ve dreamed of escaping to a mountain lake, pitch your tent or bring your RV to one of the eight campgrounds set along the lake, offering nearly 300 campsites.
Whether you drop a line by boat or fish from shore, you’ll find Turquoise Lake full of mackinaw trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. The fish hide there in winter, too; ice fishing is a popular pastime at Turquoise Lake.
Hike or Run
Turquoise Lake boasts a nature trail as well as a six-mile path along its northern shore that affords peaceful views. It’s one of the area’s few trails without significant elevation gain, making for an easier journey.
Nordic Ski, Snowshoe, and Snowmobile
The road around the lake and paths through the surrounding campgrounds are groomed weekly for winter travel. Enjoy views of the lake, peaks, and pines covered in winter white. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of wildlife or of dogsled teams in the snowy woods.