East Side Mining District Roads
An intriguing network of county roads threads through Leadville’s East Side Mining District. As you explore these dirt roads, you’ll pass 1880s headframes, wooden ore houses, and maybe even rail tracks heading into a hillside.
To the west are incredible views of Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, the state’s two highest peaks. To the east looms the Mosquito Range and the road that leads over 13,185′ Mosquito Pass, nicknamed “The Highway of Frozen Death.” Test your 4WD skills on this road or perhaps your ankle stability. It’s all worth it for the expansive, top-of-the-world views up and down the Sawatch range. (Please note: Due to historic snows in 2019, Mosquito Pass is currently closed. Please follow the U.S. Forest Service on Facebook for updates.)
In summer, pick up a Route of the Silver Kings brochure at the Visitor Center, 809 Harrison Avenue in Leadville, to learn more about the fascinating structures you’re passing and the area’s mining history.
In the winter, an extensive network of East Side Mining District roads are groomed and open to fat bikes and snowmobiles and for hiking, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing.
Sports: Mountain biking, fat biking, trail running, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
Distance: As short as a three-mile loop or as long as you like. Multiple loops of varying lengths and difficulty are possible.
Directions to Trails: Leave directly from Leadville’s east side on 5th Street or 7th Street or find parking areas as you work your way up the mountain. In winter, parking areas are available where plowing ends, a couple miles up both 5th and 7th streets.