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.
Year ‘Round Access
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. Or find the Route of the Silver Kings on page 30 of the Leadville and Twin Lakes History Guide. You can drive the route or explore on foot, by mountain bike, or by off-road vehicles.
An extensive network of East Side Mining District roads are groomed in the winter and open to fat bikes and snowmobiles and for hiking, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing.
Winter & Spring Trips
Visiting in winter or early spring? Try fat biking, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Please check our Colorado Backcountry Winter Safety Resources and the current avalanche forecast before you head into the backcountry!
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. Take a short three-mile loop, or explore as long as you like. Multiple loops of varying lengths and difficulty are possible. Interactive map
Care for Colorado!
- Check for Fire Restrictions — and Follow Them!
- Take Care with Fire
- Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
And please take our Adventure by Nature Pledge.
Thank you for helping to protect our forests and homes!