The Silver Dollar Saloon on the outside

27 Best Things to Do in Leadville, CO (in 2022)

Leadville, Colorado in Lake County is one of my favorite Colorado gems because it’s quirky and not too fancy. There’s no big resort-y ski area. Leadville offers comfortable places to stay, but there aren’t any 5-star hotels like there are in nearby Vail or Breckenridge. Leadville has a wild history involving bars, brothels, and brawling but today you’re more likely to find wild outdoor adventurers than wild partiers.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Leadville, it does still have its share of bars and tasty restaurants, but there are also plenty of lakes, bike areas, and lots to see both outdoors and in! It even has one of the highest (see what I did there?) dispensaries – Floyd’s of Leadville, owned by cyclist Floyd Landis. 

Whether you’re looking to learn more about Colorado’s mining history or get outdoors for some fresh mountain air, here are 27 of the most fun things to do in Leadville!

👉 Jump to: Best Things | In Winter | In Summer | In The Off-Season

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Best Things to Do in Leadville

Leadville National Fish Hatchery

See hundreds of fish for stocking

View of kids watching the fishes in Leadville National Fish Hatchery
Feed the fish and watch them jump!

📍 Map It: 2846 CO-300, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-0189 | Website | Hours: 7 am – 3:30 pm daily | Entrance: Free 

The fish hatchery is one of the most fun things to do in Leadville with kids! Here, fish are raised to stock areas all over Colorado. You can buy fish food for a quarter, which is worth it! There’s also an easy nature trail for families, and hiking trails with access to Mt. Massive and the Colorado Trail. 

Hike Mount Elbert

Hike a 14er

View of the sunrise at Collegiate Peaks from Mt. Elbert

📍 Map It: Shore Pretty Overlook, County Road 24 | Phone: (719) 486-0749 | Website 

Hiking a 14er is definitely one of those must do things in Colorado, and Mount Elbert is a great one to tackle. Mount Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains. The views and the hike through the San Isabel National Forest are definitely worth it, but this is a serious undertaking – you’ll climb almost 4,500 feet in 5 miles to get to the top.

🛎️ Need a Place to Stay in Leadville? Leadville is almost two hours from Denver, so if you have an action-packed day or two planned, you’ll want to stay in a hotel or rental up there! 

Ride The Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad

Ride through beautiful forest

View of the Colorado and Southern Railroad Depot from the outside

📍 Map It: 326 E. 7th Street, Leadville, CO 80461| Phone: (719) 486-3936 | Website | Tickets: $50, adults, $25 under 12, 3 and under free

You’ll get gorgeous views of the San Isabel National Forest and the Arkansas River Valley on this ride. The Southern Railroad also has a Holiday Express train in winter, and the fall rides with autumn foliage are one of the most amazing things to do in Leadville!

📚 Related Reading: This is my absolute favorite Leadville-related book. It ends with a wacky donkey half-marathon that runs through town every August and it’s a funny, heartwarming story. 

Things to Do Leadville In Winter

Take to the Slopes

Ski (or snowboard) the mountains

The author's kids skiing in Ski Cooper Resort
Ski Cooper is a great family resort!

📍 Map It: Ski Cooper – 232 Co Rd 29, Leadville, CO 80461; Copper Mtn – 209 Ten Mile Cir, Frisco, CO 80443 | Phone: Ski Cooper – (719) 486-2277; Copper Mtn – (866) 841-2481 | Ski Cooper Website; Copper Mtn Website | Lift Tickets: Ski Cooper – $50-90, adults, $35-70 under 14; Copper Mtn – $99-169, adults, $84-119 under 13

Of course, skiing is one of the popular things to do in Leadville! There are two ski resorts nearby – Ski Cooper is our favorite for cheap, family skiing at a small resort close to Denver. Copper Mountain is more upscale and better for those who take their skiing more seriously.

📚 Related Reading: Check out the rest of my recs for the top ski resorts in Colorado, and see which might be best for you! 

Go Snowshoeing / Cross-Country Skiing

Glide on snowy trails

View of a man skiing on the snow during winter

📍 Map It: E. Tennessee Rd., Leadville, CO 80461| Phone: (719) 486-1750 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily | Trail Pass: $18, adults, $12 under 13

Tennessee Nordic Center has rentals, plus groomed, well-marked trails. It’s next to Ski Cooper, so if some of your party want to downhill and some want to cross-country ski, everyone’s happy!

Go Tubing At Dutch Henry Hill

Tube down a groomed hill

The author's daughter on a sled in Dutch Henry Hill
BYO sled or rent a tube for hours of fun!

📍 Map It: US Highway 24 and, McWethy Dr, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 427-0099 | Website | Hours: Dawn to Dusk Daily | Tube Rental Fees: $5 for residents, $10 for non-residents

This local hill is groomed for sledding and tubing, and is one of the fun, cheap things to do in Leadville! Bring your own sled and slide free or rent a tube for $10.

Go Ice Skating

Skate outside

The author's kids having fun in ice skating
Skate or play hockey on this outdoor rink!

📍 Map It: 650 W 4th St #500, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 470-1116 | Website | Hours: 4 pm – 8 pm M-Th, 12 pm – 9 pm Fri-Sun | Entrance: $5, adults, $4 youths

Skate at the highest man-made rink in Colorado! You can bring food & drinks to eat off the rink, but there’s a snack bar as well as hockey equipment and a fire pit. 

Go Ice Fishing 

📍 Map It: Twin Lakes, Colorado 81251 | Website | 1-Day Fishing License: $17.35, adults, free under 18

Twin Lakes is a popular place for ice fishing, and all the shanties on the lake look like a small town in winter! Turquoise Lake and Crystal Lake are also great ice fishing options nearby.

Go Dog Sledding

Adorable, exciting fun

View of sledge dogs running on the snow

📍 Map It: 21767 Hwy 24 West, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-9899 | Website | Hours: Call For Reservations | Tours: $140, adults, $120 under 9 | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

For a truly out-of-the-box experience, try dog sledding! You’ll get great scenery and, of course, adorably fluffy dogs.  

♨️ Read Next: The Best Hot Springs in Colorado

Things to Do In Summer

Drive Independence Pass

Get amazing views and interesting stops

The author's daughter observing the big rock
The Grottos Ice Cave is a fun stop and easy hike!

📍 Map It: Hwy 82 in Twin Lakes | Website | Hours: Best from sunrise to sunset

Independence Pass runs from Twin Lakes to Aspen. There’s so much to do, I could write a whole separate article just on that drive! There is lots of wildlife to see, and many places to stop. The Grottos Trail is definitely worth a visit, and Maroon Bells in Aspen is an awesome destination!

📚 Related Reading: This is one of the many amazing things to see in Colorado! Check out more ideas here

Hopemore Underground Mine Tour

Try one of the last CO mine tours

📍 Map It: 921 County Road 1, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-0301 

This is one of the last underground mine tours in the state. Owner Bob Calder leads people 600 feet underground in a mining shaft cage to get a feel for what work was like for a miner. Tours last about an hour and Bob demonstrates old mining equipment and tells tales of Leadville’s history.

Hike to Interlaken

See the remains of an old resort

View of two kids sitting in front of an old resort in Interlaken

📍 Map It: Off County Road 25, Leadville, CO | Phone: (719) 553-1400 | Website 

Interlaken Resort was a popular mountain hotel in the late 1800s. Now, you can see some of the buildings on the site. You also get beautiful views of Twin Lakes and the mountains. The hike is easy – 4.6 miles out and back with a few hills. 

Hagerman Tunnel Trail

Walk an old railroad bed

📍 Map It: Hagerman Pass Rd., Leadville, CO | Phone: (719) 553-1400 | Website 

Follow a railroad bed on this 7-mile hike, which ends at what was once the highest railroad tunnel in the world. You’ll hike through the San Isabel National Forest and pass several lakes along with seeing beautiful mountain views. 

Paddle on The Lakes

Relax on the water with mountain views

View of two kids and the scenic view from the Twin Lakes
Beautiful views at Twin Lakes

📍 Map It: 35 County Road 26, Twin Lakes, CO | Phone: (970) 420-0200​ | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily summer | Rentals: Starting at $28

There are several lakes where you can paddleboard and kayak near Leadville. Twin Lakes has a rental place with boards right on the beach for you. You can also paddle in Turquoise Lake if you have your own board or kayak. 

Bike the Mineral Belt Trail

Ride through Leadville

View of the Mineral Belt Trail sign and the clear blue sky

📍 Map It: US Highway 24 and, McWethy Dr, Leadville, CO 80461 | Website

The Mineral Belt Trail runs 11.6 miles through Leadville, and you can pick it up anywhere in town including at the Dutch Henry Trailhead. About six miles of the trail pass through the historic mining district and you can see remnants of mining equipment and mines. Bike, run or walk the trail in summer, and snowshoe or cross-country ski in winter.

Tour The Matchless Mine

Get a glimpse of Leadville history

The Matchless Mine sign on a grass area in Leadville

📍 Map It: Co Rd 3, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-1229 | Website |Entrance: $12, guided tour, $6 unguided tour 

The tale of Horace and Baby Doe Tabor is a scandalous and fascinating one. The Matchless Mine produced $7.5 million worth of silver, yet in the end, Baby Doe froze to death, penniless and alone. Learn more about the history of the couple, and the history of Leadville on this tour. 

Hike The Mayflower Gulch Trail

See an old mining route

The Mayflower Gulch Trailhead sign on the entrance

📍 Map It: Mayflower Gulch Trailhead, Hwy 91 | Phone: (970) 945-2521 | Website | Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

A beautiful trail that rises from 10,990 to 12,000 feet and follows a Boston Mining Company route. You’ll see parts of the mining cabins at the end. There are also wildflowers in summer, and lovely fall foliage beginning in early September, along with beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains. 

👉 Read Next: The 41 Best Places to Go for Vacation in Colorado

Go Fishing

Hook a big one!

View of a boy fishing in Hayden Meadows Reservoir
We always catch at least one fish at Hayden Meadows Reservoir

📍 Map It: Hayden Meadows Recreation Area, Hwy 24 | Phone: (303) 739-7000 | Hours: Sunrise to Sunset | Entrance: free

There are tons of places to fish and it’s one of the great things to do in Leadville! Hayden Meadows Recreation Area is a great spot for kids, and we’ve never not caught a fish there. You can also fish at Turquoise or Twin Lakes, or try fly fishing the Arkansas River.

Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin

Learn about old-time Leadville

📍 Map It: 912 Harrison Ave, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-0487 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 4 pm Thurs-Sat, 12 pm – 4 pm Sun in season | Entrance: $6, adults, $3.50 under 17

You can tour this mansion that was once a boarding house and the place to socialize in Leadville. Dexter’s Cabin nearby is a 1879 log cabin built by one of Colorado’s first millionaires.

Note: The Healy House Museum closes for the winter season (at least through the end of April).

See A Concert At The Tabor Opera House

Experience old Leadville glamor

The Tabor Opera House building from the outside

📍 Map It: 308 Harrison Ave, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-8409 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily, Closed Mondays in season

You can take in a concert or tour the Tabor Opera House, which was once considered the finest theater between St. Louis and San Francisco. 

👉 Pro Tip: The opera house has been closed for its first major rehabilitation since 1879, but it will reopen in spring of 2022.

Things to Do in the Off Season

National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum

Learn an important part of Colorado history

A boy reading some facts about the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Mining Hall has areas built to look like mining tunnels!

📍 Map It: 120 West 9th St., Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-1229 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4:45 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $12, adults, $10 for students, seniors, & military

This small-town museum is surprisingly impressive, with replica mining tunnels, a running model train display, and dioramas and other exhibits to teach you about Colorado’s mining history.

Temple Israel

See a historic frontier synagogue

View of the interior of the Temple Israel in Leadville

📍 Map It: 201 W 4th St, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (303) 709-7050 | Website | Hours: 10:30 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: Free

The temple, which was built in 1884, is open to the public and has about 300 artifacts teaching about Leadville’s Jewish history. 

Top of the Rockies Ziplines

Zip through gorgeous scenery

📍 Map It: 6492 Highway 91, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-7354 | Website | Hours: Call to make reservations | Zipline Tickets: $125, adults; $100, children under 13, other adventure packages available

You can zipline year-round at the Top of the Rockies! In spring and summer, you can zipline or combine that with a train trip. In winter, you can zipline and take a snowmobile tour. 

Grab A Drink At The Legendary Silver Dollar Saloon

Drink where Doc Holiday did

View of the Silver Dollar Saloon from the outside during morning

📍 Map It: 315 Harrison Ave, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-9914 | Website | Hours:12 pm – 1 am daily

This historic bar has hosted Doc Holiday, the Unsinkable Molly Brown, Oscar Wilde, and other famous drinkers. The original mahogany bar is gorgeous and the drinks are good (ask me how I know…)

👉 Pro Tip: It’s worth looking up the history of the saloon before stopping in so you know what you’re seeing!

Lake County Public Library

Browse new releases or learn about old history

The Lake Country Public Library written on a wood

📍 Map It: 1115 Harrison Ave, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-0569 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm M & W, 10 am – 5 pm Tu, Th, F, Closed Sat & Sun

You can browse the latest bestsellers at the library, but they also have storytimes both in the building and sometimes at spots around Leadville. If you’re interested in local history, make an appointment to see the non-circulating collection in the gorgeous Leadville Room.

🌲 Read Next: Best Things to Do and See in Frisco

Shop At Melanzana

Join the cult (in a good way)

View of the Melanzana shop sign on the entrance

📍 Map It: 716 Harrison Ave, Leadville, CO 80461 | Phone: (719) 486-3245 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily, by appointment only 

I’ve heard stories of thru-hikers walking off the Colorado Trail and straight to Melanzana to stock up before continuing their hike. The store sells handmade outdoor gear that’s loved for its moisture-wicking, lightweight goodness. Post-COVID, they’re only allowing shopping by appointment, so plan ahead.

Shop Downtown Leadville

Go antiquing and more

View of shops along Downtown Leadville

📍 Map It: Harrison St., Leadville, CO 80461 

Harrison is the main street in Leadville, and you can spend hours there browsing and grabbing coffee, a meal, or ice cream. There’s a large antique mall at one end, plenty of souvenir shops, and fun places like a paint-your-own pottery studio if the weather outside is bad.

👉 Read Next: Where to Stay in Leadville

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Whether you want to spend the day tackling a 14er, catching some fish for a meal later, or learning more about Colorado history, there’s something for everyone in Leadville!

If Leadville is part of a bigger Colorado trip for you, be sure to check out our extensive list of things to do in Denver, as well as things to do across Colorado.

Happy exploring! 

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