View of the neighborhood in Leadville

Where to Stay in Leadville (Best Areas & Hotels)

Leadville is a quirky Colorado mining town that’s actually the highest incorporated city in North America! You’ll find lots of fun activities in Leadville, from history museums to outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and more. 

Less than 2 hours away, Leadville can be a day trip from Denver, but it’s worth staying overnight if you can. Rather than mining, Leadville is seeing a tourism boom right now and several of the best hotels in Leadville, Colorado have become cute boutique spaces. 

I’m a Colorado local here to help you decide where to stay in Leadville, CO. The Delaware Hotel is the coolest place to stay if you really want to immerse yourself in the town’s history. But let’s break down all of your options for the best places to stay in Leadville, CO:

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Best Places to Stay in Leadville, CO

View of The Delaware Hotel from the outside

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Leadville, CO? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas in Leadville: 

4 Best Areas to Stay in Leadville

Like many other small mountain towns in Colorado, most activities in Leadville take place in the downtown historic area. When you’re looking at Leadville hotels, you may also want to consider staying in one of the many vacation rentals or B&Bs in town

There has been a lot of activity and renovation within much of the lodging in Leadville, CO. The Delaware Hotel has new owners who are revamping the restaurant and other parts of the hotel. The Old Tale Inn on Highway 24 was also just redone and the owners tried to recreate an authentic Western feel for the rooms (with modern conveniences, of course!)

This trend will likely continue since Leadville is seeing a spike in popularity, so I’ll be sure to update this if new hotels in Leadville are built, or if older ones are revamped!

Historic Downtown Leadville

View of colorful houses in the Historic Downtown Leadville

👉 Best Area For Tourists | Best Historic Leadville Hotels: The Delaware HotelThe AbbeyMrs. Brown’s B&B

If you’re visiting Leadville for the first time, this is where you want to be! The historic area of downtown Leadville is close to quaint souvenir and antique shops, restaurants and bars, and attractions like the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s also the closest place to stay near Ski Cooper, one of Colorado’s best ski resorts. Stop by a rental shop in town to get your gear.

If you’re staying in one of the historic homes, just keep in mind they may have some odd quirks. Floors aren’t even and doors don’t always shut properly as properties settle. They can also have strange layouts since the miners who built them didn’t anticipate them being used as boutique vacation rentals! It’s all part of the charm.

Pros of Staying in Historic Downtown Leadville:

  • Close to restaurants and bars
  • Beautiful 1800s buildings & homes
  • 15-minute drive to Ski Cooper

Con of Staying in Historic Downtown Leadville:

  • Old buildings can be quirky (and creaky!)

📚 Historic Downtown Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Tourists
Google Map

  • Best HotelsThe Delaware HotelThe AbbeyMrs. Brown’s B&B
  • 🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Leadville
  • 🍽️ Where to Eat – High Mountain Pies ($$), Treeline Kitchen ($$), Quincys Steak & Spirits ($)
  • 🍸 Where to Drink – Before & After, The Legendary Silver Dollar Saloon, Two Mile Brewing Company
  • 🎟️ Top Attractions – Ski Cooper, National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, Downtown Shopping

Leadville North

View of the Columbine Inn and Suites and the cars parked outside it

👉 Best Area For Ski Cooper | Best Leadville North Hotels: Columbine Inn and SuitesGrand West Village ResortCharming Leadville Retreat

Leadville North is the area just as you drive into town over Fremont Pass, from the direction of I-70 and Denver. It’s slightly farther from the historic area, and slightly closer to Ski Cooper and other nearby Colorado ski areas

Compared to other lodging in Leadville, Colorado, Leadville North hotels are also closer to Safeway, the main grocery store in town. Columbine Inn & Suites is a reliable budget hotel, and the Grand West Village Resort is a collection of cabins that offer a secluded mountain getaway.

Pros of Staying in Leadville North:

  • Closer to Ski Cooper
  • Near Safeway

Con of Staying in Leadville North:

  • Farther from downtown shopping & restaurants

📚 Leadville North Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay For Ski Cooper Skiing 
Google Map

South Leadville

View of the Old Tale Inn sign

👉 Best Area For Outdoor Activities | Best South Leadville Hotels: Old Tale Inn • Rodeway Inn LeadvilleCharming Leadville Retreat

South Leadville is concentrated on the area of Highway 24 as you leave town, headed toward Twin Lakes and Buena Vista. It’s not far from historic downtown – you’ll have a slightly longer walk but not by much. This area is also closer to Colorado Mountain College and the tubing hill, and you can pick up the Mineral Belt Trail here, too.

Pros of Staying in South Leadville:

  • Beautiful mountain views
  • Near Mineral Belt Trail

Con of Staying in South Leadville:

  • Farther from downtown shopping, restaurants, and ski areas

📚 South Leadville Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Outdoor Activities 
Google Map

  • Best Hotels – Old Tale Inn • Rodeway Inn LeadvilleCharming Leadville Retreat
  • 🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Leadville
  • 🍽️ Where to Eat – Tennessee Pass Cafe ($$), Casa Blanca Restaurant ($), Wild Bill’s Restaurant ($)
  • 🍸 Where to Drink – Two Mile Brewing Company, The Silver Dollar Saloon, The Manhattan Bar
  • 🎟️ Top Attractions – Twin Lakes, Mt. Elbert, Leadville National Fish Hatchery

Copper Mountain Ski Area

Overlooking view of the Copper Mountain Ski Area during winter season

👉 Best Area For Copper Mountain Skiing | Best Copper Mountain Hotels: The Cache in West VillageMill ClubSummit House East 113

Copper Mountain Ski Area isn’t in Leadville, but this popular Colorado skiing destination is very close and I mention it because there is a good chance you are visiting Leadville for skiing after all. There’s plenty to do at Copper Mountain besides skiing, however. 

You’ll find a winter ice rink and tubing hill, plus shopping, restaurants, and even a mountain coaster for an adrenaline rush! In summer, there’s hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities. If you do stay here, make the 25-minute drive to Leadville to experience all the things to do there!

Pros of Staying in Copper Mountain:

  • Ski access
  • Near shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities

Cons of Staying in Copper Mountain:

  • More expensive
  • Feels more corporate than small-town

📚 Copper Mountain Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Copper Mountain Skiing 
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Leadville

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Leadville is 10,151 feet above sea level and it takes some getting used to! Be sure to have plenty of water on-hand. Gatorade and other sports drinks can also be helpful, especially if you’re skiing, hiking, or doing other outdoor activities. 

Don’t forget to hydrate in winter, too! Sometimes it’s harder to remember to drink your liquids when it’s cold out but it’s just as important. 

Also, a word about drinking – alcohol isn’t more potent at higher elevations, despite the popular belief. However, drinking alcohol can contribute to dehydration so it’s good to be aware!

Overlooking view from the top of Mt. Sherman
Leadville seen from the top of Mt. Sherman, a Colorado 14er.

Make Time To Acclimate

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself out of breath doing activities that usually come easily to you! The elevation also means it will take some time to acclimate. This is especially important if you’re doing something strenuous, like climbing Mt. Elbert or running the Leadville 100!

So when you’re planning out your route to visit all the top destinations in Colorado, just remember to build in some time to acclimate to the elevation.

Seek Help If You Need It

Ski resorts have oxygen for people who feel short of breath, and urgent care centers and hospitals are used to treating patients who struggle with the altitude. If you’re having trouble, seek help as soon as you need – you’ll feel better faster, and keep the problem from worsening.

Apply Sunscreen Often

Leadville tends to be cooler in summer, and definitely colder in winter, and – like drinking your water – it can be easy to forget the sunscreen when you’re not hot. Make sure you apply before going outside, and reapply often. 

Pack Layers

I’ve skied in a t-shirt, even in winter in Leadville! And, in the same day, added about 3 more layers as the weather turned colder. Prepare for everything from warm sun to snow. If you’re hiking, skiing, or otherwise exercising make sure you have moisture-wicking, thin layers that will keep you warm but allow you to pile sweaters and jackets on top. 

In summer, make sure you still have warm outer layers for morning and late afternoon.

FAQs About Leadville

Is Leadville Worth Visiting?

Leadville is a popular tourism destination that is definitely worth visiting. Leadville is a small town, so the vibe is definitely different from Denver, Boulder, and the metro area. However, it used to be a pretty riotous place with saloons, dance halls, and brothels. It’s an essential part of Colorado history, and offers plenty of outdoor fun as well. If you’re looking for things to do in Colorado, Leadville deserves a spot on your list!

Why is Leadville Colorado famous?

Leadville is famous for once being the 2nd biggest city in Colorado, after Denver. Leadville was a silver boomtown, and was home to (The Unsinkable) Molly Brown and Horace Tabor – two wealthy Colorado figures. Today, it’s popular for its outdoor activities. People come off the Colorado Trail to spend time here, there are several 14ers visible from town that people climb, and the grueling Leadville 100 race starts here.

Is Leadville Close To Denver?

Leadville is 100 miles from Denver – close enough for a day or weekend trip, but far enough away that it feels like a whole other world. The drive is a beautiful one, along I-70 through the Rockies. On a day with no traffic, it takes about an hour and 45 minutes to get from Denver to Leadville. 

Summer and ski traffic definitely affect the drive time, however, and it’s not unusual for it to double! On summer and winter weekends, try to avoid traveling Friday and Sunday afternoons or at the start of a holiday, and be sure to check traffic reports. Also, in winter check for storm reports that could close I-70.  

***

Leadville is different from many mountain towns that sprang up around skiing and winter sports. Instead of being a hip resort town, it’s offbeat and more authentic with plenty of things to do. I hope this guide has helped you figure out where to stay in Leadville; safe travels!

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