Leadville and Twin Lakes are some of the best places to view fall colors in Colorado. Attracting tourists from all over the world, these small towns are the perfect place to escape from the big city. There are several ways to explore the beautiful scenery.
- Biking or hiking: These extreme sports will take you along the Mineral Belt Trail that surrounds the city and through different landscapes, from aspen groves and conifer forests to wildflower meadows – you’ll even get a glimpse of Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges. Historical sites can also be visited along the way.
- Walking: Explore downtown Leadville, where you can visit the museums in the city, the National Historic Landmark District of Victorian Architecture, the largest opera house west of the Mississippi and two historic 1879 churches that date back to 1879. The Delaware Hotel offers guided tours if you need one.
- On the byway: Here you have two routes to choose from: Minturn-Leadville-Twin Lakes- Aspen and Copper Mountain-Leadville-Vail loop. You’ll visit Camp Hale, where you’ll find the 10th Mountain Division, and the historic downtown Leadville, where you’ll enjoy a nice shopping day in the antique stores, specialty shops and eateries. The road from Twin Lakes and Aspen, called Independence Pass, was named one of “America’s Prettiest Fall Drives” by the famous Forbes magazine.
- On the water: Of course you have this option, since the county has more lakes than any other county in Colorado, but they also have lots of rivers, streams and creeks which makes this an ideal destination if you’re into fishing or paddling. You can even take boat tours on Twin Lakes to the 1880s Interlaken Resort.
- On the green: If you want to play golf then this is a great place – Mt Massive Golf Course, one of the most affordable golf courses in the state, is surrounded by the tallest mountains in the region. This is also the highest-elevation course you can find in North America.
- Learning: This city has marked Colorado’s history since the miners discovered gold in 1860. The region has been filled since then with singers, performers, ranchers and cowboys. The Explore Historic Leadville weekend, 20-22 September, will give you the possibility to learn about the Wild West history and you can take historical tours of museums and an underground mine.
- A trip back in time: You can see the largest glacial lakes in Colorado from the Historic Village of Twin Lakes. This was a very busy route between Aspen and Leadville during the 1880s gold rush. Besides the beautiful lakes you can enjoy snow-capped Fourteeners, golden aspen trees and lush green conifers which will emphasize the fall scenery.
- On the rails: Visit the wilderness of the San Isabel National Forest in a two and a half hour journey by Colorado & Southern Railroad, with two special rides in two weekends in September: 14-15 and 21-22.
- On horseback: This is the true experience of the Wild West – a horseback ride through the alpine wilderness surrounding the city. You can opt for different types of rides at Mega Mountain Magic.