Explore Colorado: Leadville

Jennifer Broome takes us to Leadville as she explores Colorado.

At an elevation of 10,152 feet, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America. 

Men’s Journal named it as one of the nation’s top 20 “Dream Towns in America.”  Runner’s World has listed it as a “Trailway to Heaven.”  Leadville has an illustrious past as a legendary frontier mining town.  It is also home of the grueling 100 mile Trail Run and Mountain Bike Races. 

Instead of just driving through Leadville on the way to Independence Pass or to climb one of the 14ers close by, make a stop in this historic mountain town.  Harrison Avenue is Leadville’s main street.  It is lined with historic buildings that are home to independently owned shops and restaurants. 

One of the oldest shops in town is the Book Mine.  The bookstore has been around since the 1960s and offers a huge selection of regional books from mining history to hiking guide books.

One of the newest spots in town is Showdown Mountain Bistro.  The café serves breakfast and lunch and features local ingredients.  It is quickly becoming a favorite of locals and visitors.

Melanzana has been making clothes in Leadville for 18 years.  Literally, you can shop where the clothes are made.  They are high-quality Polartec clothes and the prices are competitive with larger retailers.

Cookies with Altitude opened in November 2009 with 9 different kinds of cookies.  They now have 17 different flavors and also feature homemade breads, fudge, and cupcakes.  They are constantly adding to their breakfast and lunch menu.  There’s usually a line for these sweet treats!

There are a bunch of other clothing, gift, and antique shops.  Spend some time strolling down Harrison Avenue and you’ll see why this mining town is a true gem in the mountains.