Starting out for a week-long road trip to Santa Fe and environs in October, I took one of the many scenic routes through the Colorado mountains.

Leadville, at 10,000 feet in altitude, was a convenient place to stop and stretch my legs, walking around town. Like the town I live in, and many Colorado mountain towns established in the late 1800s, the Victorian era, Leadville sprouted up quickly in the search for gold. The more plentiful silver made fortunes for miners in the boom town, until the federal government abandoned silver, establishing the gold standard. Once home to saloons and brothels, Harrison Avenue, the main street, is lined with gift shops and eateries, yet still picturesque.

A favorite place to browse

The nostalgic Golden Burro was still serving late breakfast, smothered in a pile of fruit, to the tunes of Frankie and Bing, Ella and Satchmo, Sam Cooke and Billie Holiday.

Mural art around town

Tenth Mountain Division, a US Army division on skis in WWII that trained near Leadville

On the road out of town, graduating classes leave their mark on huge rocks each year during Boom Days.

Historic one-room schoolhouse

Heading south through Colorado, itโ€™s a route along some of the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Mount Elbert is the highest in the state at 14,439 ft (366+ meters). The range to the south of Elbert, along the western wall of the drive, are the Collegiate peaks, including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

Collegiate peaks

More to come along road trip to Santa Fe…
Santa Fe road trip: Leadville, Santa Fe landmarks, Walking Santa Fe, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico towns, Ghost Ranch, Antonito

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Published by rkrontheroad

Writer, photographer, traveler

47 thoughts on “Leadville

  1. These pics are great! I drove through Leadville a couple of weeks ago for the first time in a while. I had forgotten what a quaint and colorful town it is. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The husband and I consider Leadville our home away from home. We’ve been there so many times. Usually we stay there for a week or so, but this past summer (after we met up with you in our spontaneous meet-up) we took just a day-trip there from Breckenridge. Next time I want to get back to staying there longer. I even wrote a post about the town: An Ode to Quirky Leadville, Colorado.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those mountains… I don’t want to demean them with some tired old adjective. They really pop out of that perfect sky. Like the Hungry Travellers I find myself drawn to the Silver Dollar Saloon, there are surely some colourful characters in there. Leadville looks utterly charming, especially with all that art peppered around the place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never seen a bell tower with curved railings. I like the look. Makes me think the parishioners actually went up there back in the day to enjoy the spectacular views.

    Liked by 1 person

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