While staying in the beautiful town of Buena Vista, Colorado, we ventured about 35 miles north on US 24 to the mining town of Leadville, which boasts an elevation of 10,000 feet. This town is a favorite of moto-blogger friend Ry Austin, AKA Surtch Phether @ Two Wheels To There.
Ry mentioned in an Instagram comment that there was a trail around Leadville that we might enjoy on our new electric bikes, and this sparked an adventure! We checked out one of the many great Cycling guides (this one from Arkansas Valley Publishing) available in Colorado and found out more about the Mineral Belt Trail. It provides an 11.6-mile paved surface, away from traffic, and circles Leadville, going high up into the historic Leadville Mining District, with incredible views of the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges.
A few shots from US 24 of the Arkansas River and the mountains on the way to Leadville.
We drove quickly through town, just to get oriented, and will have to return to see it in more detail. Lots of cool old buildings, public art, and ‘we hear’ at least one great brewery. However, it was already about 3:30 in the afternoon, so we wanted to get our
show bikes on the trail. 🙂
We pulled over at the primary trailhead access point, unfolded the bikes, and got rolling. Starting at 10,000 feet, and going up, we probably could have used warmer clothes, but soon we were pedaling up the hill and we were fine.
We were amazed at the accumulated snow on the sides of the path. It had obviously been cleared so it was accessible, and we appreciated that fact. Our first stop was at the Leadville town overlook, 10,440′, and while we admired the scenery, we got a call from our friend Eric back in Georgia (Alaska adventure travel buddy) and were able to catch up a bit, with a view!
The snow buildup was amazing!!!
Our next stop was at California Gulch, with several old mine sites, still-frozen ponds, and an interesting story of ‘spiritual unrest’.
We continued riding through the mine region, missed the stop at the famous Matchless Mine (I guess we’ll have to go back!), and took just a few more shots before wrapping up our 11.6-mile tour back at our car.
On our way back to Buena Vista, the skies looked ominous, but the rain stayed away.
That evening was the full moon. We happened to see a notice for Full Moon water yoga at the Mt Princeton Hot Springs resort, and we were all over that! For $10 each, we enjoyed the water yoga class in the relaxation pool, as well as, the use of the spa facilities. What a deal! It was magical. On the drive to the resort, we saw the moon emerge from a cloudbank (sorry, no photo). During the class, the moon rose over the ridge to the east of the pool, and it was awesome!
What another incredible day in The Heart of Colorado! ❤