Leadville and the Mineral Belt Trail

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.


Arriving in Leadville, “The Cloud City”

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.


View from the Trailhead

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!


Mining equipment


Looking down on Leadville


Panorama of the Leadville overlook

The snow buildup was amazing!!!


Uphill bound!

Our next stop was at California Gulch, with several old mine sites, still-frozen ponds, and an interesting story of ‘spiritual unrest’.



Ghosts of miners past


Still going uphill! This is where pedal assist comes in 😉


Mining equipment up the hill from California Gulch


A teasing peek at the view


Jerry at the Mineral Belt Trail summit, 10,606′



Pano of View from the Blind Tom mine

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.



Look at the snow buildup here!


Final trail shot, right before you head back down into Leadville

On our way back to Buena Vista, the skies looked ominous, but the rain stayed away.




View from US 24 going south

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!



The full moon on April 29th, after water yoga ❤



Looking down to the spa and pool in the distance

What another incredible day in The Heart of Colorado! ❤







17 thoughts on “Leadville and the Mineral Belt Trail

  1. Ahhhh, welcome to our beautiful state! I LOVE Buena Vista. If you enjoy coffee, you have to check out Brown Dog Coffee while you’re there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, MV, I wondered if you would chime in! Your beautiful pics are part of the reason we went to BV! Loved the area, but especially Salida! We are in Loveland now and headed to Estes Park on Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am so glad to hear that and honored to have had a part in your plans! I hope you enjoy your time in Estes Park…my wife and I have been there many times over the years!

        Oh, if you get time, check out Georgetown and Guanella Pass – it’s easily one of the most beautiful roads in our state!

        Liked by 1 person

      • We are enjoying Estes very much already, though we’ve only been here two days! If you plan to come up this summer, let me know, we would love to meet you. We will definitely check out Georgetown and Guanella Pass, since we share your taste in beautiful areas! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I might have mentioned before that my sister is in Colorado. She’s near Castle Rock. I love visiting her, because it’s absolutely gorgeous. Of course, I’m always a little tuckered out when I exercise the first couple days due to the elevation change, and I get a bit of a headache, but that smooths out by day three.

    You’re really selling me on those bikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Richard! It’s gorgeous there!

      The bikes are awesome! We have not used them on electric only yet because with pedal assist it really is fun to pedal. We have gone up significant grades, gotten 30+ miles range, and used one bar of battery life, out of 4 bars. So I think we can easily get 60 to 90 miles on a charge. We’re super pleased with them, and they both fit in the back of the CR-V, so we can drive to a place to ride!


  3. What a fabulous day. How cool that the trail is paved all the way too, much easier with the ebikes. I have to admit, I am a little jealous of the pedal assist.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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