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Mineral Belt Trail - Leadville, Colorado

Photos Of My Bike Ride On The 12-Mile Loop Around Leadville, CO - August 2, 2009

Mineral Belt Trail Mineral Belt Trail The Leadville Mineral Belt Trail is something the community of Leadville and greater Lake County can be very proud of! This 12-mile loop trail is very appropriate for walkers, joggers and bicyclists, and even snowshoers and cross-country skiers in the winter. Although "hardcore" mountain bikers would probably be bored here, the Mineral Belt Trail is a good fit for families or those seeking moderate ascents and descents among pine forests and mountain scenery. The path also travels into California Gulch and the Leadville mining district, with numerous markers about the area's history.

How To Get There: A good place to start is the intersection of Highway 24 and the trail on the south side of Leadville. If you are traveling on Highway 24 from Buena Vista, the trail intersects with the highway 0.1 miles east of the Super 8 Motel. A dirt parking lot is on the right.

On Sunday, I biked the entire loop that circles the town. I can't tell you how impressed I was with this trail! It is creations like this that most certainly boost real estate prices and the quality of life for people in this lofty town ... 10,200 feet above sea level! :)

Buena Vista, Colorado

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Leadville Mineral Belt Trail The adventure begins ...
Leadville, CO History Leadville, CO History ... but first I stopped to read these signs about Leadville's history. (You can click any of the adjacent photos to see them at a larger size.)
Mineral Belt Trail I went counter-clockwise and experienced plenty of uphill. The forest became thicker as I travel onward.
Leadville Mineral Belt Trail One of many bicyclists I saw along the path.
Leadville Mineral Belt Trail No motorized vehicles allowed. You won't have to worry about experiencing "user conflict" with snowmobiles or cars. :)
Leadville, CO An overlook with a view of Leadville.
Leadville CO History

Leadville CO History

More history about the area.
Mineral Belt Trail A nice photo of the trail with a mine tailing front and center in the forest.
California Gulch

California Gulch Mining Area California Gulch

California Gulch

I approached an area known as California Gulch. This was a bustling mining area during the latter half of the 1800's when the West was full of outlaws. Not the sign with a photo of the mining operation when it was fully running.

Now mining decimates the land all right, but don't show disrespect for mining too much. For example, so many things with me on my journey exist because of mining: My bike, my sunglasses, the zipper on my shirt, my camera, my keys and my vehicle, to name a few. :)

I do encourage you to check out the Mining Museum in Leadville if you're interested in learning more about mining. I visited once with my parents in 2006 but didn't take any pictures, but this is not to say I didn't think it was fascinating! Their web site:

California Gulch, CO One more shot as I crossed the creek bed inside California Gulch.
Mineral Belt Trail Being the high pointer that I am, I had to stop at the trail's highest point at 10,606 feet. Not a shabby view of Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive from this spot. :)
Mineral Belt Trail Onward I biked toward the historic Leadville mining district.
Leadville Mining District

Uhhhhh ... the "no swimming" sign is not messing around.

The water was red! 88:o

Leadville Mineral Belt Trail A nice mountain view from the trail. See the teeny tiny patch of snow above timberline? :)
Leadville Mining District

Leadville Mining District

More photos of the mining district.
Leadville CO History Another historical marker about clashes between the mining owners and workers.
Trek Bicycle A self-portrait using the timer on my camera. An enjoyable morning!
Leadville, CO The path crosses Highway 24 at Poplar St. on the north side of Leadville.
Leadville, CO Then it travels along the west side of town through various neighborhoods. Be aware of stop signs - you do not have the right of way when you cross roads.
Mineral Belt Trail And no matter where you go on this trail, there a good chance you are not far away from a stunning view of Mt. Massive. Nice!

A captured some extra photos inside Leadville.

Here are all of my Leadville & Lake County pages:

  • Leadville, CO Photos
  • Bicycling in Leadville
  • Twin Lakes, CO (Road Bike)
  • Twin Lakes, CO (Mountain Bike)
  • Twin Lakes Fishing Points
  • La Plata Peak
  • Independence Pass (Road Bike)
  • Independence Pass (Snow on June 6)
  • Independence Pass (Sunset)
  • Twin Lakes Autumn Foliage
  • Turquoise Lake
  • Hagerman Pass
  • Snowy Mountains
  • Mt. Elbert & South Elbert
  • Mt. Elbert Forebay
  • Leadville, CO
    When I arrived in town, I stopped at the Kum & Go convenience store and captured these two photos of Harrison Avenue. Leadville, CO

    Leadville, CO

    One more photo of Mt. Massive. Such a grand view, isn't it?

    See the road sign? Just 16 miles to Granite and 33 to Buena Vista. If you're on a bike, much of this ride on Highway 24 is downhill. :)

    Mt. Massive, CO

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