Dispersed Camping at Leadville Colorado
This is going to be the last of my posts about my summer travels in 2015–it’s a good thing too because next week I start my spring travels of 2016!! I have more photos than I want to put in one post so it will be a two-part post, the second will be mostly scenery photos.
We’d been at Steamboat Springs, Colorado for about a month and really enjoyed it, but because it was at 9600 feet we could already feel a chill in the air as fall crept up on the high-country. After a summer of constant travel I had enjoyed staying in one place for so long, but even I was starting to get itchy feet, so it was time to move on. But where to?
Leadville is one of my favorite towns in Colorado because its surrounded by beautiful mountains and has everything you could reasonably need in it. I had spent a summer there (May through September) as a campground host in 2008 so I was quite familiar with the camping in the area. At 10,400 feet it’s slightly higher than our camp at Steamboat Springs but the weather forecast called for it to remain warm for the next 10 days so we decided to risk a stop-over there.
Because I had spent a summer there I knew exactly where I wanted to camp, but we stopped by the National Forest office anyway to see if anything had changed, it had not. The only difference as that when I was here before there was no Verizon signal down the valley but now there was. In fact where I camped this time had a good 4g signal but we had to be careful to look for it–it was spotty, many places had no signal.
Leadville is an old town and as you can see in the photos it is very picturesque. Unlike many places in Colorado it hasn’t been yuppified and turned into a snobby place full of California money, it remains a working mining town. You rarely see Ferrari’s or Lamborghini’s, and if you do you can be sure they are from Denver or Aspen and are just there slumming it with the little people! Instead it’s mostly dirty, beat up old trucks, SUV’s and Subaru’s. Standard apparel are Carharts or Levis and the only $500 jeans you see are on tourists.
There are three main reasons so many tourists come here; 1) for the stunning beauty all around it, 2) to get out of the heat–at 2 miles high, it stays cool all summer, 3) outdoor activites like Jeeping, mountain climbing, mountain biking and fishing.
I’m there for the photography! With the two tallest mountains in Colorado just outside of town (Mt Elbert at 14, 439 and Mt. Massive at 14, 429) and pretty lakes and rivers just below them, it’s hard not to take great photos there! The one handicap is the dense forest makes it harder to get a clearing to get both a great foreground and background together but if you look around you can find great shots like the one above of Emerald Lake.
This post was primarily about the town and camping there, the next post will be all about the photography so check back for some of the shots I liked the most from there.
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