Leadville, Colorado, located about 28 miles from Aspen, was initially discovered in 1859 as a hotbed for silver mining. Today, at 10,152 feet, the town is home to many outdoor adventure races and a slew of hiking trails ranging from scenic mountain hikes along creeks and meadows to trails that wind along old railroad tracks.
For beginner and intermediate hikers, try the Timberline Trail, an easier 5.5-mile hike that originates just past Colorado's Turquoise Lake. Along the trail, expect to see wildflowers, wooden bridges, and be prepared to cross two small streams via large stepping stones and boulders. At the top, stop to take in the beauty of Timberline Lake. Make sure not to forget your insect repellant!
To get a glimpse of the area’s storied past, try the 7.4-mile Hagerman Tunnel Trail (also called the Colorado Midland Trail) that stretches along original tracks built in 1887. The railroad, subsequently closed in 1899, was constructed by Colorado Midland Railroad and deemed the highest railroad tunnel in the world at 11,528 feet high. Advanced hikers can opt for the 9-mile Missouri Gulch/Elkhead Pass hike with panoramic views and a maximum elevation of 13,220 feet.