Snow arrived this week in Leadville and Twin Lakes, Colorado, setting the stage for visitors who seek a real winter with fresh air and outdoor activities that are naturally socially distanced. As North America’s highest-elevation city, Leadville (10,152’) offers snow from early season through late spring. Nearby Ski Cooper, a ski “resort” without the pretense, is set to open Dec. 9, 2020, and kick off the season.
Ski Cooper in 2020-21
Beginners and families appreciate Ski Cooper’s wide-open spaces with no lift lines, high prices, high-rise condos, or man-made “snow.” In early 2020, Cooper debuted 19 advanced runs in Tennessee Creek Basin. For Covid safety in 2020-21, Cooper requires all passes (season and day) to be purchased in advance and online via SkiCooper.com. Cooper will offer ski school lessons on an individual, family, or cohort basis only – no mixed groups.
Winter Outdoor Adventures Open Soon
The Top of the Rockies Zip Line opens for the winter season on Nov. 15, 2020. Visitors can fly above snow-covered trees at 12,800.’ White Mountain Snowmobile Tours leave from the same location.
As soon as snow cover allows, 100 miles of groomed trails will open for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, or snowmobiling. Trails go above treeline or through open meadows with unobstructed mountain and lake views and meander through Leadville’s historic East Side Mining District.
Experienced backcountry enthusiasts can ski or snowshoe to off-grid 10th Mountain Huts. This winter, hut capacities have been reduced with single-party reservations only, and new minimum booking requirements added. Weston Pass Hut is also open with enhanced safety measures and single-group reservations only.
The Tennessee Pass Nordic Center, Cookhouse and Sleep Yurts re-open on Nov. 26, 2020. Guests snowshoe or cross-country ski one mile through a forest to a gourmet candlelight dinner featuring local foods. Sleep yurts feature down comforters and soapstone wood stoves. Booking is now open.
New Winter Warmers
Treeline Kitchen and Buchi Café feature outdoor pods for winter dining. Treeline also offers patio dining beside a fire pit. Winter warmers are available at Two Mile Brewing Co., North America’s highest brewery. Tuck & Vittles opened at FREIGHT this fall and currently delivers custom charcuterie boards. The Twin Lakes Inn & Saloon is embarking on its second year of TWIN-ter, with weekend dinners and brunches.
Rest Day at the Museum
For a rest day, guests can head to the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, showcasing America’s mining history. The Healy House Museum and Dexter Cabin is one of Leadville’s earliest homes. Temple Israel documents the lives of Jewish pioneers during Leadville’s mining boom era.