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Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride

Leadville

Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado

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Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride

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  • View from the Turquoise Lake parking area near the dam.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Views from the Turquoise Lake Trail.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Turquoise Lake Trail.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Mountain biking on the Turquoise Lake Trail.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Crossing sand on the Turquoise Lake Trail.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Mountain biking on the Turquoise Lake Trail.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Mountain biking on the Turquoise Lake Trail.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Ascending up through aspen. - Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Abandoned mine. - Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Mountain biking on the Turquoise Lake Trail.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Turquoise Lake.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Turquoise Lake.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Leadville in the distance.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Turquoise Lake.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
  • Turquoise Lake.- Turquoise Lake Trail Mountain Bike Ride
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Scenery. Varying terrain.
Cons: 
Can be crowded in the summer.
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Region:
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, CO
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Trail difficulty: 
Blue
Total Distance: 
13.00 mi (20.92 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,000.00 ft (3,048.00 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

From fast, flowing singletrack, to steep, technical rocky sections, there is something for everyone on the 13-mile out-and-back mountain bike ride on the Turquoise Lake Trail near Leadville. Located at 10,000-feet in the San Isabel National Forest and covering half the distance around the 780-acre lake, the ride starts at the Turquoise Lake dam and turns around at May Queen Campground.

From the unpaved parking area on the east side of the dam, begin by following the trail north along the shoreline over smooth terrain with little elevation change. Take in the views, but beware of campers and hikers who also use the trail. There are a couple of sections where the trail diverges through a maze of day use areas, but as long as riders stay close to the lake, the correct path will eventually present itself as it travels away from the campgrounds in the area.

As the trail turns toward the west it starts to undulate, and rocks scattered on the trail become progressively larger, testing one’s focus and bike handling ability. Steep ascents and descents through aspen and pine trees creep up often, but the view of the lake remains throughout. The trail then passes a pair of abandoned mines where gold and silver prospecting took place in the 1930s.

After 6.5 miles cyclists and hikers reach the campground at the shoreline of the lake. Across the lake to the east, a view of Leadville can be seen on a clear day.

Following the same trail back, it shifts from moderate to easier as the miles pass and the ride concludes back at the parking area near the dam.  

 

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

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(59 within a 30 mile radius)

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