Photo by: Gretchen Moore, Nikon FM10
Location: Mayflower Gulch, Highway 91 (Fremont Pass)

There are some constant questions I’ve heard on repeat since I moved from Pennsylvania is: “you live where?”, or “you don’t live near Denver?”, as if Denver is the only place to live out in the beautiful state of Colorado. The Rockies were always so enchanting to me, but I never thought I would end up somewhere as remote as the little, historic town of Leadville, Colorado. There is something so special and so peaceful about being nestled in between some of west’s largest mountains.

Besides just having breathtaking views in your backyard, there is plenty to do around this tiny town. From a mellow walk around Turquoise lake to trekking some of Colorado’s largest fourteeners. Your options are endless for summer activities.  The Leadville 100 is also one of the town’s claim to fame in the summertime. 100 miles on bike or foot with elevations ranging from 9,200ft to 12,620ft! Definitely not for the weak hearted. And one of the most interesting facts about this small town is that at one point this was debated on being Colorado’s capitol. During the mining boom of the 1800’s this town was filled with about 15,000 people.

Photo by: Dani Dougherty, iPhone X
Location: Independence Pass


Photo By: Dani Dougherty, iPhone X
Location: Highway 91, Leadville

It only gets better as the rest of the seasons start to roll through. Before you know it, the yellows and red of a brief autumn disappear and the mountain peaks are covered in a thick blanket of snow. Summer offers a lot of activities, but this is an all-season town. Winter at 10,000 feet does not disappoint. From cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and some of the most incredible backcountry skiing and riding, you cannot spend a day being bored.

Right outside of town there are plenty of ski areas with some of the best snow fall in Colorado. Monarch Mountain and Wolf Creek are just south of Leadville that receive legendary powder days without the crowds of more popular resorts. These two mountains are the hidden gems of Colorado. Moving to a place that was out of my comfort zone and far from any busy city life Colorado has captivated me. Regardless where you roam or reside in this beautiful state, there are ample opportunities to stay outside. And that’s where I think I’ll stay as well.

Photo By: Dani Dougherty, iPhone X
Location: White Mountain Snowmobile Tours, Leadville



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Dani grew up in Pennsylvania with the urge to be in the wilderness. She is a whitewater rafting guide in the summers while shredding some different white waves in the winter. Dani sought out the Rockies after graduating from University. She now resides in Leadville, Colorado and is a snowboard coach for Team Summit.