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Camping: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > Leadville Ranger District

Quick Facts

Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway

Beginning Elevation: 7,500 Feet (2337.9 Meters) Junction Highways 70 and 24
Beginning Elevation: 9,600 Feet (2992.5 Meters) Junction Highways 70 and 91
Difficulty: Easy paved highway
Elevation Gain: 600 Feet (187.0 Meters) to Leadville
Ending Elevation: 9,300 Feet (2899.0 Meters) Twin Lakes
High Point: 10,200 Feet (3179.6 Meters) Leadville
Length: 82 Miles (136.67 Kilometers)




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Bridge over the Eagle River along the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
Copyright: Zander Higbie - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Bridge over the Eagle River along the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
The Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway, designated in 1993, offers excellent access to recreational opportunities in vast mountains, streams and lakes of the Central Rockies. At altitudes that seldom drop below 9,000 feet, the Byway boasts exceptional scenery, crisp mountain air, and pleasant summer temperatures.

The Top of the Rockies Byway passes through the towns of Leadville and Twin Lakes, where visitors see two commerce centers for the 19th century industrial west. Some of the highlights of the byway include Camp Hale and Ski Cooper,home to the 10th Mountain Division; Climax Mine, early molybdenum mine; and the Sawatch mountain range, which harbors 15 of Colorado's 54 fourteeners.

Directions from Interstate 70: Exits 171 (Minturn Highway 24 ) and 195 (Copper Mountain Resort Highway 91) will place you on the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. The byway leads south from both exits.

Directions from Buena Vista: Drive north on Highway 24. When you reach the junction for Highway 82 Top of the Rockies Byway begins. From this point you may travel west on 82 to Twin Lakes and Independence Pass or north to Leadville.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: April through October (NOTE: Independence Pass will be closed during the Winter and Spring months. Late Spring and Early Fall storms may close access to Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway. Please call the State Highway information line for current information.) .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Connie
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I have driven the byway from I-70 from both exits. It is beautiful from each direction. Camp Hale is very interesting. The scenery is breathtaking. I would recommend it to everyone as a "must drive" byway.
Conditions: Sun and blue skies!
Water Availability: we took our own



Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Dining Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
Yes
ICON Automobile Travel Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
Yes
ICON Geology Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway - roadside
Yes
ICON History Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway - Leadville, Camp Hale, Twin Lakes, various roadside
Yes
ICON Viewing Historic Sites Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway - many opportunities in Minturn, Leadville and Twin Lakes
Yes
ICON Viewing Interpretive Signs Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
Yes
ICON Resort Lodging Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway - Leadville, Twin Lakes, Minturn, Copper Mountain Resort
Yes
ICON Resort & Commercial Services Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway - various roadside
Yes
ICON Road Biking Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
Yes
ICON Scenic Driving Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway
Yes



Related Activities
Clear Creek General Forest Area - Clear Creek offers unique recreation opportunities and history. Clear Creek Reservoir has public fishing, boating and camping accesses.

Tennessee Pass General Forest Area - Tennessee Pass General Forest Area is located 9.75 miles northwest of Leadville on Highway 24. This area offers multiple recreation opportunities in every season of the year.

Turquoise Lake General Forest Area - The Turquoise Lake General Forest Area provides access to a plethora of recreation opportunities. Activities on land as well as in the water can be enjoy throughout the year.

Twin Lakes General Forest Area - The Twin Lakes are located on Highway 82, approximately 20 miles south of Leadville. This area offers a wide range of attractions, including fishing, boating, camping and scenic driving.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Leadville Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 2015 North Poplar , Leadville, CO, 80461, Phone: 719-486-0749, Fax: 719-486-0928

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