Make sure to pack water and some snacks to help encourage the kids along the ride. There are several beautiful viewpoints - these are great spots to take a break, get a snack (or eat lunch) and enjoy the views. Bring a mini first aid kit in case there are any falls or accidents.
Good to know
Unless you are going to bike the whole 11.7 miles, consider how much the kids will be able to do. We had two different cars, so we dropped off the bikes at one point and the dads drove to our ending point and dropped off one of the cars.
During the summer, mountain towns like Leadville can be busy. If possible, do the trail between Tuesday-Thursday to avoid crowds.
Recommended time of the year
We did this mini-adventure toward the end of summer and the weather was beautiful. In fall, the aspen trees and the colors are stunning.
About This Day
Do you love bike rides, beautiful views and the feeling of the wind blowing through your hair? If so, biking the Mineral Belt Trail in Leadville is a great stop on your Colorado family vacation or weekend day trip. This old mining town is rich in history. Bikers will catch a glimpse of its past throughout the 11.7-mile (19 km) trail. The kids will enjoy seeing the old mines and mining equipment along the way. Once you're done biking, take in the beautiful views over a picnic, or save up your appetite for the best (in our opinion) pizza in Colorado at High Mountain Pies.
The Mineral Belt Trail is an 11.7-mile trail that passes through the town of Leadville and the surrounding forest areas. The trail is paved, making for a smooth bike ride or a stroller-friendly walking path. Depending on the children's biking ability, do part of the trail or the whole 11.7 miles. A good option is to park at the 5th Street lot (between Mile Marker 4 and 5) and ride down to Mile Marker 11. This section of the trail has a slight uphill in the beginning, but is downhill from that point on. It's a very easy and fun ride for the family. Along the way, there are some beautiful viewpoints overlooking Leadville and old mining equipment the kids can climb on.
DIRECTIONS The Mineral Belt Trail is a loop with a few different parking areas. The website offers a trail map that shows the trail and the different parking areas. Parking is free in all lots.
TIP On the downhill portions, it can get pretty steep. If you don't want to do the whole trail, start at the 5th Street parking lot and ride to the California Gulch Overlook. It's a good place to turn around.
In our opinion, this is the best pizza place in Colorado. The pizza crust is crispy, thin and ever so flavorful. There are many other options on the menu, including sandwiches, calzones and salads. Weather permitting, sit outside in the back. There is some grass where the kids can run around while waiting for the food. After a lovely bike ride along the Mountain Belt Trail, High Mountain Pies is the perfect place to rest and refuel.
DIRECTIONS Go west on 5th Street and turn left onto Highway 24, then take a right on West 4th Street. High Mountain Pies is on the left.
TIP There is only parking on the street, so during busy times, you may need to park farther away. There are a few tables inside, but a lot more outside in the back.