Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day Trip: Interlaken and Leadville

The remains of a turn of the century resort named Interlaken sit just 20 miles North of our base camp in Buena Vista, CO. Situated on the shore of Twin Lakes, the resort was built in 1879 and was considered a first class destination until the early 1900's. During WWI the buildings were used as boarding houses and later were abandoned. The home of the resorts owner, John Dexter, is also on the site. Some of the buildings have been relocated about 150 feet away from the lake to protect them from the high water line.

It's an easy 2.2 mile hike along the lake to the resort, through conifer and aspen forest. On the day we hiked the lake was like glass and the clouds provided wonderful mirror images for photos.

Dexter House
Dexter House used to sit 150 feet closer to the lake.
It has been relocated above the high water line.
Interlaken Resort sits just a couple hundred feet beyond Dexter House.
One of the small buildings in the foreground was a chicken coop.
The main resort lodge is the large building on the right.

The front of the lodge is painted white. All of the windows are covered.

The back of the lodge was left natural.
The resort as seen from the waters edge.

One more mirror image because it's just so darn pretty!

After our hike we continued 15 miles North to the historic mining town of Leadville. Situated at 10,152 feet elevation, Leadville is the highest city in the US. Though we didn't tour any of the mining history in the area, we walked main street admiring the many preserved historic buildings and some of the neighborhoods filled with Victorian homes in various stages of preservation or dilapidation. We can highly recommend the pizza at High Mountain Pies.

If you live in Leadville this is your view.
Mt Elbert, the tallest of the fourteeners is here.

Many of the buildings were built with a corner focus.

There was a sign on this building warning of avalanche danger due to the steep roof!

I liked how the trim on the left house matched the sky!

It's a gorgeous drive between Buena Vista and Leadville. The road follows the Arkansas River which is a big fishing destination during the summer. Boulder strewn hills follow the East side of the highway, signs advise you to watch for big horn sheep. The giant mountains of the Rockies line the West side of the highway.

Looking West a few miles South of Leadville.


  1. When I think of Colorado vistas, these are the images that come to mind. The reflection of the clouds in the water is almost mesmerizing. I could sit for hours and watch those kinds of clouds drift by. What a great place you discovered.

  2. I sure agree with you on the mirror image shot and the entire area looks really pretty

  3. I can't get over those lake photos! A rarity to have zero wind such that not a ripple is raised. Mirror is right. Nice.
    Box Canyon Mark

  4. Beautiful mirror photos!! The skies are SO blue in the west. You really got some great shots. Another fun hike and great tour.

    I can't believe that is the back to the white front lodge. Very strange looking.

  5. Wow. How do you get the clouds to pop out like that?

    LA guy

  6. Stunning photos....I love Colorado!

  7. Looks like you had fun visiting our fine city and exploring all the scenic beauty that surrounds it. Great Photos! Thanks for sharing.