Friday, August 1, 2008

Molly Brown Campground - Leadville, CO

Leadville, Colorado, and the Turquoise Lake area draw many tourists for summer festivals, boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking. During our stay, Leadville was putting on its annual "Boom Days" celebration, which features a variety of fun events for all ages, including a car show, a street fair, races, and colorful townsfolk, many of whom are dressed period costumes. We had almost as much fun watching the people as we did sampling the food and shopping at the many festival booths.
Leadville has a rich mining history, but nowadays it draws more tourists than miners who are there to enjoy the area's natural beauty, outdoor activities, or just stroll down Main Street to shop in antique stores and sample sweets in the old fashion fudge and ice cream shops.

We reserved a site early in the year at the Molly Brown Campground (1 of 8 campgrounds that surround beautiful Turquoise Lake) because it is known to fill up quickly, especially on the weekends. This campground has 47 reservable sites with picnic tables and fire rings. Drinking water and toilets are located throughout the campground, and hot showers can be found in town at the local laundromat. Also, RV dump stations are available close by.

This campground is heavily wooded, which affords a fair amount of privacy, and some sites have lake views. The elevation in this area is around 10,000 ft., so be sure to plan for very cool nights, especially early or late in the season. Sites at Molly Brown have no electrical hookups so you may hear the generators from your camping neighbors who can't go a weekend without running their television or other electrical appliances. There is nothing more annoying than escaping to the peace and tranquility of the mountains for a couple days only to have to put up with a noisy camping generator that your neighbor decides to turn on just as you sit down to read a book, enjoy a conversation over a cup of coffee, or take a nap. There oughta be a law. ;-)

If your neighbor's generator is driving you nuts, you can escape to the Lake like we did and hike a trail that follows the water's edge. Turquoise Lake, which was named for the semiprecious stone that was mined in the surrounding area in the 1930s, is surrounded by a carpet of forest and snowcapped peaks that soar high into the sky. It is one of the most popular recreation areas in the county and truly is one of the gems of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. If you enjoy canoeing, fishing, boating, or taking a step back in time at the Boom Days festival, Leadville and Turquoise Lake are a must-see Colorado destination.