Latest News – June 22

Hazy Skies Due To Nearby Wildfires

Hazy Morning_leadville

The haze that started to creep in last night under the cover of darkness brought a blood red sunrise over Leadville Today​. The smoke from active wildfires in southwestern Colorado and southwestern Utah continues to drift into Lake County skies. Active wildfires are burning in San Miguel and Montrose counties near Redvale. Also, a 10,950-acre wildfire named the Brian Head Fire continues in southwestern Utah. Keep these communities in your thoughts and prayers and please use extra caution in our neck of the woods too!

Road Weary in Leadville Today

wildfire traffic

Highway 24 South of Leadville was closed twice yesterday the first day of Summer. The early morning incident involved a single car crash with a utility structure leading to a gas leak. Later in the afternoon, it was a small wildfire, that crews quickly extinguished. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

Yesterday, June 21, which marked the official first day of summer, saw two road closures for Highway 24 South of Leadville. The first occurred at 5:30 a.m. at 24South and Hwy 300 (the turn off to the Fish Hatchery). As the Xcel Energy guy at the scene put it – “a guy who didn’t quite make the curve careened into a tough shed shack which housed some utility lines/equipment.” That crash caused a gas leak and forced the highway closure for early morning commuters, re-routing traffic on to County Road 6, also known as the Long & Derry Road to locals. Crews got things under control and the road re-opened after a couple of hours.

xcel energy

Xcel Energy crews replaced the gas utility lines damaged during a single vehicle crash early Wednesday morning. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell

Later in the afternoon about 4 p.m. there was a wildfire reported near Crystal Lake which stopped traffic in both directions on Highway 24 again for about an hour. While fire officials are still investigating the situation – which fortunately only burned about 3/4 acre – initial reports from the scene indicated the source may have been from a lighter fluid can.

Of course, foremost on locals’ minds has been the “restriping” of historic Harrison Avenue.

The following is the official word from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Mark Bunnell with the Region 3 Traffic Operations. Of course, Lake County residents, old and new, full-timers and part-timers and visitors alike had a lot to say on the Leadville Today Facebook Page. Join the conversation.

In the meantime there will be CDOT workers, as well as local street crews, back out on the avenue again today and tomorrow, so please be courteous and take extra caution.

Roadsafe Traffic Systems restriped Harrison Avenue (US-24) in Leadville yesterday for three lanes (previous was four lanes) and a bike lane. Attached are several photos showing the completed striping. Roadsafe will be replacing the existing crosswalks and stop bars and installing new left-turn arrows and bike symbols on Thursday and Friday. I plan to get more photos next week after the stencil work is completed. In addition, this morning the CDOT signal electricians installed two exclusive left-turn lane signs on the signal mast arms at the 6th Street traffic signal. Thanks to the Leadville City Streets crew for putting out “No Parking” signs, and for the Leadville Police Department Officers who helped enforce it. We would not have been able to stripe the bike lane with cars parked along Harrison Avenue. Thank You. – Mark Bunnell.

Restripe Harrison Avenue CDOT_1

The “restriping” of historic Harrison Avenue will see completion today and tomorrow (June 22 & 23) as Colorado Department of Transportation crews return for additional stenciling and signage for Leadville’s main street’s new traffic reconfiguration. Join the conversation over on the Leadville Today Facebook Page. Photo: CDOT/Mark Burnell.

Restripe Harrison Avenue CDOT_2

The “restriping” of historic Harrison Avenue will see completion today and tomorrow (June 22 & 23) as Colorado Department of Transportation crews return for additional stenciling and signage for Leadville’s main street’s new traffic reconfiguration. Join the conversation over on the Leadville Today Facebook Page. Photo: CDOT/Mark Burnell.

Restripe Harrison Avenue CDOT_3

The “restriping” of historic Harrison Avenue will see completion today and tomorrow (June 22 & 23) as Colorado Department of Transportation crews return for additional stenciling and signage for Leadville’s main street’s new traffic reconfiguration. Join the conversation over on the Leadville Today Facebook Page. Photo: CDOT/Mark Burnell.

There is also road work being done out at the Turquoise Lake. Travelers could find a section of County Road 4 closed to through traffic between the Hagerman Pass turnoff and the May Queen Campground. Lake County Road and Bridge crews are repairing some bad spots along the rough lake road which is seeing increased traffic with every passing day.

Full access to campgrounds should not be impeded. However drivers should use County Road 9 (the lake’s northern road way) to access May Queen and Timberline Lake as well as other popular hiking trailheads in the area.

It’s that time of year folks, so please be extra careful on the roads and anytime using an open flame for work or fun! Thanks to the local emergency crews for keeping everyone safe! – Leadville Today Staff Report.

Turquoise Lake Road Repair

Lake County Public Works Road and Bridge Crews installed the the culvert at the western end of Turquoise Lake last fall. The coming weeks will see road repairs in the area of the May Queen Campground as crews repair the rough lake road and eventually lay down some new pavement. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.



Latest News – June 21

Turn BBQ Frown Upside Down: Eat Local!

Happy First Day of Summer! It’s finally here, the season locals cherish, but often find themselves chasing after the next 3 months. There’s a lot to get in during the warmer weather months when you live at 10,200 feet. It’s the season of baseball, butterflies, and yes, it’s time to say it – barbecues!


To every season turn, turn turn . . . It’s hello to the official first day of Summer! So-long to old-school Harrison Avenue striping! And hope to see you next year, Leadville BBQ and Brew. 2015 Inaugural Year Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

Yes, it’s tough. You were looking forward to the annual BBQ that was supposed to be held this weekend, and now, you find yourself crying in your brew instead! Well cheer up, Leadvillites, because here is the remedy to turn that frown upside down. Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you don’t have to go much further than your own back yard to find your heart’s desire when it comes to some good BBQ! So here’s your finger licking, lip smacking Leadville Today BBQ report.

Have you tried High Mountain Pies‘ BBQ items lately? DE-lic-ious! Grab a table outside, place your order inside and prepare you taste buds for a special treat. HMP’s St Louis Cut Pork Ribs are seared, braised in the pizza ovens and finished with a tangy BBQ sauce that will have you thinking you can summit that 14er after all! Happy climbing! And don’t forget your BBQ wings! They will give you an extra pep in your step! Or stick with the old favorite, after all like their slogan says: Pizza Makes You Powerful! Pssst, they now serve some brews too!


Nate’s famous BBQ ribs and some of your favorite sides await at the Pastime at 120 W. 2nd Street.

A few blocks south, but still on the west side you can find the historic Pastime Bar and Café at 120 W. 2nd Street. Nate’s known for his BBQ, so just hope he doesn’t run out of ribs before you get there.

From beef brisket and pulled pork sandwiches to their hearty half rack of ribs, Nate’s hickory-smoked meats are dry-rubbed with Nate’s secret seasonings and served with a choice of homemade BBQ sauce. They’ve got all the great sides – including fried pickles! –  that you’d expect to accompany any bib-wearing grub, so don’t be shy and pile it up high. The Pastime is Leadville’s last remaining business on old State Street, aka the red light district, so there’s lots of history there as well. They have a big patio with lots of seating and a view that shows off the two highest peaks in Colorado.

Head back up to Leadville’s main drag and check out the new kid on the block. The Treeline Kitchen is located in the recently renovated Sayer & McKee Building in downtown Leadville. Their arrival on the culinary scene offers some new choices around the dinner table, including the BBQ Pork and Beans Plate. The menu offers something for everyone and be sure to double down on the fried chicken; it’s good!

And let’s not forget Jane’s Hot Dog Stand. For many locals it may be the only bun stuffed with beef or brat they get all summer – so delicious! Soda pop, a bag of chips and a hot dog for $5, now how much more American can you get than that? Besides there’s no better place to watch the world go by than down on historic Harrison Avenue!

On Saturday, June 24, O2 by Periodic Brewing is hosting a BBQ Party on their patio at 401 Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville. BBQ lovers can find all their favorites from the grill and smoker along with some tasty sides. Served by the plateful!


You’ll find friendly, familiar faces down at the Twin Lakes Inn.

Should you decide you want to leave the Leadville traffic behind, you can head to southern Lake County to satiate that BBQ craving.

If you haven’t made it down to Twin Lakes Village since Indy Pass opened, then be sure to stop at the Inn and order up some great grill items from the Dayton Dining Room menu. Chef Edward and his staff will delight the senses with their slow-smoked ribs served with their special honey chipotle BBQ sauce. Order a quarter rack as a warm up, or make it a full rack served up with sweet potato hash and slaw.

Or if you’re in the mood for beef, try their ribeye. Eat out on the patio and it’s like you grilled it yourself!

If you’re planning ahead for visitors, then consider making reservations for one of two BBQ train rides being offered on the Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad this season. bbqThe first one is Saturday, July 8. The Devils Tail BBQ Special, features an evening train ride departing the depot at 6 p.m. This 2.5 hour trip is something special, don’t miss out! Then on September 1, the train will host the Stork Curve-Climax BBQ Special, features an evening train ride,  departing the depot at 4:30 p.m. Travel over the Arkansas River at its headwaters and see the beauty of the sunset in September. This ride goes to the end of the line! Both of these BBQ rides sell out, so make reservations, as limited seating is available.

So don’t get the BBQ blues this weekend, instead take a look around at all the Leadville and Lake County has to offer! Support your local businesses and go and get your grub on!