Mineral Belt National Recreation Trail

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The trail as it passes near the Matchless Mine, north of Leadville. Mineral Belt National Recreation Trail.JPG
The trail as it passes near the Matchless Mine, north of Leadville.

The Mineral Belt National Recreation Trail is an 11.6 mile all-season biking/walking trail that loops around Leadville, Colorado and through its historic mining district. The trail's setting is quintessentially Colorado Rocky Mountain landscape. Groves of aspen, conifer forests, wildflower meadows, and open vista sage parks are interspersed with once-booming mine sites. Ever-present views of the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges provide perspective and a sense of permanence to the area. Several signs along the way provide historical snippets about Leadville's colorful past. The trail is designed for bicycles, longboards, walkers, wheelchairs, strollers and in-line skaters. When the snow falls, snowcats groom the trail to provide access to Nordic skiers, snowshoers and winter-bikers.

Colorado State of the United States of America

Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.

Sawatch Range mountain range

The Sawatch Range is a high and extensive mountain range in central Colorado which includes eight of the twenty highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains, including Mount Elbert, at 14,440 feet (4,401 m) elevation, the highest peak in the Rockies.

Mosquito Range

The Mosquito Range is a high mountain range in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. The peaks of the range form a ridge running north-south for approximately 40 miles (64 km) from southern Summit County on the north end, then along the boundary between Lake and Park counties. The ranges forms a high barrier separating the headwaters of the Arkansas River near Leadville from South Park and the headwaters of the South Platte River near Fairplay. The highest peak in the range is Mount Lincoln at an elevation of 14,286 ft. Other fourteeners in the range are Quandary Peak, Mount Bross (14,172 ft), Mount Democrat (14,148 ft), and Mount Sherman (14,036 ft).

About six miles of this trail meanders through the historic Leadville Mining District. In part the trail follows old mining-camp railbeds. "What makes this trail unique is that it goes through one of the greatest mining districts in the world," says Lake County, Colorado Assessor Howard A. Tritz, an original member of the group which spearheaded trail development. "It has some of the best scenery anywhere, and it's accessible and available to everyone, visitors and locals alike, regardless of age or ability." [1]

Lake County, Colorado County in the United States

Lake County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,310. The county seat and the only municipality in the county is Leadville. The highest natural point in Colorado and the entire Rocky Mountains is the summit of Mount Elbert in Lake County at 14,440 feet elevation.

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San Juan Mountains mountain range in Colorado, USA

The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. The area is highly mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride. Large scale mining has ended in the region, although independent prospectors still work claims throughout the range. The last large scale mines were the Sunnyside Mine near Silverton, which operated until late in the 20th century and the Idarado Mine on Red Mountain Pass that closed down in the 1970s. Famous old San Juan mines include the Camp Bird and Smuggler Union mines, both located between Telluride and Ouray.

Colorado Mineral Belt mining region

The Colorado Mineral Belt (CMB) is an area of ore deposits from the La Plata Mountains in Southwestern Colorado to near the middle of the state at Boulder, Colorado and from which over 25 million troy ounces of gold were extracted beginning in 1858. The belt is a "northeast-striking zone defined by: a Proterozoic shear zone system ; a suite of Laramide-aged plutons and related ore deposits ; a major gravity low ; low-crustal velocities; and high heat flow ." Mining districts include:

Leadville, Colorado Statutory City in Colorado, United States

Leadville is the statutory city that is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Lake County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 2,759 at the 2010 United States Census. Situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m), Leadville has the highest elevation of any incorporated city in the United States. Originally called Silver City, Leadville was the last place Doc Holliday was a law man and the first proposed capital of the state. A former silver mining town that lies amongst the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Leadville Historic District contains many historic structures and sites in its dynamic mining era. In the late 19th century, Leadville was the second most populous city in Colorado, after Denver. Leadville is notable for having a large number of 14,000 foot peaks viewable from town.

Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad

The Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad was a historic 3 ft narrow gauge railroad that operated in Colorado in the western United States in the late 19th century. The railroad opened up the first rail routes to a large section of the central Colorado mining district in the decades of the mineral boom. The railroad took its name from the fact that its main line from Denver ascended the Platte Canyon and traversed South Park. Founded in 1872 by Colorado Governor John Evans, the company was purchased by the Union Pacific Railway in 1880, though it continued to be operated independently. The line went bankrupt in 1889 and was reorganized under the new moniker the Denver, Leadville and Gunnison Railway. When the Union Pacific went bankrupt in 1893, the DL&G lines went into receivership and were eventually sold to the Colorado and Southern Railway. In the first half of the 20th century, nearly all the company's original lines were dismantled or converted into 4 ft 8 12 instandard gauge. The last train to run the old DSP&P tracks was from Como, Colorado on April 11, 1937. A section of the standard gauge line between Leadville and Climax is still operated as a passenger excursion railroad called the Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad. At its peak the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad had 335 miles (539 km) of narrow gauge line, making it the largest narrow gauge railroad in the state of Colorado.

Colorado Silver Boom expansionist period of silver mining activity in the U.S. state of Colorado

The Colorado Silver Boom was a dramatic expansionist period of silver mining activity in the U.S. state of Colorado in the late 19th century. The boom started in 1879 with the discovery of silver at Leadville. Over 82 million dollars worth of silver was mined during the period, making it the second great mineral boom in the state, and coming twenty years after the earlier and shorter Colorado Gold Rush of 1859. The boom was largely the consequence of large-scale purchases of silver by the United States Government authorized by Congress in 1878. The boom endured throughout the 1880s, resulting in an intense increase in both the population and wealth of Colorado, especially in the mountains. It came to an end in 1893 in the wake of the collapse of silver prices caused by the repeal of Sherman Silver Purchase Act.

Leadville Trail 100

The Leadville Trail 100 Run is an ultramarathon held annually on trails and dirt roads near Leadville, Colorado, through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. First run in 1983, the race course climbs and descends 15,600 feet (4,800 m), with elevations ranging from 9,200-12,620 feet. In most years, fewer than half the starters complete the race within the 30-hour time limit.

Twin Lakes, Lake County, Colorado Census-designated place in Colorado, United States

Twin Lakes is a census-designated place located in Lake County, Colorado, United States near the base of Mount Elbert. The population as of the 2010 Census was 171. Twin Lakes has the ZIP Code 81251.

Silver Valley (Idaho)

The Silver Valley is a region in the northwest United States, in the Coeur d'Alene Mountains in northern Idaho. It is noted for its mining heritage, dating back to the 1880s.

National Mining Hall of Fame

The National Mining Hall of Fame is a museum located in Leadville, Colorado, United States, dedicated to commemorating the work of miners and people who work with natural resources. The museum also participates in efforts to inform the public about the mining industry.

Granite, Colorado Unincorporated community in Colorado, United States

Granite is an unincorporated community with a U.S. Post Office in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. The zip code of Granite is 81228. According to the 2010 census, the population is 116.

Sutro Tunnel

The Sutro Tunnel is a drainage tunnel (adit) connected to the Comstock Lode in Northern Nevada. It begins at Virginia City, Nevada and empties approximately 6 miles southeast near the town of Dayton, Nevada.

Silver mining in Colorado

Silver mining in Colorado has taken place since the 1860s. In the past, Colorado called itself the Silver state.

Oro City, Colorado human settlement in Colorado, United States of America

Oro City, now a ghost town, was an early Colorado gold placer mining town located near Leadville in the California Gulch. Oro is the Spanish word for gold. Oro City was the site of one the single richest placer gold strikes in Colorado, with estimated gold production of 120,000 to 150,000 troy ounces, worth $2.5 to $3 million at the then-price of $20.67 per troy ounce.

Leadville mining district mining district

The Leadville mining district, located in the Colorado Mineral Belt, was the most productive silver-mining district in the state of Colorado and hosts one of the largest lead-zinc-silver deposits in the world. Oro City, an early Colorado gold placer mining town located about a mile east of Leadville in California Gulch, was the location to one of the richest placer gold strikes in Colorado, with estimated gold production of 120,000–150,000 ozt, worth $2.5 to $3 million at the then-price of $20.67 per troy ounce.

Climax mine

The Climax mine, located in Climax, Colorado, United States, is a major molybdenum mine in Lake and Summit counties, Colorado. Shipments from the mine began in 1915. At its highest output, the Climax mine was the largest molybdenum mine in the world, and for many years it supplied three-fourths of the world's supply of molybdenum.

Henderson molybdenum mine

The Henderson molybdenum mine is a large underground molybdenum mine west of the town of Empire in Clear Creek County, Colorado, USA. The Henderson mine, which has produced molybdenum since 1976, is owned by Freeport-McMoRan.

Golden Fleece Mine (Colorado)

The Golden Fleece Mine is a gold mining site in Hinsdale County, Colorado, 5 miles (8 km) south of Lake City. The mine is located half a mile west of the north end of Lake San Cristobal. By 1904 it had produced $1,400,000 in silver and gold ore. The mine operated intermittently until 1919. Later, in the mid-1960s, some renewed interest in the property came up, especially in the Hiwassee lode area of the mine, but other than a couple of small test shipments, there is no recorded production until today.

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Coordinates: 39°14′53″N106°18′12″W / 39.24793°N 106.30343°W / 39.24793; -106.30343

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.