2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
Any winter fat bike ride in the renowned East Side Mining District is an amazing mix of wonderfully groomed trails and beautiful historic mining structures.
That said, this 9-mile loop is a best-of-the-best tour of the area. Starting at 10,500', alpine views are immediate and plentiful.
That elevation guarantees that the ride will be breathtaking in more ways than one! Topping out at 11,700', the loop provides climbing aplenty but also includes a nice amount of easy pedaling and fast, fun descents. One of the first historic mining sites along the way is Stumptown.
"Stumptown in South Evans Gulch got started with the 1879 discovery of the Little Ellen Mine.
It operated until 1930," according to [Mining History Association.org](https://www.mininghistoryassociation.org/LeadvilleMineTour5.htm).
It was the hometown of newlyweds 'Leadville Johnny' Brown and his wife Margaret 'Molly,' the unsinkable.” There are numerous picturesque old mining structures in the East Side Mining District; take the time to appreciate them as you pedal through the area! In addition to the historical sites, the stunning mountains of the Sawatch and Mosquito Ranges will provide lots of opportunities to stop, rest, gawk and take photos.
Even when the snow is super deep, there are usually golden-colored willows to brighten up the winter scenery. At 10,000 feet, Leadville is known for its prolific snows which allow snow sports to continue well into April.
Grooming snowmobile trails continues as long as there is still snow, so spring can be a great time to fat bike.
Spring riding, however, does require an early start to avoid the inevitable softening that occurs by late morning as the sun warms up the snowpack. Whether riding the winter trails in January or April, always pack the 10 essentials and expect the unexpected.
The weather can change in a heartbeat at such high elevations and being prepared keeps the adventure fun rather than frightening!