In my previous posts, I wrote about how we rented an RV and travelled from Denver, Colorado, to New Mexico and back to Colorado – already more than 900 miles in 6 days! If you would like to read from the beginning, head back to Part 1.
Leadville is another former silver mining town and is situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m). It is known for having many 14,000 foot peaks viewable right from town. Back in 2000, we visited Leadville with a group of friends – drove all the way from Kansas City, KS – and this is where I also skied for the first time. It was great to be back and bring our kids.
Day 7: Skiing in Leadville – 30 miles
We had an almost perfect blue sky when we drove the 15 miles from Leadville to Ski Cooper. We parked our RV and got in line for ski and gear rental.
Both Simon and Sidney have skied once before (in Maggie Valley, NC). Sidney was still reliving her failure to stop on the ski slope and we decided to stay behind. Our plan was to spend our time reading, drinking hot chocolate and playing Uno. It was a beautiful day, but very very cold outside. We did go out for some small walks and to make snow angels, of course.
The boys did a couple of test runs before taking the ski lift up the slopes. They took many pictures and even some videos to show us and had a great time.
We drove back to our spot in the local RV park and after dinner, walked to the pub across the street for some drinks. The kids joined us for a while and we played some pool and chatted with local residents.
Day 8: Leadville, CO to Golden, CO – 87 miles
We set out after breakfast and drove north to get to Interstate 70 and our destination for the next two nights, Golden, CO. Our first mountain pass for the day was the Fremont Pass, between Leadville and Copper Mountain. At Copper Mountain, we turned east on I-70 and soon passed through the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel. The tunnel carries I-70 under the Loveland Pass in the Rocky Mountains. At its max, it is 11,158 feet (3,401 m) above sea level, and it is one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world.
We stopped a couple of times along the way to admire small towns and the amazing mountain views. Colorado is definitely one of a kind with the mountain scenery, mining towns, ski slopes and greenery. One of our stops was just outside of the town of Dillon where we could see 9 mountain peaks above 11,000 feet.
While driving on the highway is much easier than navigating the smaller roads, we just didn’t like to be back in the heavy traffic. As soon as we could, we exited the highway and took the scenic road to Golden.
Golden, CO is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains and was founded during the Gold Rush in 1859. The mining camp was originally called Golden City and was even the capital of the Colorado Territory in 1862. When Colorado became a state 14 years later, Denver became the state capital. Today, it is home to Coors Brewing Company, the Colorado School of Mines and Yeti Cycles.
We found a spot at the Dakota Ridge RV Park, located close to I70, for our last two nights of RV life. It is a nice, clean and organized RV park with great views of the Rocky Mountains and the Denver skyline. We had our grill out in no time and enjoyed a nice dinner outside.
Day 9: Golden, CO – 10 miles
We drove back into town and spent the day walking around and taking in the sights Golden had to offer. We had lunch in town, at the Old Capital Grill & Smokehouse and had a couple of Coors beers of course! When in Golden…!
Afterwards we stopped for ice cream. The kids enjoyed all the little shops, clearly meant for tourists, and bought little souvenirs and some candy to take back home. We also stopped at a local Walmart to buy more luggage. We all needed warmer clothing at some point along the trip and we had some camping supplies that we wanted to take back to Atlanta.
Our last night was spent next to the grill and at our picnic table. We took some walks around the park and loved looking at all the different RV’s parked there. The kids also climbed the rocky hill for some great views of not only the park and Golden, but Denver itself.
Day 10: Golden, CO to the Airport: 52 miles
It was time to head back to Atlanta. We started packing after breakfast and had everything ready for our flight back home. We returned our drivable home without any issues. Look at all the sad faces!
We got an Uber to take us back to the airport. It was a great trip and we had so much fun being together. We loved the RV experience and knew we wanted to get one of our own soon. Pieter was already doing some research while we waited for our flight!
Read more about our own RV and how we got it ready for our first camping trip! RV Life – Initial Setup