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Have you ever been curious about the fascinating and exciting history of Leadville? On Saturday, Jan. 18, join the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association and Loretta McEllhiney, Leadville Historian, for a guided cross-country ski tour along Leadville’s Mineral Belt Trail.

Participants will ski the east side of the loop, including the historical mining district where the trail is fairly flat and very scenic. This paved, high-elevation (10,000+ feet) trail has spectacular views of the Sawatch and Mosquito mountains as it journeys among pine and aspen trees. The guided tour will be just over 3 miles roundtrip, with historical talks along the way.

The trail helps to chronicle the rags to riches stories of such notable figures from Colorado's history as Horace and Baby Doe Tabor, Meyer Guggenheim, Charles Boettcher, David May, Father John Dyer (Colorado’s Snowshoe Itinerant) and the Unsinkable Molly Brown. It also helps tell the story of the building of the Cloud City, whose ornate Victorian architecture once housed the entrepreneurs, gamblers, miners, outlaws and ladies of the evening of Colorado lore.

Loretta McElhiney earned degrees in Kinesiology and Nutrition from Kansas State University. In 1989 she joined the U.S. Forest Service and moved to Leadville, where she has put her passion for public lands to work managing the Colorado Fourteeners Program. Since 1998, Loretta has been a member of the Mineral Belt Trail Committee and has learned a boundless appreciation for the rich history of her beloved hometown.

The program will start at the trailhead at 10 a.m. and last between 1 ½ - 2 hours. Participants can continue further on their own, or return with the group.

Cross-country ski rentals are available in Buena Vista at The Trailhead. This program is recommended for participants over 8 years old. Sorry, no dogs allowed.

Cost is $5 for GARNA members and $10 for non-members.

To register visit our website at or contact Hillary Fuller at 719-539-5106 or at

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