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Leadville Ski Joring, Crystal Carnival & Other Unique Events

Leadville, Colorado (elevation 10, 152 feet above sea level), is a colorful, unique town that’s off the beaten path. So, you won’t see many tourists here – but you will get a glimpse into a place where Old West history meets modern day Colorado vacations. Many of Leadville’s winter events – like Ski Joring – reflect these same characteristics. Here are some of the annual events found in the highest incorporated city in the US. Click here for the full calendar of events in Leadville.

Leadville Ski Joring

Ski Joring is a competition where a horse and rider pull a skier at a fast pace through a course that has gates and jumps. Simultaneously, the racer must collect rings along the way. By the way, the “race course” happens to be the slick, snow-covered Main Street of town. The skier is timed through the course, and penalties are assessed for missing gates or jumps, and by missing or dropping rings. The competitors race for cash prizes. Random draw determines the teams before the event starts. Leadville Ski Joring is always the first full weekend in March. Hotel rooms fill quickly. So, it’s good to book your room well in advance if you’re planning to participate or spectate. Make hotel reservations, here.

Leadville Ski Joring is part of Leadville’s famous Crystal Carnival, a winter festival that includes other weekend activities:

  • Nordic Sprints: Ski the avenue, Friday at 7 p.m.
  • Night Ride: Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series – Mineral Belt Mayhem: Join a fat tire bike ride after dark on the 11-mile Mineral Belt trail ringing this historic mining town, Saturday night.
  • Paintball Biathlon: Ski with paintball, Sunday morning.
  • Downhill Skiing: Family-friendly Ski Cooper has all-natural snow, short lift-lines, and full-day lift tickets for just $52.
  • Nordic Skiing, Snowshoeing, and Snowmobiling: Explore nearly 100 miles of groomed trails near Leadville and at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center.
  • Sledding: Zip down Dutch Henry sledding hill for free; tube rentals available.

The Mount ski joring dog pulls child on skis in snow while audience watchesMassive Mush

The Mount Massive Mush is a recreational race that attracts all ages – and dog teams both large and small. Activities include dog sledding; skijoring (you ski, your dog(s) pull); cani-cross (you snowshoe or hike, your dog(s) help pull); bike-joring; scootering; carting; weight-pull. Additionally, other fun contests challenge participants’ skill and ability. The focus is safety, fun, and learning.

Come and enjoy the hospitality of this old west boom town with lovely historic Victorian style buildings, spectacular mountain scenery and a variety of local restaurants. The independent businesses, unique boutiques and lots of antique shops will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time.

Leadville Trail 100 running in dark Glen Delman photo

Leadville Boom Days

Leadville Boom Days is a one-of-a-kind festival celebrating Colorado’s mining and Old West history. It includes gunslingers, burro races, contests of mining skill, and a street fair with over 100 food and craft booths. Boom Days is always the first full weekend in August. Three days of fun, food, arts & crafts, and activities for the whole family!

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