un jour / 113 miles / 3 heures 45 minutes
With altitudes seldom dipping below 9,000 feet, this byway earns its name. Visit historic mining railroad towns en route to historic Leadville, the highest incorporated community in the U.S. Old mining camps attest to the state's rich mining heritage. The route crosses the Continental Divide twice and traces the Arkansas River.
9:00 - 58.8 miles / une heure 57 minutes - 10:57
The Tabor Opera House, known as the finest theater between St.
Louis and San Francisco, was built in 1879 by Horace Austin Warner
Tabor, one of Leadville's wealthy silver miners. The opera house
was built in 100 days, stood three stories high, was constructed of
stone, brick and iron, trimmed with Portland cement, and cost
$40,000 to build. Tabor left his first wife, Augusta, to marry the
beautiful Elizabeth Bonduel McCourt Doe, better known as "Baby
Doe." During 1893 Tabor lost the opera house and much of his wealth
as silver prices plummeted as a result of the Sherman Silver Act,
which removed silver as the mineral backing currency in the US.
Tabor died in 1899, a poor man.
The opera house changed hands several times until 1955, when it
became the Tabor Opera House again. Many well known personalities
have performed at the opera house, including: Houdini, John Philip
Sousa, Oscar Wilde, and Anna Held. Today, the building is preserved
as an opera house so visitors may enjoy it. Photographs, wooden
floors, the stage, threadbare carpet, and empty seats are part of
the experience visitors will have when visiting the Tabor Opera
12:57 - 0.1 miles / - 12:57
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum illustrates why
mining is so important through a series of various displays and
exhibits. Visitors can view mineral and rock specimens from around
the country and world, including gold specimens from 17 states that
had significant gold rushes. A series of dioramas traces the
development of mining from the first panning ventures to modern day
mining technology. Murals on the wall trace this development, and
displays show mining techniques from around the world and through
history, such as Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mines and minerals.
Visitors can experience the darkness and workings of an
underground hardrock mine by visiting a walk through replica of
such a mine. The sights, sounds, and artifacts from mines can be
viewed up close in a realistic setting. Visitors can learn about
the importance of mining through a series of displays which show
where certain minerals are used in everyday life and in the home.
This educational exhibit instills the idea that mining is still a
very important part of everyday life.
On the third floor of the museum is housed the Mining Hall of
Fame, with plaques telling the stories of men and women who have
made significant contributions to the world of mining.
14:57 - 9.8 miles / 19 minutes - 15:17
Camp Hale was the training site for the 10th Mountain Division during WWII. This division trained at the Camp Hale site, taking advantage of the ski slopes and high elevation. This training prepared the troops for action in the Apennine Mountains of Italy. Construction of Camp Hale was finished in 1942, and by 1944 the troops were sent to Europe. By mid 1943, Camp Hale was home to 14,000 troops. The valley was laid out in grid system, and there were many barracks, as well as stables, a vet clinic, hospital, and field house. The troops trained on the slopes and rocky ridges of the area, often under harsh winter conditions. After the war, many of the men of the 10th Mountain Division established ski resorts and helped develop the recreational ski industry that many people enjoy today. A memorial to those who lost their lives during combat is at the entrance of Ski Copper, just a few miles south of this site.
17:17 - 6.1 miles / 12 minutes - 17:29
Minturn flourished when the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad arrived in the late 1880s. The town swiftly developed a booming transportation industry.
17:59 - 38.1 miles / une heure 16 minutes - 19:15