DescriptionLake City was named for nearby Lake San Cristobal, the second largest natural lake in Colorado. Hidden Treasure and Golden Fleece—the names of local mines—attest to Lake City's early preoccupation. One of the earliest settlements in western Colorado, Lake City served as a supply center for the gold and silver mines of the surrounding San Juan Mountains.
Today the town is a starting point for enjoying two of Colorado's most scenic and historic byways, the Alpine Backcountry Loop and the Silver Thread Scenic Byway. The Alpine Loop's 65 miles of dirt and gravel roads connect the former mining towns of Lake City, Ouray and Silverton. Depending on snowfall, it's open late May to late October; four-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicles are recommended for some portions, including Engineer and Cinnamon passes.
Weaving over the Continental Divide for some 120 miles, the fully paved Silver Thread (SR 149) links Blue Mesa Reservoir to Creede and South Fork and is open year-round. Mountain peaks, river valleys and the Gunnison and Rio Grande national forests provide outstanding scenery at nearly every turn.
Five 14,000-foot peaks provide plenty of hiking, biking, fishing, camping, boating, wildlife viewing and horseback riding opportunities; backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, ice fishing and a family ski hill round out the year's recreational activities.
Lake City also is known for its Victorian architecture; most of the town's old buildings have been restored and preserved within a National Historic District.
Visitor InfoLake City/Hinsdale County Chamber of Commerce 800 N. Gunnison Ave. LAKE CITY, CO 81235. Phone:(970)944-2527 or (800)569-1874
Self-guiding toursA map detailing a walking tour of Lake City is available at the chamber of commerce.
Things to SeeHard Tack Mine Tours & Museum