Located just a few miles south of Leadville and close to Twin Lakes and the Historic Hayden Ranch, THE WILLOWS has a peaceful setting while giving easy access to Highway 24 for quick trips to mountain trails, ski resorts, or simply Colorado sight-seeing. Backing to BLM open space, the cabin has HUGE, unobstructed views of Mt. Elbert (Colorado's Highest Peak) and the Mt. Massive, as well as other peaks in the Sawatch range. This is a fisherman's paradise with only a few minutes walk to the Arkansas River and its "Gold Medal Waters" and a short drive to multiple fishing lakes.
The rustic external appearance of the cabin is deceiving. The open ranch style floor plan of this ~1,800 sq. ft. three bedroom, two bath home away from home has been updated with all the modern conveniences while keeping a true Colorado mountain cabin feel. The reclaimed barn wood floors, massive timber architectural features, rustic furniture and resort cabin decorating all will add to your authentic Colorado vacation experience.
For extended stays (once you visit for a weekend, you may want to spend month or more…), guests can leverage the full size washer and dryer to ensure they never run out of fresh clothes.
Colorado 14ers are all around you; Mt. Elbert is the highest in Colorado at 14,433' and sits directly outside the back door, with trailheads within minutes drive. A short distance up highway 82 toward Aspen is the trailhead to LaPlata Peak. Hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and snow-mobiling on the multitude of trails in Lake County are among the leading outdoor activities in central Colorado. (There are some very good maps showing all the area trailheads, hiking & ATV trails at the shops in Leadville.) The Colorado Trail (segment #11) passes nearby at Twin Lakes, just 10 minutes' drive from The Willows, as does the Continental Divide Trail; there are many trailhead and spurs to pick from with fun forays into the wilderness in many directions. A great, family friendly hike starts at the Colorado Trail trailhead at Twin Lakes and follows the south banks for ~2.5 miles out to the historic Interlaken resort where visitors can explore this amazing site from the late 1800s.
Fishing outstanding in our surrounding lakes and rivers including ForeBay lake, Twin Lakes, Turquoise Lake, and the Arkansas River just across the road. The stretch of the Upper Arkansas River flowing just to the east of The Willows was just designated "Gold Medal Waters," and is now recognized as some of the best and most productive trout habitat in the state. These waters provide great boating opportunities as well, from relaxing lake kayaking and canoeing to more extreme white water rafting. Several rafting companies headquarter out of Buena Vista and are happy to book you for rafting adventures.
ATV trails are plentiful and Lake County has a local ordinance allowing the use of ATVs/UTVs on all county roads (Paved or dirt).
Several ski resorts are located within an hour and a half; Monarch Mountain, Ski Cooper (Family Friendly - just about 20 minutes NW of Leadville), Copper Mountain, Beaver Creek, Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge.
Taylor Park, west of Buena Vista, is one of the most beautiful locations in the world; simply cross Cottonwood Pass (in the summer) and enjoy the scenery.
Aspen is located 34 miles west on Highway 82 across Independence Pass and offers some of the premier aspen viewing in the state during the fall months as the trees transform into groves of golden fire. (Independence pass is generally closed in winter due to snowpack and travel restrictions).
4-Wheel Drive trails are abundant and the trip through Mosquito Pass is unrivalled; Weston Pass offers breathtaking scenery and a little less fear...travel both with caution!
Salida offers a wide variety of outdoor activities and even has a zip line course for the daring! There is also now a new public zip-line north of Leadville just before you climb the hill to the Climax mine.