SPOTLIGHT
LAKE CITY

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Lake City
Note: Parts of the following are
reproduced with permission by
Lake City Chamber of Commerce.

   
 



   Seven hundred years ago, the massive, three mile long Slumgullion Earthflow formed Lake San Cristobal by blocking the waters of the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. Lake San Cristobal lies three miles south of Lake City on the Alpine Loop and is the second largest natural lake in Colorado.

   "Getting away from it all" is what Lake City (MapQuest) is all about. The area was controlled by the Ute Indians until silver and lead were discovered. Mines were first established around 1871, and the town of Lake City was founded in 1874.

   During the mining period, very scenic, rugged roads were made to connect the mining towns. Lake City serves as the launching point for both the Alpine Loop and Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byways. In addition to their state byway designations, the Alpine Loop is also a Bureau of Land Management National Backcountry Byway while the Silver Thread is a US Forest Service National Scenic Byway. Lake City truly lies amidst splendor that is unparalleled nationwide.

   The Silver Thread weaves 75 miles over the Continental Divide linking Lake City with the communities of Creede and South Fork. Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forest land in addition to BLM public land add up to breathtaking vistas at every turn. Once a toll road and stage route for the miners, Colorado Highway 149 is fully paved and open year-round. Views of the Rio Grande and Lake Fork of the Gunnison Rivers add to the Silver Thread’s beauty.

   The Alpine Loop’s sixty-five miles of dirt and gravel roads beckon the backcountry traveler. Brimming with stories of bygone days, the Alpine Loop connects the once-mining towns of Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton. Depending on snowfall, the Loop opens in late May or early June and closes in mid to late October. While much of the Byway is suitable for 2-wheel drive cars, traversing Engineer and Cinnamon passes requires a high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle.

   Four of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks are located in the vicinity of Lake City:
         Uncompahgre 14,309’
         Handies 14,048’
         Redcloud 14,034’
         Wetterhorn 14,015’
         Sunshine 14,001’

   Nearby parks include:
     Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
     Curecanti National Recreation Area
     Colorado National Monument
     Great Sand Dunes National Monument
     Mesa Verde National Park
     Hovenweep National Monument
     Yucca House National Monument
   Here is a link to the rest of Colorado's Parks.

   The year round Calendar of Events includes the
Lake City Wine and Music Festival. Here is a list of other Colorado Festivals, and Wineries.

   Lake City has bed and breakfasts, resorts, dude ranches, motels and cabins, RV parks and camping, vacation homes, crafts, shopping, fishing and hunting, snowmobiling, builders, architects, real estate, and auto repairs.

   To sign up for notification of when a new Colorado Spotlight is available, email LoneCat.

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