Leadville, Colorado is an incredible mountain town that offers a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. But at these elevations, Leadville altitude sickness is big concern for most visitors. As a local company, we'll share everything you need to know in this must-read guide about Leadville altitude and how to avoid Leadville altitude sickness.
Leadville altitude sits at 10,158 feet above sea level. Known as the highest city in United States, Leadville is a big attraction in Colorado.
Leadville, Colorado is known for its historic mining town charm and outdoor recreational opportunities nearby. Whether camping Turquoise Lake, hiking Mount Elbert, biking the Mineral Belt Trail, or skiing Ski Cooper — Leadville has so many outdoor activities to offer. Leadville CO is only a short drive from other popular towns including Copper (25 miles), Frisco (30 miles), and Breckenridge (40 miles).
The Leadville area is at that heart of many closeby 14ers, which are mountains that exceed 14,000 feet — these peaks are all located in the Sawatch Range and offer challenging hikes and breathtaking views for experienced hikers. Leadville is also the host of the Leadville 100, which is a legendary 100 mile run that started in 1983.
Here's some of the high-altitude destinations around Leadville:
As the altitude of Leadville Colorado is the highest among the state, you better be well prepared for the altitude sickness that many vistors get.
Located at an altitude of 10,152 feet or 2.8 miles (4.5 km) above sea level, the city of Leadville is not only the highest in the US but the highest in all of North America.
The International Society for Mountain Medicine considers high altitude as elevations between 4,900 to 11,500 feet — with Leadville being at the high end of that range.¹⁰
The amount of time it takes to acclimate to the high elevations of Leadville CO varies from person to person, but it typically takes about 1-3 days for the body to start adjusting to the thinner air.
However, this can sometimes take longer, and to fully adjust and acclimate to Leadville's high altitudes it can take 1-3 weeks.
When planning on hiking, climbing, or even competing in the Leadville 100 — if you're not a local you should plan to stay there for a few days to week minimum to help slowly acclimate.
Yes, there's a very high chance you can get altitude sickness in Leadville CO.
It is estimated that 40% to 50% of people above 10,000 feet, such as Leadville, will experience altitude sickness.¹³
The higher you go, the less oxygen there is in the air, resulting in Leadville altitude sickness .
Your body has to adjust to the change in altitude and the air pressure — which is a combination of lower oxygen levels (hypoxia), oxidative stress, and even the dry climate of Leadville.
If you don't acclimatize properly, which is even more more common for people who live at sea level, you may experience symptoms of altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS).
Symptoms of Leadville altitude sickness may include:
Signs of Leadville altitude sickness can typically start within 6-24 hours. Take steps to avoid Leadville altitude sickness, which we'll cover below, and closely monitor how you feel when you first arrive.
Yes, for some people it can be harder to breathe in Colorado, especially in the higher altitude mountain towns like Leadville.
The air is thinner in Colorado, which for some can make it harder to breathe. The high altitudes cause your respiration to increase. You're taking more breaths per minute, which makes your body work harder.
Some athletes will train at higher altitudes to improve performance and fitness due to the physiological strain of lower oxygen levels.
There are many people who visit Leadville on a yearly basis because of its natural beauty and historic sites. However, these people often suffer from altitude sickness due to the very high altitude.
As a local-based Colorado company with high altitude experience, we'll share with your our top steps to avoid Leadville altitude sickness.
Here's Seven Steps To Avoid Leadville Altitude Sickness
In conclusion, follow these well researched seven steps to help avoid Leadville altitude sickness — which includes starting slow, acclimating gradually, hydrating properly, taking breaks, sleeping well, limiting alcohol, and taking antioxidants.
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1. Leadville Colorado Altitude
2. Altitude Of Leadville Colorado and Geography
3. Turquoise Lake altitude
4. Mount Elbert Elevation
5. Ski Cooper Elevation
6. Mount Sherman Elevation
7. Mount Massive Elevation
8. Quandary Peak Elevation
9. Mount Harvard Elevation
10. Effects of high altitude on humans
11. Leadville-Lake County Regional Airport (KLXV)
12. Don’t let altitude sickness ruin your trip to Colorado
13. Patient education: High-altitude illness (including mountain sickness)
14. Why Do You Need to Drink a Lot of Water at a High Altitude?
15. Sleep: The Secret Ingredient of Injury Recovery
16. Effects of Alcohol
17. High altitude and oxidative stress
18. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione