Sugar Loafin’ is a rustic little campground nestled in a meadow high in the mountains of Leadville. Interestingly, Caleb’s family stayed there on a family vacation 25 years ago. The log cabin style facilities definitely look at least that old, but what this campground lacks in amenities it makes up for in the breathtaking mountain views.
– Proximity. Sugar Loafin’ is three-and-a-half miles from downtown Leadville and one mile from Turqoise Lake, which boasts a 14 mile trail and sandy beaches. It’s also just a few miles from the two tallest mountains in Colorado, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive. Plus, the route for the Leadville 100 goes right past the campground, which is a major bonus for those cheering on the runners.
– Feels remote. This campground feels more remote than it really is. You can walk out to the meadow, spin around, and see nothing but mountains. No corner stores, no highways. At night the stars are amazing.
– Pioneer playground. So this playground was a hit with my kids. It looks like it was built 50 years ago, mostly out of logs. There is a fort, log cabin and tree house, as well as a jungle gym and swing set.
– Campfire! This is one of the only RV parks we’ve stayed at that had a fire ring at every site and actually encouraged campfires. We love fire, so obviously we took advantage of the opportunity to light up.
– Dry and cool. If you like to wake up to freezing temperatures in August, this is the place for you. While we were there temperatures reached the mid 70’s during the heat of the day. The climate is very dry and it’s sunny 340 days a year.
– Altitude. Leadville is one of the highest towns in Colorado, at over 10,000 feet above sea level. If you are not drinking copious amounts of water, you may succumb to altitude sickness as I did. My best advice is to chug water like a maniac because, let’s face it, Leadville is basically the desert.
– Not walkable. Because Sugar Loafin’ is so remote-feeling, there isn’t really much within walking distance.
– Older campground. So part of the charm of Sugar Loafin’ is the fact that it’s old, but some might see this as a con. For instance, the bathrooms are quite dated (but clean), the sites are not concrete and can be uneven, and there are no screw caps for the sewer connection, so you have to rig it with rocks (which is how we picked up a bug-hitch-hiker… Yuck!)
For the mountain beauty and the price, Sugar Loafin’ is a great campground. It might take some convincing to bring me back, only because the chilly weather and high altitude are not my cup of tea.