Turquoise Lake in Leadville, CO

Turquoise Lake
Turquoise Lake

I like fun facts. Do you? Here’s a couple:

  1. Leadville is the highest incorporated town in the United States at 10,152 feet.
  2. I thought Turquoise Lake got it’s name from the blue sparkling water, but it was actually named after the mineral, turquoise, which was found nearby in Leadville’s mining days. Cool, right?

I hope really hope one of these is a question on trivia night.

Baby Doe Campsite

Baby Doe Campground
Baby Doe Campground Photo: Recreation.gov

This was our second time camping at Turquoise Lake and our first camping trip of this summer. For both trips, we camped at the Baby Doe Campground. It’s nestled away from the shoreline in the thick pine trees. The campground is made up of two loops like a figure eight. For the first time, we let our older son ride his bike around one of the loops with the “big” kids. Naturally this was his favorite campsite and favorite trip of the summer.

On every camping trip, we like to scope out the best sites for future trips. Our first time here, we camped at site 14, and our second time we were in site 43. From my perspective, site 14 is the best spot. It’s a large area and nestled back into the tress for additional privacy. You are also a little closer the water and can see the lake from your site. Site 43 was just fine, but we weren’t as thrilled with it.

Turquoise Lake
Sparkly water

The adults love this spot too. I kept taking pictures of the water and remarking how the picture does not do it justice, and I think it is a pretty good picture. Looking at the sparkling water, you can’t help but feel happy here. Unless you are an 18 month old. Then you cry. About EVERYTHING. If anyone is reading this and went camping when we were there, I am truly sorry. Our youngest son is having a crying phase. We aren’t exactly sure when it started or when it will stop, but if he isn’t on my hip, he cries. Sometimes, I have to do things like go to the bathroom, eat, get dressed, LIVE. If I do any of these things, he cries. At one point my husband was making dinner and asked if I could cut up apples for the kids. Sure if you don’t mind the wailing while I am cutting up the apple, or can it wait?

Amenities

Anywho, back to the Baby Doe campground. Here are the amenities:

  • Firewood for sale on site
  • Walk-up sites available
  • Drinking water
  • Vault toilets
  • Self pay station
  • Tables
  • Campfire rings

Turquoise Lake Nature Trail

The one time Wyatt wasn’t crying AND I wasn’t holding him was when he was in the hiking backpack. We did this short hike on the Turquoise Lake Nature Trail which is a 1.2 mile out and back trail along the shoreline. This is an easy, kid-friendly route through the lodgepole pines with views of the lake the whole way. If you are looking for a longer more challenging route, this trail connects to the Turquoise Lake Trail for an additional 6.4 miles. Family hike, check!

Turquoise Lake

Lodgepole pines
Lodgepole pines at Turquoise Lake

The dense trees by the campsite guards against the wind. We were blissfully unaware how much cooler and windier it was when we got to the lake. I’m not sure if it’s always that windy or if it was just a windy weekend. I did see some people braving the choppy water on paddle boards, kayaks and canoes, but we stuck to hiking for this trip. There is a boat ramp available and you can even water ski here. I’d recommend wearing a wet suit. We were perfectly happy just taking in the view. In different weather, the water activities would have been a great addition.

Despite all the crying, we are still happy we went. Are we crazy? Maybe. The thing is, our son would have been crying at home anyways. I get it though. It’s not for everyone. It is challenging and not always the most fun. Our oldest son has energy to burn so we can’t just sit around waiting for the crying phase to pass. We also enjoy the time together away from the usual distractions of life. I really hope we will look back at this phase and remember the happy moments and the memories we made.

1 thought on “Turquoise Lake in Leadville, CO

  1. I love your perspective. In the end all that matters is the family memories. The crying might be remembered, however, I’m sure more fondly.
    You’re awesome and I truly enjoyed your share.

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