Lake City is a small mountain town, settled in 1874 by Enos Hotchkiss, in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The town was shaped by nineteenth-century silver and gold mining and twentieth century tourism.
Its remote location and mountain elevation also influenced Lake City’s growth and design of its historic architecture. The town is located 55 miles southwest of Gunnison and 55 miles northwest of Creede, at an altitude of 8,671 feet on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway. Lake City is also located on the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, which is a primarily four-wheel drive backcountry tour of historic sites emphasizing the silver mining boom of the 1870 to 1890s. This byway connects Lake City to Silverton and Ouray, also historic mining towns.
The Lake City Historic District consists of a portion of 1875 town plat and several circa 1880 residential additions. It was designated as a National Register Historic District in 1978 for the town’s role in the development of the American West. Lake City offers genuine heritage tourism opportunities including walking interpretive tour of historic sites, museum, ghost and cemetery tours, mine tours and more.
Lake City DIRT is currently working collaboratively with the Hinsdale County Historic Society and Museum to assemble information pertaining to the history of the area, historic property maintenance and funding opportunities to help preserve historic locations. If there is something you are looking for that is not available here please call our office to inquire about obtaining what you are needing, 970-944-3478 or email us.