Camp Hale

Memorial in Leadville

About 16 miles north of Leadville on Hwy 24, just over Tennessee Pass, lies the former US Army facility Camp Hale. Established in 1942, it was created specifically for the purpose of training the 10th Mountain Division, the Army’s only battalion on skis. At its height during WWII, there were over 1000 buildings and some 14,000 soldiers housed in the meadow here.

After the war Camp Hale was decommissioned, only to be brought back to life again in 1958, this time by the CIA. Over the next six years, CIA agents trained Tibetan freedom fighters in guerrilla warfare, with the goal of driving the communist Chinese out of Tibet. In 1965 Camp Hale was officially dismantled, and the land returned to the US Forest Service. There's little to actually see here aside from some dilapidated buildings (and you'll need to know where to look for those), but it is a popular spot for mountain biking, hiking and cross-country skiing.