One of the earliest settlements in western Colorado, Lake City served as a railroad shipping center for the gold and silver mines of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. Since then, agriculture and ranching have taken the forefront, and the town's population has fallen to a tenth of what it was.
Lake City remains a showplace for Victorian architecture; most of the town's old buildings, dating from the 1870s to 1900, have been restored and preserved as a National Historic District (one of the largest in the state); walking tour maps are available. Five nearby mountains provide plenty of mountain climbing, biking, fishing and horseback riding opportunities. Lake San Cristobal is nearby.