Continental Divide Trail Coalition Announcement May 14, 2020

LAKE CITY, Colo. (May 14, 2020) – Nestled in the San Juan Mountains at the headwaters of the Gunnison River, Lake City, Colorado, is a small community known for its mining heritage, its pristine beauty, and the plentiful opportunities it offers to enjoy the natural areas surrounding it. Beginning next week, Lake City will also be known for the role it plays as a gateway to an outdoor destination that brings visitors from around the world to southern Colorado each summer – the Continental Divide Trail.

On Thursday, May 21, at 7 PM MT, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) will welcome Lake City as the newest official Gateway Community to the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail during a virtual designation ceremony streamed live on Facebook. CDT Gateway Communities are trailside towns recognized by CDTC as welcoming destinations for trail visitors, dedicated to protection and promotion of the trail. Lake City will be the seventh CDT Gateway Community in Colorado.

“Although we’re not able to sign the proclamation in person, we’re incredibly excited to officially designate Lake City as a CDT Gateway Community.” said Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of CDTC. “As a town that is so clearly dedicated to enjoying both the recreational and economic benefits of the public lands that surround it, Lake City will fit naturally into the greater network of CDT Gateway Communities who value the trail and are interested in contributing to its stewardship.

While the dedication was originally scheduled to take place during the annual San Juan Solstice ultramarathon in June, the race was canceled due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19. The virtual format, however, will allow Lake City lovers and CDT enthusiasts from all over to take part in the celebration.

“There’s a tremendous amount of love for Lake City, our trail, and our trail-champions, so we are really very excited about this!” said Hinsdale County Commissioner and Lake City resident, Kristine Borchers. “Hinsdale County is a community and landscape bound by pathways: the Silver Thread Scenic Byway, the Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway, and some of the best-groomed snowmobile routes in Colorado. The Continental Divide Trail traverses our county in 71.7 miles over three segments. The designation of Lake City as a Gateway Community is an inspiring step for us in the stewardship and celebration of our trails.”

Along with celebrating Lake City’s dedication to outdoor recreation and stewardship, the designation will bring a taste of the town’s laid-back mountain culture to living rooms across the country with musical performances from local musicians, Wylie “Crazy Horse” Jones and Kris Bloomer.

“I’m honored to be playing the celebration,” said Wylie “Crazy Horse” Jones. “I’m a long-distance hiker that’s thankful to have spent a lot of time in Lake City and on the Divide. It’s my favorite place to hang out, play music, and stop on trail, in no small part to one of my best friends, Lucky, who built and runs Raven’s Rest Hostel.”

Lake City has long been known for its diverse outdoor opportunities, from fishing and horseback riding to mountain biking and, most famously, motorized and off-highway vehicle recreation, but it’s only recently become a popular destination for Continental Divide and Colorado Trail hikers. Thanks to an organized network of “Trail Angels,” thru-hikers can catch a free ride 17 miles into town, and most opt to stay at the Raven’s Rest Hostel, which was founded in 2012 by former thru-hiker, Cionnaith “Lucky” O’Dubhaigh. Thanks to O’Dubhaigh’s efforts to dispel skepticism toward long-distance hikers, Lake City residents now value the economic power these visitors bring to their town, and local businesses work during the busy summer hiking season to provide needed goods and services to hikers.

The virtual designation ceremony is free to the public and will be streamed Thursday, May 21, at 7 PM MT via Facebook Live at The Facebook Live video can be viewed by anyone, regardless of whether they have a Facebook account, and will be available for replay at the same link.

Press release from

Lake City DIRT Receives 2020 National Main Street Accreditation


Lake City, Colorado (March 1, 2020) – Lake City DIRT has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs to recognize their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™

“These programs deserve recognition for becoming accredited and generating impressive economic returns, preserving community character, and celebrating local history. Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of changemakers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in the places they call home is inspiring,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center.

Lake City DIRT’s performance is annually evaluated by the Colorado Main Street program under the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

Since Lake City DIRT’s acceptance into the program in 2005, we have met or exceeded the standards for accreditation every year, thanks to hard work of our Board of Directors, project volunteers, and through the support of our local governments.  Thank you, community.


Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $78.98 billion in new public and private investment, generated 640,017 net new jobs and 143,613 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 284,936 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

(Permission to post by DIRT 3-3-20)

Lake City Fall 2019 Activities


Fall Colors and 14ers
In September, this remote part of the San Juans begins to flaunt its incomparable beauty when gold, red, orange, and yellow “brilliance” lights up the scenery.What better way to experience the beauty of fall in the San Juans than challenging yourself to a 14er? Lake City is blessed with five: Uncomphagre, Redcloud, Sunshine, Wetterhorn, and Handies.
OHV Rally & Festival
This Labor Day Weekend event is designed to make access to Lake City’s incredible backcountry easier for off-road enthusiasts. With a permit for Hwy 149, there’s no need to trailer to most trailheads, even from your vacation rental or hotel room. Along with a gorgeous ride, enjoy live music, a community dinner, and an OHV raffle.
Annual Uncorked Wine & Music Festival
Join Lake City for the Annual Uncorked Wine & Music Festival where good friends, good music, and good wine under the fall leaves of Historic Downtown Lake City await. Seven bands, more than 80 wines for tasting, beer from San Luis Valley Brewing Company, and unique food and artisan treasures make this a very special day.
Oktoberfest and Fall Festival
Join in Lake City’s party of the year. Beer taps and festival games begin at 10 am. Enjoy live music, vendors, and fun all day long.
Before you venture into Lake City’s famous backcountry, we encourage you to check the Hinsdale County Website for backcountry road conditions.

Press Release: Support Gateway Communites Application

LAKE CITY, COLO., (February 8, 2019) – Gateway Communities are found along the Continental Divide Trail and recognize the unique economic and cultural values this trail brings. There is no cost for the designation. The program focuses on supporting these Gateway Communities in stewardship and promotion of the trail and building a strong trail community. The Town of Lake City voted to provide a letter of support for this application driven by citizens and local businesses.

Please lend your support of our Gateway Community application by sending us an email (our internal deadline is February 12th so we can submit our application by mid-February). And let us know if you’d like to be involved in these efforts as we move forward with a work group.

Lake City DIRT is a leader in the Colorado Main Street program, in partnership with our local governments, other nonprofit organizations, small business owners, donors, and volunteers. More information can be viewed at

Press Release: Lake City Uncorked Wine & Music Festival Lineup 2019

2019 Music Lineup Released for the Lake City Uncorked Wine & Music Festival

LAKE CITY, CO (February 1, 2019): The Lake City DIRT Board of Directors is pleased to release the 2019 Music Lineup for the September 21st Lake City Uncorked Wine & Music Festival in downtown Lake City. More info

Lake City’s own Jeff Heaton is a classically trained singer and a self-taught guitar player. He has an eclectic sound with the styles of James Taylor, John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot, and Merle Haggard. Jeff often says that he likes good music regardless of the genre and/or the artist. In the last few years, Jeff has opened for Michael Martin Murphey, Asleep at the Wheel, The Bellamy Brothers, Johnny Lee, Suzy Bogguss, Johnny Rodriguez, Exile, Restless Heart, Hal Ketchum and Marty Haggard. Jeff’s repertoire is a collection of songs that tell a story and will pull at your heartstrings. After all, the words are half of the song. Jeff has recorded 2 CDs, one titled ‘Just Chillin’, which is a cover collection of Jeff’s favorite songs and some of his own. The second CD is titled ‘Warm Wishes, A Chillin’ Christmas’, which includes Jeff’s favorite Christmas songs as well as some gospel songs.

Shavano Blues Trio plays a wide range of blues, rhythm and blues, and jazzy blues from the ‘40s to the present day. Powerful, sultry vocals in combination with rhythmic stand-up bass and classic blues keys make this trio a blues lover’s dream. Shavano Blues Trio will rock your soul with its unique renderings of songs by the likes of Ray Charles and Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Fanklin, Koko Taylor, and Etta James, as well as original songs like Close My Windows and Run Me Ragged. Shavano Blues Trio has played a variety of clubs and festivals in the mountains and on the Front Range including the Greeley Blues Jam; The Boathouse, Benson’s, Vino Salida, Soul Craft Brewery, Thursdays at 6, Brewers Rendezvous, and FibArk in Salida; El Chapultepec, Denver; The Boulder Outlook; Western State Music Series, High Alpine Brewery, and Sundays at 6 in Gunnison; The Crested Butte Arts Festival; as well as private parties, weddings and corporate functions.

Welcome back to Lake City, Lisa Morales started penning tunes to express her emotions addressing the complex landscape of relationships. Her perspective now is that of a woman who’s gone through many storms and witnessed their sometimes-beautiful aftermaths as well. With Luna Negra and the Daughter of the Sun, Morales sought to reach even more deeply into her soul. Drawing from a creative palette informed by the rhythms, colors and flavors of the Southwest — from the painted-desert skies of her native Tucson, Arizona, where she and cousin Linda Ronstadt grew up, to the sea-salted air of Houston, where she moved at 18, and the history-filled city of San Antonio, where she now lives. Lisa Morales confirms that she is a woman in touch with her emotions and inner power. Morales recorded six albums as one-half of the duo Sisters Morales before releasing her solo debut, Beautiful Mistake, in 2012. Lisa has also worn a producer’s hat with highly acclaimed production on Hayes Carlls’ “Flowers & Liquor; co-wrote “Waiting For the Stars to Fall” with Hayes Carll on his CD “Trouble In Mind”. She is a favorite on the Uncorked stage.

Honeyhouse is a unique acoustic trio combining the talents of three very diverse and seasoned artists into one unexpected powerhouse force. Consisting of award-winning R&B/Gospel soulstress Hillary Smith, earthy Blues/Folk singer-songwriter Yvonne Perea, and sweet voiced Mandy Buchanan, “hONEyhoUSe” seamlessly melds the lines of musical genres with their original creations embracing blues, soul, folk and Americana into one sweet Honeyhouse of music. Three very different voices with one path…hONEyhoUSe. With a deep soulfulness rooted in the Gospel-driven churches of her youth, Hillary Smith is a classically trained vocal instrument that’s a natural wonder and a God-given instinct for swinging a lyric. She’s a belter, but her voice also possesses great warmth and expressiveness, and she is able to get under the skin of those in her audience. With a seamless merging of folk, blues, and rock, Yvonne Perea’s music captures her audience through her memorable melodies, relevant lyrics, and soulful earthy vocals. After hearing Yvonne or watching her perform live, you come away with the feeling that you’ve really seen a glimpse of Yvonne’s soul.

Red River songbird, Mandy Buchanan always delivers a moving, powerful performance whether she is singing with a lone guitar player or a full band, lead vocals or harmonies. Surrounded by a family of musicians, Mandy began singing in church at an early age. From country to blues, jazz to rock and roll, her sweet voice will take you by surprise when you least expect it.

“Some people are impressionists. These guys leave an impression”. Says Bill Miller, owner of Johnny about Cash’d Out (Douglas Benson vocals, George Bernardo drums, John Heussenstamm guitar, Nate Lefranchi bass), a Lake City favorite band that channels Johnny Cash in about as close a manner to the real thing as it gets. After 13 years, traveling hundreds of thousands of miles on the road and winning over as many fans, fans who still continually tell the group how grateful they are that Cash’d Out so righteously carries the torch of the Johnny Cash Show. Besides music critics anointing Cash’d Out as “the next best thing to Johnny Cash”, their highlights have been many: W.S. Holland, Johnny Cash’s longtime drummer, has sat in with Cash’d Out; front man, Douglas Benson, has played Johnny’s cherry sunburst Guild guitar (courtesy of Mr. Miller); “Cindy Cash came to a show and was moved to give me a glass locket that was her father’s,” explains Benson; Longtime Johnny Cash manager Lou Robin has also been to several Cash’d Out shows and claimed that if he closed his eyes it was as if “going back in time.”; And most recently, an unforgettable evening performing the music of Johnny Cash with the San Diego Symphony as a special event for their Summer Pops Series. The band’s live shows respectfully reference the late, great Man in Black’s Sun Records and early Columbia era sound, combined with the energy of the classic multi-platinum live recordings from Folsom Prison and San Quentin. The group’s genuine love (and authentic recreation) of Johnny Cash’s music and its universal appeal fans of all ages and of virtually all musical genres makes each Cash’d Out show a must-see event.

Mo’Champipple & the Meso Horns
Music provided between acts by Bruce Hayes who plays a fusion of the musical styles that combine acoustic and electric instruments with elements of rock, bluegrass, celtic, and R&B. Collaborating with The String Cheese Incident and Acoustic Junction, Hayes helped define the acoustic jam band sound. He continues this tradition performing original songs and arrangements on mandolin, guitar, dobro, foot board, and more.

More information and links to bands can be found at

Main Street America Community Spotlight: Lake City, Colorado

January 16, 2019 | Community Spotlight: Ice Climbing on Main Street

Photo credit: Benjamin Hake

Nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains is the tiny town of Lake City, Colorado. With more than 50 miles to the nearest town, this small Main Street community is implementing innovative strategies to keep their 400 year-round residents busy and to draw tourists to the area. The Lake City Ice Wall endeavor started a dozen years ago with a few hardy volunteers farming the ice. Free and open to the public, it is located by permission on public land and is adjacent to city limits and the Main Street boundary.

The ice wall boasts 10-15 routes, 60-100 foot pitches, bolster anchors, and mixed grades. There is a warming hut and you can typically find a crackling wood fire to warm up. Outdoor activities abound in the winter in Hinsdale County, which is the most remote in the Lower 48 states and one of the few places you can wander for more than 10 miles from a road or trail.

With 97% of public land used for year-round recreation, there’s plenty of activities to do: 100 miles of groomed snowmobile and cross country skiing trails, a ski hill and terrain park with a Poma lift, a back-country haute route, ice fishing, and pond hockey tournaments. A new brewery, unique retail shops, and restaurants can be found in Historic Downtown Lake City, located just a block away from the Ice Wall.

Lake City DIRT runs the Main Street program and is one of three graduate communities in the state. For more information, visit


The National Main Street Center, Inc.
53 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 350
Chicago, IL 60604

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

© 2018 The National Main Street Center. All Rights Reserved.

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