MEMORABLE FAMILY VACATION
FOOD LOVERS GUIDE
EXPERIENCE THE TRAIN
WEEKEND CAMPING GUIDE
MAP OF ALAMOSA
GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
OUTSKIRTS OF THE GREAT SAND DUNES
EVOLUTION OF CRAFT BREWING
THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP GUIDE
COLORADO WELCOME CENTER 610 STATE AVE. ALAMOSA, CO 81101 Located in the historic railroad depot on the corner of State Ave. and 6th St. 1-800-BLU-SKYS (800-258-7597)
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ith its craggy peaks and remote canyons, the San Luis Valley attracts plenty of hardcore explorers, but it’s also a fantastic destination for families. From the Great Sand Dunes to Penitente Canyon, you’ll find fun activities suited for everyone in the family, from children to grandparents. Kids will have a blast zooming down sand dunes and splashing in thermal pools, and everyone in the family can enjoy easily accessible campsites with nearby mellow trails that wind through striking scenery. Plus, the valley holds unique and unexpected thrills, like train rides through the rugged mountains and close encounters with alligators. To help you plan a trip that will create lifelong memories for everyone in your family, we’ve picked out some of the best activities and must-see destinations in the San Luis Valley. SANDBOARD ON THE DUNES With mountains of sand and 30 square miles of desert surrounded by jagged peaks, Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is a destination that your family will never forget. While the scenery makes for awesome family photos, it’s also a place where everyone can join in some exciting fun together. Join the kids in hiking to the top of “High Dune,” which towers nearly 700 feet above the visitor center and slide back down on a special sandboard. It’s just what it sounds like: the board looks like a snowboard, but it’s meant
Written by Emma Walker for Matcha in partnership with Alamosa CVB.
to slide on the rough sand. Rent boards at Kristi Mountain Sports in nearby Alamosa, and then head to the park. SOAK IN THE SPRINGS Just outside of Alamosa there are four privately operated hot springs, two of which are excellent for families with kids who can’t wait to splash around. Since 1955, Splashland has been operating in Alamosa, and it includes three familyfriendly water slides, plus designated family swim nights. The water enters the pools at 102 degrees Fahrenheit and varies from 88 degrees to a balmy 96 degrees. Another great option is Sand Dunes Recreation, where the swimming pool is open year round and there are family swim nights. Plus, the pool has an area for people 21 and older where you can relax with an adult beverage. In addition to the pool, the recreation complex includes Fruition Golf, which sports three state-of-the-art golf simulator bays, a putting green, and a selection of beer and wine. All of that fun is going to make you hungry, so head to the on-site Mile Deep Grille for Mexican food, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and seafood. CAMP AT PENITENTE CANYON Penitente Canyon is best known for rock climbing and mountain biking, but it also offers easily-accessible camping
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How to Have a MEMORABLE FAMILY VACATION in the San Luis Valley
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MEET THE GATORS Humans aren’t the only ones who thrive in the temperate waters of the San Luis Valley. In 1977, a tilapia farm opened in Mosca, and the proprietors, the Young family, invested in a few alligators to get rid of the fish remains naturally. Eventually, the farm became an educational center, and today, visitors can head to the Colorado Gators Reptile Park to see these giant reptiles in the flesh. The farm has since become a sanctuary for many unwanted reptilian pets and also includes a bird sanctuary. It’s home to several rare albino gators, plus the famous gator from the Adam Sandler film “Happy Gilmore.”
Memorable Family Vacation
For a moderate hike, try the three-mile Blue Sky Loop with excellent views of the canyon and surrounding mountains and gorgeous wildflowers surround the path in spring. If you have any history buffs in your family, head to the end of North Witches Canyon Road (also Road 5207) and take the Penitente Canyon Loop Trail to a spot where wagon wheels wore tracks into the bedrock of the Old Spanish Trail. In the 1830s and 1840s, American and Mexican traders used this route to transport goods via mule train.
RIDE THE RAILS There are a few undeniable truths in the world, and one is that kids love trains. That’s why the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad makes an unforgettable excursion for the whole family. Parents (especially those interested in history) will love seeing the San Luis Valley as some of its earliest settlers did, while kids will delight in rumbling down the tracks with the rugged landscape sliding by. Some of the train cars have been restored to resemble their early days, inspiring passengers to imagine that they’ve traveled back in time to the Old West.
and a handful of great hikes of varying difficulty and length. Camping at Penitente is first-come, firstserved, and it’s only $11 per night for a site that accommodates up to two cars and six people.
You can catch the train at the depot in downtown Alamosa. From there, you’ll head into the high mountains and La Veta Pass, which exceeds 9,000 feet of elevation. During the trip, your family will have access to restrooms and food no matter what class of service you purchase. As you make your travel plans, keep in mind that the train operates a number of seasonal tours, including leaf-peeping and pumpkin patch rides, plus the Christmas Town train during the winter months.
For many people, the fondest memories of childhood come from family trips, whether it was a summer visit to a national park or just a weekend excursion to a favorite swimming hole. If you want to build lasting memories, you can’t go wrong with a vacation full of outdoor adventure. In the San Luis Valley, the breathtaking scenery and easygoing entertainment are sure to create special moments for the entire family.
PICNIC AT ZAPATA FALLS Waterfall hikes often require an arduous uphill journey, which is why the half-mile hike to Zapata Falls will come as a refreshing treat. Zapata Falls is accessible from Highway 150, so it’s a great spot to spend a few hours picnicking before or after an adventure at the Great Sand Dunes. From the Zapata Falls Trailhead, you’ll follow a well-maintained path to reach the cascade, which is starkly different from the rest of the arid landscape you’ll find in the San Luis Valley. Kids can scramble around near the base of the 30-foot waterfall, and there’s plenty of room for the whole family to hang out.
A Food-Lover’s Guide to Alamosa W
hile Alamosa is bordered by wild and rough terrain, including high passes, craggy peaks, and the famous Great Sand Dunes, the San Luis Valley is known for its rich agricultural history. Established in 1878 as a stop on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, Alamosa became a major hub for commerce, and in the last century farming and ranching have flourished in the San Luis Valley. Towns in Alamosa County export barley, wheat, and potatoes, among other crops, and there’s plenty of room for sheep and cattle ranching. Thanks to this agricultural background, Alamosa has plenty to offer food lovers, from farm-to-table eateries to breweries to markets where you can pick up fresh produce. To help you plan a foodie tour of this corner of southern Colorado, we’ve highlighted some of the best ways to dig in.
FARM-TO-TABLE EATS You know the old saying: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s especially true for foodies, and fortunately, Alamosa provides on the breakfast front. Start your culinary tour of Alamosa at The Roast, where you’ll find ethically sourced, locally roasted coffee beans. You can drink your java in-house or take home one of their signature blends. (The dark roast Wolf Creek Blend is especially flavorful.) There’s a hearty breakfast menu, too. Don’t miss the biscuits and gravy—The Roast uses local sausage from Gosar Sausage—or the Southwest Chorizo Scramble. The
Written by Emma Walker for Matcha in partnership with Alamosa CVB.
shop also invites you to smother any item in green chile, and you won’t regret taking them up on the offer. When most people hear the term “fast casual” they think of giant chain restaurants, but Alamosa does things a little differently. One of its most beloved spots, Locavores, falls in the fast casual realm, but it’s definitely one of a kind. Whether you come for the Colorado Cubano or the Smashed Banh Mi, you’ll be sticking around (and visiting again) for Locavores’ famous sauces, all of which are made in-house. Locavores prides itself on its ability to get food from farms to forks in 24 hours—that’s because its suppliers are scattered around the San Luis Valley and southern Colorado, not around the country or the world. They source meats from Gosar Natural Foods in Monte Vista and Scanga Meat Company in Salida, and their potatoes come from Rockey Farms in Center and Seger West Farms in Del Norte. And, of course, there’s the green chili peppers—this close to New Mexico, it’s a must-have. Locavores’ green chilis come from Milberger Farms in nearby Pueblo. THE CRAFT BEER SCENE Famers in the San Luis Valley produce so much barley—malt barley, specifically—that they’re major suppliers for Coors Brewing Company, based in Golden. But the area is not just associated with big-name macrobrews, as craft breweries are becoming more prominent.
Over more than a decade, the San Luis Valley Brewing Company, based in Alamosa, has perfected its microbrews, and you’ll find it’s creations in liquor stores and bars all over the area. The brewery, which makes concoctions like the Alamosa Amber and the Valle Especiale, also serves excellent food from local farms, ranches, and producers like Gosar Sausage, many of which are paired with their brews. Don’t miss the Green Chili Guacamole Burger.
The produce is the main draw at the farmers’ market, but there’s also live music, kids’ activities, and adult educational demos on things like beekeeping, seed saving, and solar ovens. For more than 100 years, farming has been an important aspect of life in the San Luis Valley, creating a community that values foods made with fresh, locally sourced grains, vegetables, and meats. While many small towns in America are food deserts, offering few or no healthy options, Alamosa offers a bounty of good things to eat. From green chili burgers to tasty craft beer to baskets of fresh potatoes and veggies, this corner of Colorado will please the palate of travelers who truly love good food. Visit Alamosa.org to check out all of the food and dining options in the area.
Food Lover’s Guide to Alamosa
The Colorado Farm Brewery operates on the same property where the owners’ great-grandfather. Ray Coody (Cody), once homesteaded. Using ingredients grown on the Cody family farm, the brewery produces a wide variety of lagers, ales and porters. The brewery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and visitors can book a private tasting and tour of the farm, malthouse, and brewery.
Blending their passions for agriculture and beer, Mark Martinez and Derek Heersink, co-owners of Square Peg Brewerks in Alamosa, have fully embraced the “farm to tap” movement. Using barley and other ingredients from their own Colorado farm, they create a wide variety of lagers, ales, and porters. While Square Peg is known for its excellent craft beers, its friendly, easy-going atmosphere has made it a popular hangout. PICK YOUR OWN PRODUCE In the market for some locally grown veggies? Potatoes have been cultivated in the San Luis Valley since the 1880s, and that’s still where the vast majority (something like 90%) of Colorado’s potatoes come from. The warm days and cool nights characteristic of the valley’s summers make for a potato-perfect climate, which is why you’ll find more than 70 varieties growing in the San Luis Valley. While the valley is known for potatoes, it’s also recognized as a great place to grow lettuce, carrots, and mushrooms. You can find all of these foods each summer at the Alamosa Farmers’ Market, which has grown to the point that it has two locations. From mid-July through the middle of October, it’s held in downtown Alamosa from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. On Wednesdays in August and September you’ll also find vendors set up at the Rio Grande Farm Park.
Why You Should
the San Luis Valley By Train
isit southern Colorado, and you’ll find a landscape that looks much as it did centuries ago, with craggy, towering peaks, windswept plains, and, of course, the iconic sand dunes. There are a few hardy communities in this awe-inspiring landscape, but venture outside of those, and you’ll hardly see another soul. As you explore the wild terrain, you might get the sense you’ve stepped back in time. And, you just might think you’ve leaped to the Old West days if you board the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad train, which allows passengers to experience the rugged San Luis Valley much the same way people did in the late 1800s. Departing from Alamosa, the train offers full-day excursions, winding through the mountains and ending at La Veta, where passengers can enjoy art galleries and a variety of restaurants. For another option, you can board the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in Antonito and ride it to Chama, N.M., climbing higher than 10,000 feet as the train rumbles through southern Colorado. No matter which train you take, you’ll find that it’s an exciting way to soak in the beauty of the San Luis Valley and the surrounding mountains.
RAILROAD HISTORY Like much of the western United States, the San Luis Valley was made infinitely more accessible to the rest of the country when railroad tracks connected it to important industrial centers around North America. In fact, it’s directly responsible for the existence of the Alamosa we know today—the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad
Written by Emma Walker for RootsRated Media in partnership with Alamosa CVB.
shipped buildings to the town site, and, over the course of a single day in May 1878, Alamosa took shape. In the years since its establishment, Alamosa and the railroad have continued to be inextricably connected. By 1890, just over a decade after Alamosa was incorporated, it had become the most important hub for North American narrow gauge railroading. Freight trains came and went daily, bound for the nearby towns of Creede, Salida, and Durango, plus big-name destinations like Denver and Santa Fe. Cars came in with loads of sheep, cattle, farming necessities, and lumber, and then departed laden with the fruits of the San Luis Valley’s labors: mining and agricultural products. For 60 years, passengers and freight alike made the journey to the San Luis Valley. Then, beginning in 1950, the tracks were used only to transport cargo around Colorado and the rest of the country. Passenger services were on hiatus until 2006, when the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad became a heritage railway and began offering scenic tours once again. Trains depart during the week from the depot in downtown Alamosa from May through early October. From there, you’ll pass—in air-conditioned comfort—through historic Fort Garland, built in the mid-19th century to keep San Luis Valley settlers safe. This section of the journey also affords views of Mount Blanca, which stands at 14,345 feet and is among the state’s most picturesque Fourteeners.
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If you take a full-day excursion during the week you’ll leave Alamosa or Fort Garland and proceed to La Veta, a teeny town Nestled in the shadow of the Spanish Peaks. La Veta is filled with one-of-a-kind restaurants and inspiring art galleries, and it has long been a gathering place for local artists.
Full-day excursions on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad during the week depart Alamosa at 9:30 a.m. and are gone until around 5:15 p.m. The weekend trains headed to Fir Summit depart Alamosa at 10:30 a.m. and return after live events end. (Whether you travel during the week or weekend, you can also catch trains one hour later in Fort Garland.) During your ride, you’ll be well fed. The railway offers various passenger classes throughout the season, depending on when and where your particular tour is headed. Fall is a particularly excellent time to go, as you’ll get to experience the unbelievably vibrant fall colors of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The railroad also offers a number of special events throughout the season, including concerts at Fir Summit.
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Experience the San Luis Valley By Train
If you ride the train during the weekend, you’ll leave Alamosa or Fort Garland and rumble on to Fir Summit, which sits at the top of La Veta Pass. Fir is more than just railroad stop, though: it’s also an outdoor concert venue accessible only via the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. During the 2018 Spring Fire this summer, the Fir Summit concert stage burned down, but the railroad plans to restore it. Fortunately, the rest of the venue was untouched, and concerts will go on as planned utilizing the brick dance floor as the stage.
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OTHER RAILROAD ADVENTURES If, after a ride on the Rio Grande, you still haven’t had your fill of railroad adventure in the San Luis Valley, you’re in luck: there’s more where that came from. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad operates coal-fired, steam-operated, narrowgauge locomotives that depart from Antonito, Colorado (which is just a 30-minute drive south of Alamosa), and Chama, New Mexico. Originally an extension of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, the Cumbres & Toltec rail line was completed in 1881 with the intention of offering additional support for mining operations in the San Juans, and it connected the San Luis Valley to Durango. The trail is named for Cumbres Pass, which at 10,015 feet is the highest railroad-accessible pass in the U.S., and the Toltec Gorge. Both the pass and the gorge sit along the railway’s route.
Eventually, as mining operations slowed, the need for a railway connecting the two towns receded, and for a time it looked as though the Cumbres & Toltec might be abandoned. Fortunately, in 1970, Colorado and New Mexico went in on a joint purchase to preserve the 64-mile section of the railroad’s original route between Antonito and Chama, New Mexico. Cumbres & Toltec offers half- and full-day trips, making it possible to experience all the rugged beauty southern Colorado has to offer. Lunch is included with ticket prices, and dinner is offered for the railway’s special events. Whether you’re looking for a way back in time or simply want to see the majestic landscape in all its present-day glory, your best bet is to hop aboard one or both of the San Luis Valley’s historic trains. In addition to the unique opportunity to take in the scenery without having to worry about actually steering your vehicle, you’ll be transported to places—and times—you can only experience from the passenger seat of a railway car.
CAPTIVATING STORY Alamosa’s History
s you rumble through the Colorado mountains aboard the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, it’s easy to imagine you’re a settler rolling into the west to start a new life. When you hop off the train in Alamosa, you still feel that deep sense of yesteryear as you stroll among Mission-style buildings and adobe structures. With its long, rich history and many cultural influences, Alamosa is an intriguing destination for travelers who love to get a taste of the past. Of course, Alamosa’s fascinating history extends beyond the days of the Old West.
EARLY INHABITANTS The first humans to depend on the rich natural resources of the San Luis Valley were indigenous tribes. The Clovis and Folsom peoples— two prehistoric Paleo-Indian cultures known for their stone tools—were hunters and gatherers in the region, close to 11,000 years ago. The next settlers were the Ute people, who are recognized as the longest-standing residents of the geographic region that is now Colorado. By 1400 A.D., other indigenous tribes inhabited the area, too: Apache and Navajo from the north, Tiwa and Tewa people from the south, and Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Arapaho from the eastern plains. By the 1500s, Spanish conquistadors began to explore the land, for which there was ongoing tension with local tribes such as the Comanche. Mexico was liberated from Spain in 1821, and the Mexican Republic offered land grants in the region in an effort to catalyze permanent settlement.
A web of railway arms were built to reach Antonito, Durango, Silverton, Monte Vista, and Del Norte. Another connection was created to Espanola, New Mexico, to link up traffic and trade in Santa Fe. The expansion of the railway supported the mining era. As an example, the narrow-gauge line that extended up and over Poncha Pass helped to carry gold and iron.
In 1876, Colorado was founded as the 38th state in the Union. One year later, mining opportunities in the San Juan Mountains sparked construction of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway in San Luis Valley.
Simultaneous to the boom of the locomotive industry was the growth of area’s agricultural community. In the early 1880s, Mormon settlers from the southern U.S. and Utah established Manassa, Sanford, and Richfield. Adjacent to the Conejos River, the farmers grew barley, oats, alfalfa, and peas. In the 20th century, two independent standardgauge railroad lines were created to help haul agricultural produce: the 30-mile San Luis Valley Southern Railway and the San Luis Central Railroad. Today, the San Luis Valley remains rooted in agriculture and the stock-raising of sheep and cattle. > Continued on the Next page
Written by Emma Walker for RootsRated Media in partnership with Alamosa CVB.
That 500,000-acre Tierra Amarilla Land Grant was broken into parcels, including the Banded Peak ranch—now home to Gramps’ Oil Field, which has produced more than five million barrels of oil since 1935—and the Conejos Guadalupe Land Grant, which encompasses segments of three counties: Conejos, Rio Grande, and Saguache. Fifty families from New Mexico created Guadalupe, the inaugural permanent settlement, which led to Colorado’s first-ever flour mill, next to the Conejos River. SETTLERS ARRIVE A steady flow of permanent settlers arrived in the 1850s, after the area became an official territory of the U.S. More west-bound settlers flowed into the area during the 1870 mining push, when gold and silver were discovered west of Alamosa. Del Norte, established in 1872, served as a location for resupply for the San Juan miners, and additional mining settlements speckled the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, including sites at Bonanza and Creede.
Living History Now: Where to Go Stroll through downtown Alamosa on a self-led walking tour of the charming architecture, which features late Victorian, commercial brick, Mission Revival, and Art Deco styles. On your walk, be sure to include Historic Engine 169, a Denver and Rio Grande Railroad steam locomotive that’s listed on both the National Registry and Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. Built in 1883, the coal-fired, 10-wheeler stands at Cole Park. Swing by Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center to see the town’s original adobe buildings, where frontiersman Kit Carson and more than 100 servicemen stood to protect the San Luis Valley settlers. Then visit San Luis Valley Museum, which is home to a variety of artifacts, from the 1860s wardrobe of frontiersman Tom Tobin to railroad memorabilia and the arrowheads of indigenous communities. For a unique Old-West experience, book your ticket on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, which includes train cars dating to the early 1900s. Departing from Alamosa, you can take a full-day excursion to visit historic Fort Garland—built in the mid-19th century to protect San Luis Valley settlers— and then wind through the mountains to end at either La Veta or Fir Summit, which sits at nearly 9,400 feet of elevation atop the La Veta Pass. Even before it was an important rail center, Alamosa was known as a crossroads. Over the centuries, ancient cultures and indigenous tribes occupied the land, and Spanish explorers tried to gain a foothold. In the 1800s, the area saw an influx of newcomers from all over the country pursuing their dreams in the west. Fortunately, remnants of this fascinating history remain. If you want to get a real sense of western culture, past and present, make your way to the San Luis Valley and the captivating town of Alamosa.
5 of the Toughest
here’s an unparalleled excitement we feel when we overcome obstacles in the wilderness. We feel a rush and deep satisfaction when we step into new territory, or try an activity for the first time, and expand our perception of our own abilities. Adventurers who thrive at that intersection of challenge and exploration should make their way to Colorado’s San Luis Valley, where they’ll find a handful of the toughest outdoor adventures in the Centennial State. Alamosa sits in the center of the valley, with the Sangre de Cristo range to the east and the San Juan Mountains to the west. Denverites can blaze down I-25 and reach Alamosa in a four-hour drive. The area’s mix of spicy terrain is a draw for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, cyclists, and rock climbers. Here are a handful of the most riveting experiences for adrenaline-seekers in Southern Colorado.
COLORADO FOURTEENERS Alamosa is next door to one of the most rugged collections of 14,000-foot peaks in the state: the Sangre de Cristo Range. This segment holds one of the highest concentrations of technical climbing within Colorado’s Fourteeners and includes Crestone Peak, which some proclaim to be Colorado’s hardest fourteener. The options are plentiful. In total, the Sangre de Cristo Range has ten 14,000-foot peaks. As you plan your trip, consider the location of each cluster. Multiple peaks share the same trailhead or can be connected by a saddle. Peak
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baggers can increase the challenge by linking multiple peaks in a single day or a multi-day trip. Two clusters exist in the The Sangre de Cristos. The Crestone Group includes Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, Humboldt Peak, Challenger Point, and Kit Carson. The Blanca Group encompasses Blanca Peak, Little Bear Peak, Ellingwood Point, and Mount Lindsey. One lone summit, Culebra Peak, is south of the aforementioned clumps. If you study guide books you’ll find close to 20 route variations for Crestone Peak alone. Study the options, and choose the route that best suits you, or hire a guide. Irwin Guides offers technical roped climbs of Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle. HIGH-ELEVATION CYCLING Weaving through the San Juan Mountains, Colorado state Highway 17 provides a great opportunity to challenge yourself with some high-elevation cycling. The road travels between Antonito, Colorado, and Chama, New Mexico, passing through beautiful sections of the Rio Grande National Forest as it follows the route of the coal-fired Cumbres and Toltec steam train. For an out-and-back ride, you can begin in Antonito and wind through the San Juan Mountains to the top of La
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in Southern Colorado
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The routes in the area range from 5.8 trad to 5.13+ sport. The majority of routes are 5.10 and above. One of the most popular classic climbs, Not My Cross to Bear (a 5.11a/b sport climb) ascends a corner dihedral up solid rock that’s superb for stemming. When you go, keep your eyes open for pictographs. Panels were created by the tribes—either Pueblo, Apache, or Ute—that occupied the canyon prior to the Los Hermanos Penitente, a Spanish religious sect that used the canyon as a place of worship in the late 1800s.
The ingredients for an excellent climbing trip all exist here. The southfacing routes can be climbed year-round, and in warmer months the temperatures stay cool. Plus, very little precipitation reaches the canyon. At the Penitente Canyon Campground there’s first come, first-served camping, and nearby there are two mountain bike loops, which are a great compliment for recovery days.
Manga Pass at an altitude of 10,230 feet. (The max gradient is 5.2 percent.) Many riders continue beyond La Manga Pass to also climb Cumbres Pass, which sits at an elevation of 10,022 feet. If you’re up for an even bigger challenge, you could ride all the way from Antonito to Chama, covering about 100 miles. Pro tip: Bike one-way and ride the coal-fired locomotive home the next day. The Cumbres and Toltec train travels between Antonito and Chama with daily departures from both towns. Be sure to book your train ticket in advance, and note that there’s a bike storage fee, in addition to the regular cost of a train ticket.
MOUNTAIN RUNNING Trail runners who are looking for a challenge can find it via higher elevation. Mt. Lindsey, one of the area’s fourteeners, has a runnable approach and is an awesome candidate for mountain running. The trail is 8.4 miles round-trip with 3,505 feet of ascent. The first portion of the trail is beneath forest and is friendly for fast footwork. The slope begins to steepen at about 11,000 feet and gets much slower at 13,000 feet. From there, runners can hike to the 14,042-foot summit or choose a Class 2 scramble.
Toughest Outdoor Adventures in Southern Colorado
Penitente’s bulbous boulders and formations are the aftermath of La Garita Caldera, a volcanic eruption that occurred 26 million years ago, which is said to be the largest explosive eruption in the world. The canyon deposit, known as “Fish Canyon Tuff,” is volcanic ash that is molded together. The result? An ideal solid surface with plenty of friction that’s perfect for climbers.
MOUNTAIN BIKING Bishop Rock Loop is a natural playground for mountain bikers. There is no designated singletrack: the forested area is a blank canvas, in which riders can choose their own adventure and work on their skills. Whether you’re dreaming of steep rock faces to roll, bermed walls to drop, bowls to whip around, or chasm gaps, all of the those features exist right here. Also, you can put in more miles at other nearby trails such as the Stone Quarry Tour (10.2 miles), 12 Hours of Penitence (17 miles), or Sunshine Kitty (8.1 miles). The area is remote and cell service is spotty, so it’s recommended that you ride with a group to provide an added element of safety.
ROCK CLIMBING Penitente Canyon is an internationally-renowned haven for rock climbing. The canyon features more than 300 sport climbing routes, as well as bouldering, and a handful of trail options. If a project here doesn’t take your breath away, the stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains will.
SANGRE DE CRISTO
he The 8,000-square-mile San Luis Valley sits at superhigh elevation, as desert climates go—the average elevation is more than 7,600 feet above sea level. It’s bordered on all sides by mountains, none more majestic than the rugged Sangre de Cristo Range, the farther south subrange of the Rockies. The Sangres contain a number of so-called Fourteeners, the nickname for Colorado peaks over 14,000 feet, including Blanca (14,351 feet), Crestone (14,300 feet), and Culebra (14,053 feet) peaks. The range’s name—which literally translates to “blood of Christ”—is likely drawn from the reddish color they give off during the valley’s gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, not to mention the beautiful alpenglow you’ll see there at dusk, especially during the winter months, when the peaks are dusted with snow. In Colorado, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are administered by a number of different land managers, including the US Forest Service (Rio Grande and San Isabel National Forests) and the National Park Service (Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve). It also encompasses the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness area, which covers nearly 221,000 acres. The best intro to Sangre de Cristo backpacking is a tour of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve’s Sand Ramp Trail. The trail begins at the end of Loop 2 in the park’s Piñon Flats Campground and runs alongside the park’s namesake dunefield—at the base of the Sangres. The Sand Ramp Trail features seven backcountry campsites, ranging in distance from half a mile to 10.5 miles from the trailhead. The farthest campsite, Sand Creek, is the most secluded and
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features a bear-proof box and a fire ring. The trail isn’t super strenuous in terms of elevation gain and loss, but beyond Little Medano Creek, some navigational skills are required. Also, the trail holds true to its name: it’s super sandy, so plan on hiking in leather boots or hiking sandals, rather than trail runners. For backpacking trips in the park and preserve, pay your entrance fee as you enter the park and head to the visitor center, where you’ll check in with a ranger. Backcountry permits at Great Sand Dunes are free and are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. Dogs aren’t allowed at the backcountry sites here. Stock up on supplies in Alamosa, as there’s only a small general store right outside the park. There’s plenty of great camping and backpacking outside the national park, too. The small town of Crestone offers access to the Cottonwood Creek Trail, which covers 12 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain each way. This strenuous trail is best hiked between July and September, when the last season’s snow has mostly melted and winter hasn’t yet arrived. You can camp at Cottonwood Lake (wilderness regulations apply), which also makes a great base camp for bagging Crestone Peak (14,295 feet) and Crestone Needle (14,203 feet), if that’s your thing. If you’re out for a day hike, camp at nearby North Crestone Creek Campground.
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Weekend Camping Guide
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Sangre De Cristo Weekend Camping Guide
Wild Cherry Creek Trail is a slightly less arduous journey than Cottonwood Creek; it covers a similar distance but with less change in elevation. Access this trail, which runs through stunning aspen groves (visit in the fall for some of the best golden hues you’ll find in Colorado), from the hamlet of Villa Grove, about 55 miles north of Alamosa. You’ll also find gorgeous wildflowers here during the summer, including columbines and sky pilots, which are only found at fairly high elevation. It’s all dispersed camping here, meaning you can set up camp anywhere you like, as long as you’re more than 200 feet from a trail or water source—and Leave No Trace ethics dictate that your campsite shouldn’t be visible from the trail. There are several excellent campsites along the trail, including Cherry Lake, which sits in a high alpine cirque below Cotton King Peak (13,490 feet) and Wild Cherry Peak (13,122). Both peaks feature the kind of picturesque striation you expect from the Sangres, and their nontechnical routes are accessible from your campsite at Cherry Lake. Like many of its neighbors, the Wild Cherry Creek Trail is best backpacked between May and October.
County Rd 6 S
Stadium Dr on
9th St 10th St
10th St Ross Ave
Rd S 110
Alamossa Natâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;l Wildlife Refuge
20th St Alamossa Rec Center and Play Fields
Alamossa Municipal Cemetery
Alamossa Fair Grounds
Foot, mountain bike, and rollerblade travel are allowed on all portions of the Alamosa Ranch Trails.
San Luis Valley Regional Airport
Alamosa Ranch Trails
County Rd 6 S
Motorized vehicles and horseback are prohibited.
a Gr Rio
Alamosa Wetlands Viewing Area
Cattails Golf Course Foot Bridge
Main St 6th St
Parking areas for trail access are located in Cole Park and the Alamosa Ranch Wetlands viewing area.
Santa Fe Ave
12th St State Ave San Juan Ave Edison Ave
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Colorado Welcome Center Lodging Alamosa Ranch Trails Surface Street Major Hwy Railroad River Park/Refuge
ro a 9 B
La Due Ave
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2nd St 3rd St 4th St Main St 6th St
e Av 12
El Rancho Ln
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To Fort Garland and Great Sand Dunes National Park
Cattails Golf Course
Bell Ave Alamosa Ave West St
To Playa Blanca State Wildlife Area (3 Miles from 285)
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To Monte Vista
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Alamosa Ranch Trails
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sto Cri s de re tain n ng Sa Mou
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Kit Carson Pk Challenger Pt 14,165 14,081 Humboldt Pk Crestone Pk 14,064 14,294 Crestone Needle 14,197
Baca Nat’l Wildlife Refuge
17 Medano Pass 10,150
Great Sand Dunes Nat’l Park and Preserve
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Blanca Pk 14,347
Monte Vista Nat’l Wildlife Refuge
Bennett Pk 13,203
Ellingwood Pt 14,042 Mt Lindsay
Colorado New Mexico
Sholder Seasons at
Why you should visit in the fall
reat Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is home to the tallest dunes in North America, covering close to 19,000 acres of constantly changing landscape. The dunes—including the famed Star Dune, which rises 750 feet from San Luis Valley floor—aren’t the only thing to recommend the park, though: Great Sand Dunes encompasses another 65,000 acres, including six peaks more than 13,000 feet. This stunning juxtaposition of high desert and the craggy peaks of the Sangre de Cristo range is all just a 40-minute drive from Alamosa, and while the park has something to offer no matter when you visit, the shoulder seasons—particularly fall—make an ideal time to make a pilgrimage to the quietest national park in the Lower 48.
CHECK OUT THE DUNES Hiking is allowed on the dunes year-round, though summer temperatures, which regularly hit in the high 80s between June and August, can heat the sand to 150 degrees. Remember to wear shoes with good soles on them. Things cool down beginning in September, which means the dunes themselves are no longer apt to burn visitors’ feet. Absent in the fall, too, are the afternoon thundershowers, which can leave hikers exposed. Though you might see footprints where other hikers have made their way through the sand, no official hiking trails exist on the dunes. Bring a compass or stay within sight of
Originally written by RootsRated for Alamosa CVB.
the Visitor Center to avoid spending more time out than intended. SEE THE PARK’S TRUE COLORS Thanks to its proximity to the Sangre de Cristo mountains— the East Range, to San Luis Valley locals—Great Sand Dunes boasts gorgeous colors when the leaves start to turn. Aspen trees render whole hillsides vibrant gold, three-leaf sumacs become brilliantly red, and the namesake trees of Cottonwood Creek gild the park’s best backcountry campsite in orange and yellow. Fall colors in the park tend to peak between late September and early October. TAKE A HIKE There’s plenty of off-sand hiking in Great Sand Dunes National Park, too. The 11-mile Sand Ramp Trail, sandwiched between Medano Creek and the Sangre de Cristos, offers jaw-dropping views of the dunefield and the San Luis Valley. If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of some wildlife, including pika, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, ptarmigan, and a number of desert reptiles. The Sand Ramp Trail also provides access to the park’s seven established backcountry sites. You’ll need a free permit, issued at the Visitor Center, to camp at one of these spots.
photo by: patrick myers/nps
GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
@boopbod photo by: photo by:
While it’s great to have the park more or less to yourself— especially as you venture farther from the park’s trailheads— keep in mind that hunting is allowed in the Preserve portion of Great Sand Dunes, which makes up nearly 42,000 acres of the park. Be sure to check with rangers about where it’s safe to travel during the fall and winter hunting seasons.
Seasons at Great Sand Dunes National Park
September, it’s much easier to secure a first-come, firstserved backcountry permit, or even a site at the park’s Piñon Flats Campground, which tends to fill up every day, including weekdays, during the peak season.
Sand Creek, the farthest from the trailhead, requires a grueling 12-mile hike, but its killer views of the dunes makes it well worth the effort. In addition to dune-centric hiking, trails in the park access Music Pass and the Upper Sand Creek Basin, home to four picturesque alpine lakes. SEE THE STARS Far from the bright lights of the Front Range and situated in the wide-open San Luis Valley, Great Sand Dunes is an ideal spot to stargaze—whether you’re watching the full moon or waiting for your favorite constellations on a clear, moonless night, the otherworldly dunes are an incredible observatory. Ranger-led programs run throughout the summer, but autumn, too, is an excellent time to see the stars, thanks to earlier sunsets and longer nights. In the fall, both summer and winter constellations are still visible, plus Corona Borealis to the west, Pegasus, and Taurus. AVOID THE CROWDS Despite the heat, summer months are still the most popular time to visit the national park—the vast majority of the 300,000 annual visitors make the trip during the typical summer break. Come
On the Outskirts of the
GREAT SAND DUNES 8 Can’t-Miss Experiences Outside the Park Boundaries
eaching a height of 750 feet, the sand dunes in Colorado’s San Luis Valley are the largest dunes in North America, and they attract thousands of travelers each year. But, something equally impressive lies beyond these mountains of sand. Looking like massive shark teeth, a collection of ten 14,000-foot peaks pierce the sky and tower over the valley. These mountains in the Sangre de Cristo Range not only provide a dramatic backdrop to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, but they also offer the chance to experience amazing hikes and other adventures beyond the park’s boundaries. Outside of the park, you’ll not only encounter rugged mountains, but also several other ecosystems, including wetlands, grasslands, and the Riparian area where cottonwoods, aspens, and alders thrive along lively creeks. With such a rich landscape surrounding the park, there’s plenty do after you’ve slid down the dunes, like hiking to waterfalls, fishing, biking, and viewing bison. Before you head to the sand dunes or the surrounding area, check out these eight amazing things to experience beyond the boundaries of the national park.
1. HIKE TO ZAPATA FALLS Less than 10 miles southeast of the Great Sand Dunes National Park Visitor Center you can take a short that follows South Zapata Creek through an impressive canyon to reach
Written by Morgan Tilton for RootsRated Media in partnership with Alamosa CVB.
Zapata Falls. The cool mountain water is a surprising oasis in this arid, cold-desert climate. To reach the trailhead from the national park, drive south on CO-150, and then turn east on BLM Road 5415 (the Zapata Falls road.) Start your hike at the trailhead for South Zapata Trail #852, and head uphill for a half-mile. Then, walk upriver in the small gorge for one-tenth of a mile—grippy shoes are ideal—to reach a small gorge and 30-foot-high Zapata Falls. 2. GO BIRDING AT ALAMOSA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE A gorgeous blend of damp meadows and river oxbows breaks up the desert east of Alamosa in the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge. This riparian habitat along the Rio Grande River is a rich corridor for nesting and migratory birds, including the Lewis’ woodpecker, willow flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, and the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher. Come listen to the sounds of the birds and keep your eyes peeled for elk and mule deer, too. For more wildlife viewing and photography opportunities, walk the Rio Grande River Trail, which parallels the river for two miles.
Outskirts of the Great Sand Dunes
3. TREK TO SOUTH ZAPATA LAKE Eager for a longer hike than Zapata Falls—and a greater challenge? Venture high into the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness to discover teal-toned South Zapata Lake, a gem in a basin surrounded by high peaks. The nearly five-mile hike to the lake begins at the trailhead for South Zapata Trail #852. After hiking less than a half-mile you’ll veer right (south) at the kiosk to stay on South Zapata Trail #852. Then, you’ll weave through tall pines and traverse alpine tundra to reach the lake, where the still water creates a mirror reflection of the jagged ridge that runs beneath 14,000-foot Ellingwood Point.
moving ascent up another steep face with large boulders to gain the north ridge of Ellingwood and its epic summit. 5. CAMP UNDER A STARRY SKY In the remote San Luis Valley, campers are treated to impressive night skies. A good spot to set up for the night is Mosca Campground, which has 51 campsites that include electric hookups, fire grills, then take your star chart and telescope and head out to explore the San Luis State Wildlife Area. You’ll not only have a great view of the stars, but also San Luis Lake, the surrounding peaks, and the Great Sand Dunes.
4. SUMMIT A 14ER If you’re working on your list of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks, Ellingwood Point is a hike you don’t want to miss. After some class 3 scrambling, you’ll reach Ellingwood’s crown, which offers a front-row view of two other 14,000foot peaks and their connecting ridge, which is the most difficult ridgeline traverse in Colorado.
For more stellar starry views, drive higher into the mountains and pitch your tent at the Zapata Falls Campground, sitting at 9,000 feet of elevation. From your high-mountain campsite at the foot of the Sangre De Cristos, you’ll not only enjoy brilliant night skies, but also a fantastic sunset and a glorious sunrise. While the campground has toilets, there is no water, so be sure to pack in all that you need for drinking and preparing meals.
To ascend Ellingwood Point, begin at South Zapata Lake and continue up the very rocky and steep couloir to reach a ridgetop. Take a moment to admire the view of the surrounding high-alpine lakes. Next, settle into a slow-
If you or your adventure companions need more amenities, there are also several campgrounds in Alamosa, including the Alamosa KOA, Alamosa Economy Campground, Cool Sunshine RV Park and Base Camp Family Campground. > Continued on the Next page
6. VIEW BISON AT ZAPATA RANCH By 1883, nearly all of the bison in North America had disappeared due to unregulated hunting. But, small herds are once again thriving, and you can get a good look at these remarkable animals at Zapata Ranch about eight miles south of Great Sand Dunes National Park. Home to 2,000 North American Plains bison, the ranch focuses on protecting the species and educating the public about wildlife conservation. During your visit, you can take bison tours to explore the 50,000-acre ranch where the land has been restored to its native condition. You’ll get a chance to be near the bison, learn how the herd is managed, and get a glimpse of how the North American Plains looked centuries ago. 7. RUMBLE THROUGH MEDANO PASS If you love off-roading, you’re going to love the 22-mile ride on the Medano Pass Primitive Road. Beginning at the north end of Great Sand Dunes National Park and ending at CO-69, this rough and remote road climbs to 10,040 feet of elevation and can only be navigated via a four-wheel drive rig. The ramble includes deep sand, nine creek crossings, and plenty of opportunities to spot bighorn sheep. Don’t have your own rig or the driving skills for the journey? Pathfinders 4x4 is an authorized four-wheel drive vehicle outfitter for the national park and offers road trips along the Sand Road and Medano Pass. 8. EXPLORE SAN LUIS LAKE The San Luis State Wildlife Area offers front-row views of the Sangre De Cristos plus San Luis Lake, the warmest body of water in San Luis Valley. The 890-acre lake is a recreational portal for water skiing, motor boating, fishing, sailing, and windsurfing, as well as birdwatching. Around the banks, look for shorebirds, migratory waterfowl, songbirds, and raptors. Contingent on water levels, anglers can catch rainbow trout or carp. The wildlife area also has four miles of wide, level gravel trails for mountain biking or hiking, as well as less-traveled trails for visitors to explore the dunes and wetlands. Start with a short out-and-back stroll along the edge of the watery landscape. A primitive trail starts east of the San Luis Lake Feeder Canal and goes north adjacent to the west side of the Wetlands area and Head Lake. Go as far as you’d like, and then retrace your steps.
4 TRAILS IN THE
San Luis Valley with Fascinating Histories T
he San Luis Valley is brimming with history, beginning with Native American Paleo-Indian cultures that date back to 11,000 years ago. The Ute people inhabited the valley for much of its early history, and the Spanish began exploration of the modern-day San Luis Valley in the late 16th century. Over the next several centuries, conflicts arose between Spanish explorers—most notably, Don Juan Bautista de Anza—and the local Comanche. The formerly Spanish (and, later, Mexican) province of Nuevo Mexico was ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the peace treaty that ended the Mexican-American War in 1848. The San Luis Valley had remained mostly unsettled until the mid-19th century, when Fort Massachusetts was built as a stronghold in the ongoing conflicts with native Utes. The San Luis Valley became part of the Territory of Colorado in 1861, and Alamosa was established by the Denver Rio Grande Railroad in 1878. Like many of its neighbors, Alamosa takes its name from its Spanish heritage: alamosa means “cottonwood” in Spanish. It’s just one part of the town’s multi-faceted history, which includes access to some of the San Luis Valley’s historic trails. Check out these four hikes, which are perfect for hikers and history buffs alike.
1. OLD SPANISH TRAIL The Old Spanish National Historic Trail was established by Congress in 2002. The route from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Los Angeles, California, passes through four other states, including Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, and in Colorado, various branches of the trail make their way through the San Luis Valley, Gunnison, Grand Junction, and Durango. Originally used by Native Americans as trade routes between the San Luis Valley and modern-day New Mexico, the Old Spanish Trail had its heyday between 1830 and 1848, when Mexican and American traders used it to transport wool and other wares via mule train. The Old Spanish Trail’s arduous route wasn’t marked by traditional trail markers, thanks to the constantly shifting sandy soil. Original travelers had to endure river crossings, deep canyons, and serious mountain passes, plus threats by horse thieves, poor weather, and lack of food and water. But today, you can see much of it by car. Still, there’s evidence that the route passed by Indian Spring in what’s now Great Sand Dunes National Park, and much of the sandy hiking there (such as along the Sand Ramp Trail) remains similar to its historical condition today. 2. WAGON WHEEL RUTS IN PENITENTE CANYON Penitente Canyon is known for its world-class sport climbing, but the area boasts plenty of hiking—and history—as well.
3. FREMONT’S CHRISTMAS CAMP Few explorers of the American West are as well known as John C. Fremont, who led four major expeditions to the West in the mid-19th century. Fremont also had a career as a military officer and politician, and was, in fact, an early presidential candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party. His career wasn’t entirely glorious, though: His fourth expedition, over the winter of 1848-1849, was a complete disaster. Fremont and a guide led a group of 35 men into the San Juan Mountains, intending to scout a railroad route through the Central Rockies that would be accessible yearround. Unsurprisingly, the group was caught in abysmal weather, including waist-high snow, and was unprepared to spend a winter in the harsh conditions. The group split up into smaller parties as supplies dwindled, and eventually the
expedition lost 10 men before being rescued in early 1849. Today, visitors can hike to what’s been dubbed “Christmas Camp,” where the party spent much of that December. The hike begins at Cathedral Campground and runs 4.5 miles to the erstwhile campsite. 4. ORIENT MINE Once Colorado’s most prolific producer of iron ore, the Orient Mine operated from 1880 until 1932. Thanks to its location on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, the mine’s name was apparently derived from the Latin word for “east” or “rising sun.” The mine had two town sites, active during different periods of its existence, and neither of which still exists today. In its heyday, though, the town sites housed as many as 400 people and included boarding houses, a saloon, a library, school, and barbershop, plus a number of other small local businesses. Today, the Orient Land Trust works with the Colorado State Historical Society to preserve the area’s history, and you’ll find interpretive signs along the trail to the now-defunct mine. For several decades, the Orient Mine has housed nearly a quarter-million migratory bats, which play a crucial role in keeping the San Luis Valley chemical- and pesticide-free. Hike the 3.25-mile roundtrip trail at dusk to observe the bats as they fly by the thousands from the Orient Mine. If you want to explore more of the San Luis Valley’s many trails, stop by the Colorado Welcome Center in Alamosa or go to Alamosa.org to find the San Luis Valley Trail Guide. Whether you are looking for a challenging alpine adventure or a casual hike with beautiful Colorado scenery, there is a trail for you.
Sangre De Cristo Weekend Camping Guide
In the early 20th century, the canyon was a refuge for the Penitente Brotherhood of Catholic monks (Los Hermanos Penitentes), a secluded group that left its mark on the landscape by painting a blue Madonna on the cliff that’s known today as Virgin Wall. It’s also a quick hike on the Penitente Canyon Loop Trail from the end of North Witches Canyon Road to see a set of wagon wheel ruts carved into the soft sandstone. The Penitente Canyon Loop is just over 2.5 miles, if you do the full loop, and is generally considered to be moderate. The ruts, in fact, are a remnant of the Old Spanish Trail, cut into the rock by countless passages of conestoga wagon wheels over the decades. Penitente also contains the San Luis Valley’s highest concentration of pictographs, so it’s worth taking a full day to fully explore the area.
CRAFT BREWING in the San Luis Valley of Colorado
Written by Dave Gordon
Brewery Relations/Blogger, Brewers Crew Magazine
reamlike snippets are the only memories I possess of our family camping trip to the Southwest which included the Great Sand Dunes in the San Luis Valley. Having only National Monument status at the time, there were certainly not the crowds that there are now. I do remember tame deer walking through our campsite and sniffing our food supplies on our picnic table, getting my first altitude headache and enjoying the perfect temperatures of the late afternoon summer sun. The pleasant hike up to High Dune started early in the morning but then, I remember how hot our feet got coming back down! Fortunately, our mom had carried our high top tennis shoes with her and when my brother and I complained enough about our burning feet, the shoes materialized. Mom had read the signs about how dangerously hot the
sand will get by late morning. My brother and I had ignored those signs. We learned our lesson. I remember being a geeky science kid and enjoying the ranger talks at the amphitheater, how cold it got after the sun went down even in July, and how mom got lost for an hour because she took a wrong turn coming out of the bathroom. Night skies at the Dunes are dark and make for tremendous star gazing but can make finding your campsites difficult without a flashlight. Our family was sad to leave, but happy for having been at the Dunes for several summer nights. My young mind remembered nothing else about the San Luis Valley. That would come later, upon my many return trips. So, I had not known that the famous Coors Beer contracted with Valley farmers for their barley, as I was a number of years away from my first sips of adult flavored Rocky Mountain Spring Water.
Evolution of Craft Brewing
BREWING ARRIVES IN THE SAN LUIS VALLEY MINING BOOM AND BEER From the Book, The Life of an Ordinary Woman by Anne Ellis, a child in the mining days of the 1880s in the Bonanza Mining District she recalls, “I do not know how many people there were here in the height of the boom. In speaking of the population, you didn’t count people, anyway, you counted saloons and dance halls. There were thirty-six saloons and seven dance halls.” Miners, ranchers and farmers came first and brewing quickly followed. In discussions over a beer with Mark Martinez, one of the owners of Square Peg, I asked him about early brewing in the valley. There were breweries in the late 1880s and 1890s, until the mines played out. I mentioned having been up to Bonanza and having passed by Brewery Creek. He said yes, there had been a brewery in Bonanza, plus the towns of Alamosa (1879-1892), Saguache (1885), and Del Norte. Those breweries became ghosts along with the mining towns. Dan Dixon, a valley barley farmer, remembers his grandfather, when Prohibition ended in 1933, trucking loads of barley to Golden Colorado to fulfill the monstrous quantities of barley needed for the ever growing demand for Coors Beer. The San Luis Valley became a barley growing region to support Coors belief in using all Colorado grown barley. Now, over a century later, San Luis Valley has returned to brewing. There are now five breweries and two malting plants in the valley. Malting plants take the malt grown in the valley, sprout the seeds, roast them, and deliver them back to breweries to be turned into beer. BREWERIES IN THE VALLEY SAN LUIS VALLEY BREWING COMPANY In Alamosa, this is a brewery and restaurant with a full bar. Originally the site of First National Bank of Alamosa, the brewery has the bank’s old safe behind the bar. The San Luis Valley Brewing was opened in 2006 by Scott and Angie Graber with the idea of offering the finest in craft brews and fine food in an inviting atmosphere. During tourist season in the summer, and during many special events, they can be quite busy, being located at Main and State Street. Morning people? They also roast coffee, hence the name of their attached morning restaurant, the Roast, where good coffee and food can be had to start a day of exploration in the valley. SQUARE PEG BREWERKS - Two doors down from San Luis Valley Brewing, owners Derek Heersink and Mark Martinez have created a division of labor. Derek grows 80% of the base barley malts used in their eight beers and Mark spends his time brewing them. They have several flagships like the Duke, a strong Vienna Lager, and the Colorado Common, a light refreshing crisp beer for all seasons. Always look for their IPAs, darker beers, and experimental beers, one of which won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2017, the first year they were open. Mark is happy with their decision to be a tap room only (popcorn served!) and with several restaurants nearby, bringing your own dinner is highly recommended. Mark feels he is still learning the
wonderful art of brewing and enjoys spending time with other brewers, doing collaborations, and trying new recipes. They hope to expand their production capacity to keep up with demand. Their motto? “Field to Glass.” THREE BARREL BREWING - Directly on Highway 160 in Del Norte, lies this brewery and pizza place. Generally busy from open to close, this is the place to start the day or end the day after being at Wolf Creek Ski Resort, mountain bike riding at Penitente Canyon, locating the bristlecone pine forest up Middle Frisco Creek, exploring the mines in Creede or fishing on the Rio Grande. Fourteen taps insure there are always their regular beers plus their seasonal favorites. Pizzas and salads come out of the pizza oven directly across the bar. There is lots of patio space to enjoy during the good weather months, typically March through November. Windows in the restaurant allow you to watch Will and the crew make the brew and bottle it in the brew house. Be not afraid to ask for a tour. CRESTONE BREWING COMPANY - Twelve miles east of Highway 17 from the town of Moffat, lies Crestone. Drive past fields full of yak and cattle and watch the fourteen thousand foot peaks grow and grow as you head toward town. With a small, yet efficient brewing system, Greg the mad brewmeister is able to maintain 10 amazing beers on draft, along with adult kombuchas and homemade sodas, including a root beer made from real roots. He knows how > Continued on the Next page
to brew. NOTE: All beers are gluten reduced. For food? Try the fish and chips with a gluten free batter. Phenomenal. They feature local meats and most of their food is local, fresh and organic. They are also a full bar for cocktails with a nice wine selection to complement their menu. Go hike a trail or wander the shops in town and head to CBC. COLORADO FARM BREWERY AND COLORADO MALTING COMPANY - What to do with an old farm dairy? Turn it in to a small malting plant. What to do with an old shop next door? Turn it into a small brewery! Located 10 miles southwest of Alamosa is this gem of a brewery. Limited hours are Thursday - Saturday happy hour till close but make a point of catching them open. Popcorn and peanuts are available to cure munchies but check ahead for amazing food trucks that rotate their schedule. Josh is another mad scientist brewer, who, having studied brewing in northern Europe, countries like Finland and Scotland, is not afraid to use their own farm grown hops and grains, smoking them, making concoctions like nothing else. The Islay is such a peaty beer, I thought I was drinking Scotch! Try Finnish Sahti, no hops, flavored with Juniper, and delicious. Their 11 styles are distinctly different. Worth the country drive! PROXIMITY MALTING COMPANY – What to do with an old potato starch plant? Retrofit the buildings, add a few, and turn it in to a malting plant. With thousands of acres of barley grown in the valley, why not roast it locally and
distribute in surrounding states? Located a mile north of Monte Vista, the plant is ideally located for stored grains to be brought in, sprouted, roasted and then shipped to breweries. The plant has won awards for their minimal water and energy use which makes for comforting sips at the local breweries. Big flavors and small environmental footprint. The chem lab at Proximity tests every batch of malted grain that goes out the door. Check ahead if you would like a tour. In the word of Mr. Spock, “Fascinating!”
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The Ultimate Road Trip Guide From Denver to Alamosa
Sometimes, the journey is the destination, and that certainly is true when you’re traveling to Alamosa, Colorado. When you’re traveling from Denver to Alamosa, you have two options ahead of you: traveling via I-25 and US-160 W or traveling via US Hwy 285 S. Each has its own adventures to offer you, and we’ve outlined them in this handy guide. So, choose your route, load up the car and enjoy the ride!
You will want to check the weather and pack accordiningly. The locals will tell you: “Dress in layers!” Colorado weather can be unpredictable, so its best to be overprepared than under. In all weather conditions, be sure to pack sunscreen and sun protection. We’re blessed to have 300 days of sunshine each year, but that does mean it is more important to be sun-safe.
Speaking of the weather, you’ll want to check cotrip. org before departing for any road closures, road work and road conditions. You can even view the cameras along your route to see what kind of weather you can expect.
Watch for altitude sickness. When you leave Denver, you’re already sitting at a mile above sea level. Here in Alamosa, we’re at 7,544 feet above sea level, and the mountain passes you’ll be driving over reach higher than that. Be sure to stay hydrated and make sure your body has adjusted to the altitude before you take on any strenuous activity.
On some of the mountain passes, depending on your coverage, you may lose cell service. Don’t panicservice usually is restored as soon as you get to the other side. If you’re depending on your phone for car tunes, you may want to have 30 minutes of music downloaded just in case.
VIA I-25 AND US-160 W THINGS TO PACK Active Wear-You’ll want to take advantage of all the outdoor recreation opportunities along this route! Camera-There are plenty of historical attractions along this route you’ll want to capture.
MUST SEE STOPS ALONG THE WAY CASTLE ROCK Not too far out of Denver, you’ll find the city of Castle Rock.
photo by: drew rae from pexels
Right off of I-25, you’ll want to stop by the Outlets at Castle Rock, the largest open-air outlet center in the state. With over 100 brand name stores, offering their products at 30%-70% off retail prices, it is simply a must-stop shopping experience. Pick up some breakfast at the B&B Café. This a local favorite is a part of Castle Rock’s history, having been serving the community since 1946. COLORADO SPRINGS Colorado Springs sits as the base of America’s MountainPikes Peak. Among the many must-see stops in this destination is Garden of the Gods. There, you can see amazing red rock formations, completely for free. If you’re looking to stretch your legs, you can try climbing the Manitou Incline. With 2,800 steps, the incline rises 2,000 feet in just under a mile. Colorado Springs is also home to the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, which has an interactive visitor center and offers year round tours of their facilities where Olympic champions and Team USA hopefuls train.
Side Trip: BISHOP’S CASTLE This stop will be a little out of your way (around 30 min each way), it’s well worth the detour. For nearly 60 years, Jim Bishop has been constructing his castle, which now stands as an impressively monumental statue in stone and iron. Visitors are always welcome free of charge. PUEBLO Known as the Steel City, Pueblo is a great stop along the way to Alamosa. Get some fresh air along the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk, where you can walk along the river or, depending on the time of year, take a guided river cruise. You can also stop at the Weisbrod Aircraft Museum, a World War II Army air base that has been converted into a museum with more than 30 vintage aircrafts. Pueblo is famous for growing delicious (and spicy!) Pueblo Green Chiles. Take the Pueblo Chile Farm Standing Tour, or try a Pueblo Slopper
WALSENBURG On your way to Alamosa, you’ll exit I-25 in Walsenburg. This charming town is nestled in the heart of Spanish Peaks Country, and is the perfect spot to stop and rest up before venturing on over La Veta Pass. West of town, you can visit Lathrop State Park. Lathrop State Park is also the only Colorado State Park with a Golf Course. Stop by Daily Perks for an afternoon pick-me-up before continuing on to the San Luis Valley. FORT GARLAND Get your first taste of the San Luis Valley in the town of Fort Garland. Established in 1858, Fort Garland was once under the command of the legendary Kit Carson. You can take a step back in time at the Fort Garland Museum, where you can learn about Kit Carson, the famed Buffalo Soldiers and there are living history performances throughout the year. ALAMOSA Welcome to Alamosa! There is so much to fill your time with, but on your way into town, you’ll want to stop at the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge. It’s right on your way, and a great chance to reconnect with nature after a day on the road. The 11,169 acre refuge provides a habitat for over 200 bird species and other wildlife. The refuge has a diverse array of terrain, including wet meadows and dry uplands, all with a stunning view of Mount Blanca, one of the 14ers that comprise the San Luis Valley’s Eastern border. It is a great spot for wildlife viewing, as it is home to mallards, pintails, teal, Canada geese, American avocets, killdeer, white-faced ibis, egrets, herons, and many more.
VIA US HWY 285 S THINGS TO PACK Fishing Gear- You’ll be traveling along the Arkansas River, which has miles of Gold Medal waters! Clothes you don’t mind getting wet-The Arkansas is also the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the US. Swimsuits-This route has some of Colorado’s famous hot springs!
MUST SEE STOPS ALONG THE WAY FAIRPLAY Fairplay is known as the official Trout Fishing Capitol of Colorado, so anglers, be sure to pack your fishing poles! While you’re in the area, you’ll want to stop at South Park City, a remarkable restoration of an early Colorado mining town, with 44 buildings, filled with over 60,000 artifacts. Stop by Java Moose for some breakfast and coffee. Buena Vista From Buena Vista to Poncha Springs, you’ll be driving along the Collegiate Peaks Scenic and Historic Byway. Soak up the scenery and surrounding 14ers along your way (it’s the highest concentration in the state!). Speaking of soaking, you’ll want to try whitewater rafting while you’re
here. There are plenty of outfitters to choose from that will make your experience unforgettable! While you’re here, try Eddyline Brewery Taproom, a local favorite for their food and their beer.
Side Trip: BROWNS CANYON NATIONAL MONUMENT Before you get to Poncha Springs, you want to take a short (around 10 minutes each way) detour to visit Colorado’s newest National Monument, Browns Canyon. The Arkansas River carved out this beautiful geologic marvel, with colorful cliffs and rock outcroppings. PONCHA SPRINGS & SALIDA The nearby towns of Poncha Springs & Salid offer a plethora of outdoor recreation if you’re needing to take a break from the road. Salida has also been named one of Colorado’s first Creative Districts. You’ll want to stop a peruse the various studios and galleries in Salida’s downtown before you leave. Stop by The Boathouse for some Baja Mexican style goodness before you depart.
THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP GUIDE
(hamburger patty smothered in green chile and topped with cheese and onions) at any of the 25 restaurants that serve up their own version.
MOFFAT, HOOPER & ALAMOSA You have now entered the San Luis Valley! You’ll want to make a stop in one of our four hot springs to rest after your journey. Each have their own unique experience to offer you, and they are all along your route to Alamosa. Valley View Hot Springs is operated by the Orient Land Trust, an organization dedicated to natural resource preservation. This mountainside paradise is the most natural of the hot springs, with river rock creating pools of hot water right in the river itself. It is a unique place be completely immersed in nature, as the entire grounds are clothing optional. Valley View offers all-season camping and rustic accommodations, and is located in an area with a diverse ecosystem rich in wildlife, birds and plant life. Joyful Journey Hot Springs is a quiet, peaceful spa retreat that is a favorite destination for the healing, relaxing effect of natural hot water. They offer three outdoor tiled geothermal soaking pools, surrounded by decks and magnificent panoramic views. You can schedule a massage, a facial or take a yoga class while you are visiting. Joyful Journey offers accommodations, including hotel rooms, native tipis, RV and camp sites and yurts (round, canvas buildings). Sand Dunes Recreation is open year-round hot spring, with a large family-friendly outdoor pool, an adjoining therapy pool and an adults-only Greenhouse. The Greenhouse includes four additional soaking pools, all at different temperatures, a ten-person sauna and their libation station, The Steel Box Bar. You can grab a meal at the pool’s delicious restaurant, the Mile Deep Grille. Splashland Hot Springs has a geothermal outdoor swimming pool that has been around since 1955 and is an important part of Alamosa’s history. Now remodeled and upgraded with a concession stand, this natural hot spring is a great place to take the family to enjoy a summer afternoon. Splashland is open seasonally, and this family-friendly pool has three water slides, a diving board and lap lanes.
> RESTAURANTS ARBY’S 1705 Main St • 719-589-2747 Fast Food BURGER KING 2501 Main St • 719-589-5538 Fast Food CALVILLO’S 400 Main St • 719-587-5500 Mexican/American CAMPUS CAFÉ 435 Poncha Ave • 719-589-4202 Café CHILI’S GRILL & BAR 3231 Main St • 719-589-1991 American CITY MARKET DELI 131 Market St • 719-589-2492 Deli CRAZY CORNER CAFÉ 823 8th St • 719-589-3873 Mexican/American DOMINO’S 1109 6th St • 719-589-9091 Pizza EF’S 1227 Rail Road Ave • 719-589-3008 Mexican EL CHARRO CAFÉ 1601 Main St • 719-589-2262 Mexican EMMA’S FOOD OF SOUTH WEST 924 Main Street • 719-992-2021 Mexican/American EL SUPER TACO 415 Main St • 719-589-2853 Mexican THE ESSENTIAL GARDEN CAFÉ 507 State Ave • 719-937-2828 Café
HUNAN CHINESE RESTAURANT 419 Main St • 719-589-9002 Chinese/ Sushi
PIZZA HUT 814 Main St • 719-589-3693 Pizza
IHOP RESTAURANT 2025 Main St • 719-992-2100 American
PURPLE PIG PIZZERIA & PUB 624 Main St • 719-589-2220 Pizza
JUANITO’S 1019 6th St • 719-589-0277 Mexican/American
ROCKY’S 425 Main St • 719-587-2294 Café
KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN 2007 W. Main St • 719-589-6297 Fast Food
RUBI SLIPPER 506 State Ave • 719-589-2641 Mexican/American
LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA 2431 Main St • 719-589-6200 Pizza
SAFEWAY DELI 1301 Main St • 719-587-3075 Deli
LONG JOHN SILVER’S / TACO BELL 2435 Main St • 719-589-2140 Fast Food
SAN LUIS VALLEY STEAK, PIZZA & PASTA 1210 8th St • 719-589-4749 Italian/Pizza
LOCAVORES 2209 Main St • 719-589-2157 Farm-to-Table Fast Casual MAY-WA CHINESE RESTAURANT 620 Main St • 719-589-9559 Chinese/ Vietnamese MCDONALD’S 100 Craft Dr • 719-589-2228 Fast Food MI TAQUITO 407 6th St • 719-589-3336 Mexican MONTERREY CAFÉ 1406 Main St • 719-589-3838 Mexican/American NINO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT 326 Main St • 719-587-0101 Mexican OSCAR’S RESTAURANT 520 Main St • 719-589-9230 Mexican/American PAPA MURPHY’S 504 West Ave • 719-937-2933 Take-and-Bake Pizza
SMOOTHY’S JUICE BAR 504 West Ave • 719-496-7339 Smoothies, Soup, Wraps SONIC RESTAURANT 1300 Main St • 719-589-9256 Fast Food ST.IVES PUB & EATERY 719 Main St • 719-589-0711 American SUBWAY 2207 Main St • 719-589-4642 Sandwiches TEMPURA HOUSE 916 Main St • 719-937-2850 Japanese/Sushi THAI HUT 525 Main St • 719-992-2400 Thai/Sushi WALSH BURGER 617 6th St • 719-937-7717 Burgers/ Sandwiches WENDY’S 3338 Clark St • 719-587-3333 Fast Food
WOODY’S Q SHACK 6615 N River Rd • 719-580-0300 & 701 Main St. BBQ WIZE APPLES 408 4th St • 719-937-2204 Burgers/ Sandwiches
> BREWERIES & BARS BANK SHOT SPORTS BAR 1212 8th St • 719-589-9895 Pool Hall & Bar COLORADO FARM BREWING 2070 County Rd 12 S. • 719-580-0051 Brewery OFFICE TAVERN 550 Denver Ave • 719-589-9482 Bar SAN LUIS VALLEY BREWING CO. 631 Main St • 719-587-2337 Brewery & Grille SQUARE PEG BREWERKS 625 Main St • 719-580-7472 Brewery WEEKENDS TAVERN 2065 1st St • 719-589-5579 Bar & Grille
> COFFEE SHOPS
BLESSED BREWS 2431 Main St Suite A • 719-206-3366 Coffee/Café MILAGRO’S COFFEEHOUSE 529 Main St • 719-589-9299 Coffee/Café ROAST COFFEE & LIBATIONS 420 San Juan Ave • 719-587-2326 Coffee/Café STARBUCKS 1301 Main St/Safeway 9-587-3075 x1217 Coffee STARBUCKS 1310 Main Street • 719-589-3765 Coffee
EARLY IRON FESTIVAL August 31 Cole Park, Alamosa 719-589-9170 www.earlyironclub.com
MEMORIAL DAY ENCAMPMENT AT FORT GARLAND May 25-26 Fort Garland CO 719-379-3512 www.musuemtrail.org/FortGarlandMusuem.asp
ALAMOSA 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION July 4 Parade-Main Street Alamosa Fireworks-Alamosa Fairgrounds 719-589-3681 www.alamosarec.org
TASTE OF CREEDE May 24-27 Creede Colorado 719-658-2374 www.creede.com
CATS CLASSIC July 5-7 Sutak Raceway 719-589-9717 www.catsclassic.com
HOT ROD DIRT DRAGS May 31-June 2 Movie Manor Drive In Monte Vista www.hotroddirtdrags.com
LOGGER DAYS FESTIVAL & FAIR July 20-21 South Fork CO 719-873-5512 www.southfork.org
CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATION May 4 San Juan Ave, Alamosa www.slvbrewco.com
SUMMERFEST ON THE RIO June 7-9 Cole Park, Alamosa 719-480-4806 www.summerfestontherio.org CHSCA ALL STATE GAMES 2015 June 4-8 Adams State University www.chscaallstategames.org DONKEY DASH June 8 Main Street, Creede 719-658-2374 www.creede.com RAILS & ALES Rio Grande Scenic RR June 15 Board at the Depot, 610 State Avenue, Alamosa 1-877-726-7245 www.coloradotrain.com
ALAMOSA FARMER’S MARKET Every Saturday from July-October Downtown Alamosa firstname.lastname@example.org
ALAMOSA ART FESTIVAL September 7 Downtown Alamosa 719-587-2024 SAN LUIS VALLEY POTATO FESTIVAL September 7 Monte Vista Colorado 719.852.3322 www.coloradopotato.org CRUISIN’ THE CANYON September 15 Creede Colorado 719-658-2374 www.creede.com
MANASSA PIONEER DAYS July 19-20 Manassa Fairgrounds 719-843-5207 www.manassa.com
> FALL FESTIVAL:
BIKE 2 BUILD SAN LUIS VALLEY CENTURY RIDE July 20 SLV Habitat for Humanity 719-589-8678 www.slvhabitat.org
ALAMOSA OKTOBRUFEST September 28 719-589-3681 www.oktobrufestalamosa.com
SKI-HI STAMPEDE July 24-29 Monte Vista CO 719-852-2055 www.skihistampede.com
12 HOURS OF PENITENCE September 14 Penitente Canyon Recreation Area www.12hoursofpenitence.com/
COVERED WAGON DAYS August 1-4 Del Norte, CO Karenbonnie@q.com
ROLLIN’ DEEP CAR SHOW June 16 Cole Park, Alamosa 719-274-5224
BEAT THE HEAT BBQ August 2-3 Cole Park, Alamosa www.slvbeattheheat.com
ALAMOSA PRCA ROUND UP RODEO June 20-23 Alamosa Fairgrounds 719-589-9444 www.alamosaroundup.com
RHYTHMS ON THE RIO August 2-4 South Fork Colorado www.rhythmsontherio.com
SOCIETY HALL ANNUAL CELEBRATION September 21 719-937-2636 www.societyhall.org
VETERANS DAY Entrance Fee-Free November 11 Great Sand Dunes National Park 719-378-6395 CREEDE CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL November 29-30 Main Street, Creede 719-658-2374 www.creede.com
ALAMOSA PARADE OF LIGHTS December 21 Main Street, Alamosa CO 719-589-9444 www.alamosaroundup.com
ATTRACTIONS ADAMS STATE UNIVERSITY THEATRE 208 Edgemont Blvd., Alamosa 81101 719-587-TIXX
FORT GARLAND MUSEUM & PIKEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S STOCKADE 29477 Highway 159, Fort Garland 81133 719-379-3512
SAND DUNES RECREATION 1991 County Road 63, Hooper 81136 719-378-2807
ALAMOSA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE 9383 El Rancho Lane, Alamosa 81101 719-589-4021
GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK 11999 Highway 150, Mosca 81146 719-378-6399
SHRINE OF THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS Junction of CO Hwy 159 & 142, San Luis 81152 719-672-3685
ALAMOSA RANCH & BLANCA VISTA PARK North River Road, Alamosa 81101 719-589-2105
HISTORIC ENGINE 169 300 Hunt Avenue, Alamosa 81101 866-970-3540
SOCIETY HALL 400 Ross Avenue, Alamosa 81101 719-937-2636
BLANCA WETLANDS County Road 2S, Alamosa 81101 719-852-7074
LOS CAMINOS ANTIGUOS SCENIC BYWAY Begins on CO-17, Alamosa 81101 719-580-4070
SPLASHLAND 5895 CO-17, Alamosa 81101 719-589-6258
CATTAILS GOLF COURSE 6615 N River Road, Alamosa 81101 719-589-9515
LUTHER BEAN MUSEUM AT ADAMS STATE 208 Edgemont Blvd., Alamosa 81101 719-587-7151
THE WET PAINTBRUSH 1307 Main St, Suite A, Alamosa 81101 719-285-7715
COLORADO GATORS 9162 County Road 9N, Mosca 81146 719-378-2612
PENITENTE CANYON County Road 38A, Del Norte 81132 719-655-2547
UFO WATCHTOWER Highway 17, Hooper 81136 719-378-2296
COLORADO WELCOME CENTER 610 State Avenue, Alamosa 81101 800-258-7597
RIO GRANDE FARM PARK 6935 CO-17, Alamosa 81101 719-580-0379
WHEELER GEOLOGIC AREA Pool Table Road, Creede 81130 719-658-2556
CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE North Main Street, Creede 81130 719-658-2540
RIO GRANDE SCENIC RAILROAD 610 State Avenue, Alamosa 81101 877-726-RAIL
ZAPATA FALLS Highway 150, Mosca 81146 719-852-7074
CUMBRES & TOLTEC RAILROAD 5250 B Hwy 285, Antonito 81120 888-CUMBRES
SAN LUIS VALLEY MUSEUM 401 Hunt Avenue, Alamosa 81101 719-587-0667
ZAPATA RANCH 5305 Highway 150, Mosca 81146 719-378-2356
LODGING & CAMPING > HOTELS AND MOTELS 1
2051 Main St. Alamosa, CO 81101
SUPER 8 OF ALAMOSA
2505 Main St. Alamosa, CO 81101
333 Santa Fe Ave. Alamosa, CO 81101
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS
3418 Mariposa St. Alamosa, CO 81101
SAND DUNES LODGE
7900 Highway 150 Mosca, CO 81146
223 Santa Fe Ave. Alamosa, CO 81101
COMFORT INN OF ALAMOSA
6301 County Rd 107 S. Alamosa, CO 81101
BEST WESTERN ALAMOSA INN
2005 W Main St. Alamosa, CO 81101
425 Main St. Alamosa, CO 81101
10 ZAPATA RANCH
5303 Highway 150 Alamosa, CO 81101
11 HAMPTON INN
710 Mariposa St. Alamosa, CO 81101
12 RIVERSIDE INN OF ALAMOSA
250 Broadway Ave. Alamosa, CO 81101
13 FAIRFIELD INN & SUITES
721 Mariposa St. Alamosa, CO 81101
14 THE SUNSET INN
1310 W. 8th St. Alamosa, CO 81101
15 GREAT SAND DUNES OASIS
7800 HWY 150 Mosca, CO 81146
> CAMP GROUNDS
ALAMOSA ECONOMY CAMPGROUND
12532 E HWY 160 Alamosa, CO 81101
PINION FLATS CAMPGROUND
Great Sand Dunes NPS Mosca, CO 81146
GREAT SAND DUNES OASIS
5400 HWY 150 Mosca, CO 81146
6900 Juniper Ln. Alamosa, CO 81101
SAN LUIS STATE WILDLIFE AREA
County Road 6 North Alamosa, CO 81101
COOL SUNSHINE RV PARK
1055 7th St. Alamosa, CO 81101
ZAPATA FALLS CAMPGROUND
HWY 150 Mosca CO 81146
PRE-SORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE PAID ALAMOSA, CO. PERMIT NO. 5
COLORADO WELCOME CENTER 610 STATE AVE. ALAMOSA, CO 81101