101 Things 2019


Things to do in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.

Page 2 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

Things To

Do In The San Luis Valley

Top 10


The Great Sand Dunes National Park features the tallest

sand dunes in the United States. The dune field rising above

the San Luis Valley is framed with the blue peaks of the

Sangre de Cristo mountain range.

During the summer, park rangers organize a number of

nature walks and interpretive programs exploring the dunes’

geology, history and wildlife. For a more challenging walk,

head into the dune field itself. Whether hiking, sliding,

exploring in a dunes wheelchair — or simply playing — the

Great Sand Dunes are a unique area for all to enjoy.

The visitors center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from

Memorial Day to Labor Day. The center offers an inspiring

film presentation, interactive exhibits, bookstore, first aid

room and back porch with viewing scope.

A number of camping sites, ranging from car and RV areas

to primitive backpacking sites on and off the dune field, are


For more information, call 719-378-6300 or log onto www.


The Great Sand Dunes National Park

File photo


The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was built in 1880

with three feet — narrow gauge — between the tracks

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 3

instead of four feet, eight and a half inches, the standard in

the United States.

The railroad’s locomotives burn hand-shoveled coal

pulling trains along the highest and longest narrow gauge

track in the United States from Antonito to Chama, N.M.

The railroad gives passengers a unique view of the beauty

of the San Juan Mountains, taking them on a twisty ride

that crosses the Colorado-New Mexico border 11 times and

carries them over 10,015-foot-high

Cumbres Pass and through two


The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic

Railroad offers daily scenic train

rides from Chama, New Mexico

and Antonito, Colorado, crossing at

historic Osier Station.

Schedules and details about

specials and all train rides are

available at www.cumbrestoltec.

com or by calling 1-888-Cumbres


on hundreds of miles of historic rail. Daily and weekend

excursions offer riders a trip back in time on restored passenger

cars that stop at historic towns and connect with the Cumbres

& Toltec Railroad.

The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad also offers concerts in

a beautiful mountain setting during the summer months.

Reservations can be made by calling 877-726-RAIL or visiting




The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

offers steam engine rides through

breathtaking mountain valleys

and over legendary La Veta pass

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

Photo courtesy ACVB Instagram—@alamosa_colorado

Page 4 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019


Colorado’s oldest outdoor rodeo, the Ski Hi Stampede in

Monte Vista is a delight for the entire family. This year marks

the 98th anniversary of the San Luis Valley Ski Hi Stampede

planned July 25-28. There will be parades beginning at

10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The rodeo brings major

entertainment and many of the best cowboys in the country

to Monte Vista’s Ski-Hi Arena. Also enjoy dances, fireworks,

carnival and chuckwagon dinner. For information call 719-

852-2055 or see www.skihistampede.com

Early Iron Festival

File photo


Hundreds of vehicles from America’s “early” years in its

love affair with the automobile arrive in Alamosa from all

over the United States for their annual Labor Day weekend

San Luis Valley Early Iron Festival, one of the San Luis

Valley’s largest events featuring more than 500 cars.

This year marks the 39th anniversary from August

30-September 1. Early Iron welcomes a variety of vehicles

including pickups, custom, street rods, classics and street

machines. See www.earlyironclub.com/


The 2019 Alamosa Round-Up, sanctioned by the

Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA), is

scheduled from June 20-23 with most events at the Alamosa

fairgrounds. Events include ranch rodeo, barbecue, mutton

bustin, cattle drive and parade, PRCA rodeo, rodeo block party,

demolition derby and cowboy church. The highlight will be

Saturday with a round-UP Concert featuring PARMALEE.

Buy tickets at The Colorado Welcome Center and Alamosa

Big R. See www.alamosaroundup.com


Creede Repertory Theatre is a professional theatre company

located in the historic town of Creede. CRT’s award-winning

company produces the best of contemporary and classic

theatre from the end of May through September. Each year,

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 5

Creede Repertory Theatre

CRT produces several plays in rotation, hosts numerous

musical events and concerts, exhibits the best regional artists

in its two lobby galleries, and offers exciting educational

programming. This year CRT celebrates its 54th season. Plays

include Peter and the Starcatcher, Ripcord, Little Shop of

Horrors, Pride and Prejudice, BOOMTOWN! and Hazardous

Materials. Tickets are available at the box office on 124 N.

Main Street in Creede, calling toll free: 866-658-2540 or

going to the web site: www.creederep.org

File photo

east through the foothills of the

Sangre de Cristos.

The byway continues into San

Luis, the first town in Colorado.

The byway then journeys north

to Fort Garland. As the byway

follows the Sangre de Cristo

mountain range, several natural

wonders await: Zapata Falls;

the Great Sand Dunes National

Park; the historic Medano

Ranch; and the San Luis Lakes

State Park and Wildlife Area.

The byway then turns south

near two of the Valley’s more

colorful attractions, the UFO

Watchtower and the Colorado

Gators, an alligator farm just

north of Alamosa on Hwy 17.

The “ancient road” ends its

journey in Alamosa.


The Silver Thread Scenic Byway passes through some of

the most scenic areas and towns in the San Juan Mountains.

Leaving the town of South Fork, the byway begins its journey

along the Rio Grande. The byway then enters the Rio Grande

National Forest, where it travels through steep cañons of


Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway connects many of the

San Luis Valley’s attractions, such as the Cumbres and Toltec

Scenic Railway and the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The journey begins on Highway 17 on Cumbres Pass. As

Highway 17 descends into the San Luis Valley, it follows the

Conejos River and several perfect fishing spots. The byway

continues through Conejos, home of the oldest church in

Colorado, then to the De Vargas petroglyph crossing site. It then

leads to Manassa, the home of Jack Dempsey, and continues

Page 6 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

volcanic tuff before crossing an alpine valley, home

to herds of deer and elk.

Miners built the town of Creede in the spirit of

exploration. Outside the town, a driving tour of the

area’s mining heritage winds through the rugged

geologic formations. Between Creede and Lake City,

the highway passes The Slumgullion Earthflow, a

geologic form that began 700 years ago. The Silver

Tread ends at a second mining town, Lake City.


The historic Fort Garland Museum takes visitors

back in time to the era of Kit Carson, commandant

of the fort from 1866-1867, and earlier commanders.

The museum features displays of the life of

officers and enlisted men during the years the fort

served southern Colorado.

Walk the parade ground of the fort and tour the

adobe buildings, which feature a re-creation of the

commandant’s quarters during Carson’s time. Rich

in military history, Fort Garland also highlights the

folk art and culture of the Hispanic community in

southern Colorado.

The Fort Garland Museum and Visitor Center is

located in Fort Garland, 25 miles east of Alamosa

off U.S. Highway 160. The Fort Garland Museum

and Visitor Center is open year-round. For more

information call 719-379-3512.

Fort Garland

File photo

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 7

Alamosa County


PRESERVE — North America’s tallest dunes rise over 750

feet high against the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This

geologic wonderland, containing over 30 square miles of massive

dunes, became one of the nation’s newest national parks in

September 2004. It also includes alpine lakes and tundra, six

peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation, ancient spruce and pine

forests, large stands of aspen and cottonwood, grasslands, and

wetlands — all habitat for diverse wildlife and plant species.

Great Sand Dunes National Park is located 35 miles northeast

of Alamosa, Colorado, reached by U.S. Highway 160 and

State Highway 150 from the south, or from State Highway 17

and County Lane 6 from the west. Contact: (719) 378-2020 or



Wildlife Refuge, located a few miles east of Alamosa off Highway

160, is a haven for migratory birds and other wildlife. This

11,169-acre refuge supports songbirds, water birds, raptors,

mule deer, beaver and coyotes. A two-mile round trip hiking

trail begins at the Visitor’s Center and follows the Rio Grande.

The Bluff Overlook on the eastern side of the refuge may be

reached by car and provides a three and a half-mile auto tour.

3 ADAMS STATE UNIVERSITY — Since its cornerstone

was laid in 1923, Adams State University grew from a teachers’

Adams State University’s first PhD graduates

File photo

college into a fine liberal arts university. Adams State University

offers bachelor and master’s degrees in a multitude of majors and

now offers a doctoral program as well. The campus features a new

stadium complex and many other recent physical improvements.

View more at www.adams.edu. In addition, check out numerous

opportunities for youngsters and high school student-athletes

to attend sports camps at ASC by calling 587-7401 or going to


Page 8 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

Alamosa Roundup Rodeo tie down roping

File photo


The Alamosa Ranch offers numerous trails featuring

opportunities to see wildlife and historic markers for

Wayside, the stagecoach stop forerunner of Alamosa and

the site where Amelia Earhart landed in a meadow. Trail

guides are available at the Colorado Welcome Center by

the train depot in Alamosa.

5 LUTHER BEAN MUSEUM — Located on the Adams State

University campus in Richardson Hall, this museum features

the Woodard Collection of artifacts from around the world and

Native American and Hispanic works of art. Call 587-7151 for

more information. Adams State College campus also hosts the

San Luis Valley Japanese-American Memorial Garden.

6 ALAMOSA ROUNDUP — The 2019 Alamosa Round-

Up, sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association

(PRCA), is scheduled this year from June 20-23 at the Alamosa

fairgrounds. Events this year include: kick off Thursday, June

20 with a cattle drive at high noon and a barbecue at 6 p.m.,

benefiting the Round-Up a CURE cause. Then mutton bustin and

local barrel race qualifier at 7 p.m. Friday, June 21 begins at 10

a.m. with PRCA Rodeo Slack and 1 st Responders Appreciation

Night at the PRCA rodeo at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 22 starts

at10a.m. with a Cowboy Church, Bulls and Bandits 5K at 2

p.m., PRCA rodeo at 7 p.m. with National Guard Appreciation

Night and Round-UP a CURE night. At 8:30 p.m. the evening

concludes with a concert featuring PARMALEE and Gunnar and

Grizzle Boys. A demolition derby at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 23

concludes the weekend. Buy tickets at The Colorado Welcome

Center and Alamosa Big R. See www.alamosaroundup.com

7 BEAT THE HEAT BBQ — The newest event in Alamosa

County, in its sixth year, is the Annual San Luis Valley Beat

the Heat BBQ, a sanctioned Kansas City Barbecue Society and

Rocky Mountain Barbecue Association State Championship

event. The event will be held Friday and Saturday, August 2 and

3. Enjoy barbecue, live music, cornhole tournament, children’s

activities and more. Contact the Alamosa County Chamber of

Commerce at 589-3681, e-mail randyw@gojade.org or see


8 ALAMOSA ART WALK — Enjoy art demonstrations of

all types, exhibitions, entertainment and special fare in downtown

Alamosa on Friday and Saturday, September 6-7 during the 16th

Annual Alamosa Art Walk. Contact: 719-589-3681, 587-0878 or

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 9

Page 10 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

589-5163 or see Alamosa Art Walk on Facebook. In conjunction

with the Art Walk, the City of Alamosa will celebrate 15 new art

pieces created by artists from near and far during the opening of

the Second Annual ArtScape Program on September 6.

9 COLORADO GATORS — Featuring more than 400

gators and other exotic species, Colorado Gators is one of the

most unique attractions in the entire Valley. It is located north

of Alamosa between Mosca and Hooper on Highway 17. Events

include gator wrestling, Eggfest 2019 July 6-7 and the Annual

Gatorfest Aug. 4-5. Phone (719) 378-2612 for more information,

or see gatorfarm.com

10 ZAPATA FALLS — Zapata Falls BLM Recreation Area

Zapata Falls, a wonder of nature, is located four miles east of

Colorado Highway 150, just south of the entrance to Great

Sand Dunes National Park. From the parking and picnic area

it is about a half mile walk uphill to the falls. The Zapata Falls

Campground provides campsites. A trailhead in the campground

supplies a link to the South Zapata Creek Trail and the Sangre

de Cristo Wilderness. A second trail, just above the campground

in the day-use area, leads visitors on a mildly steep half-mile

hike to the falls that give the campground its name.


The SLV Antique Iron Club, committed to the preservation,

restoration and promotion of antique agricultural collectibles

by innovative and quality work of current times, hosts several

events throughout the summer including: participation in Ski

Hi Stampede Parade, Covered Wagon Days, SLV Fair, Early

Iron Festival and Potato Festival. Fun Pulls are also planned

April 13 and Oct. 12. The tractor pull track is located between

Monte Vista and Alamosa at the Alamosa Recreation Park on

the north side of State Highway 160. See www.slvaic.com or

call 850-1326 or 850-0072.

San Luis Valley Museum

File photo

railroading are featured in this museum located in downtown

Alamosa at 401 Hunt Avenue. It is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday

through Saturday year-round. Call 719-587-0667.

14 SUMMERFEST ON THE RIO — Summerfest on the

Rio is an annual festival held in Alamosa’s Cole Park along the

Rio Grande the first weekend in June. This year the event will

be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 7-9. Enjoy delicious

food, entertainment and activities in the park. Summerfest

weekend is jam-packed with live entertainers with something for

everyone, from rock and roll, bluegrass, jazz, Mariachi bands,

country, belly dancers, jugglers, poker fun and more. For more

information go to www.summerfestontherio.org

15 EARLY IRON — Saving the best for last, one of the last

big celebrations of the summer season is the annual Early Iron

Festival on Labor Day weekend. This event features hundreds

12 ENGINE 169 — Located in the pavilion at the east

entrance to Alamosa, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad

locomotive No. 169 is listed in the Colorado State Register of

Historic Properties. The 10-wheeler narrow gauge, coal-fired

steam locomotive was built in 1883. Hooked to the engine is

the tender and B-1 Business Car, built in 1880.

13 SAN LUIS VALLEY MUSEUM — Displays of Native

American culture, Hispanic settlers, Japanese-American

community, Adams State University, military regalia and early

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 11

of antique cars and hot rods on display in Cole Park in Alamosa,

plus a slow cruise through downtown Alamosa Saturday night.

This year’s event, the 39th annual, is August 30-September 1. See


16 SUNDAYS @ SIX —The Alamosa Live Music Association

presents free concerts in Cole Park throughout the summer. The series

runs from June 23 to August 25 each Sunday at 6 p.m. Entertainment

this summer includes Soul, R&B, Honky-Tonk, Americana, Jazz

And Big Band, Soul-Funk, Spanish, Rock, Jamband, Celtic and

Funk Rock. The first concert is scheduled June 23 featuring Dane

Arnold & The Soup, Soul and R&M music. For more information

see www.almaonline.org


Saturday, June 15, 2019 - On behalf of the Rio Grande Scenic

Railroad and the San Luis Valley Brewing Company– welcome to

Alamosa and our event! We are glad you are attending. Here are

some details that you need to know. They are critical to your safety,

satisfaction, and having an overall good time. Please bring your

ID! This is a 21 years and older only event. No children, including

infants. Proof of age for all souls will be required in order to board

the train and attend the event. Ticketing: You may pick up your

tickets any time after 12 p.m. noon on Friday. We recommend

collecting your tickets early in order to avoid the long line on

Saturday Morning. The ticket window is open late until 9 p.m. on

Friday evening. So come get your tickets Friday and then go enjoy

the Block Party at San Luis Valley Brewing. We will re-open at 7

a.m. on Saturday Morning. The Depot is located at 610 State Ave.

18 FOURTH OF JULY — Celebrate the 4th of July in Alamosa

beginning with the Kiwanis pancake breakfast in the morning, 7-10

a.m., followed by a parade down Main Street at 10. Fireworks are

planned at dusk at the Alamosa Fairgrounds.

19 FARMERS MARKET — The Alamosa Farmers’ Market

runs Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. July to October featuring local

produce, food, crafts, cooking demonstrations, educational activities

for all ages, and live music in the parking lot at State and Sixth Streets

in downtown Alamosa and beginning this year in a second location,

the farm park just north of the Highway 160/17 intersection, Alamosa,

on Wednesdays. See more details at alamosafarmersmarket.org,

719-480-4365, or alamosafarmermarket@gmail.com.

20 CATTAILS GOLF COURSE — With a beautiful

clubhouse, pro shop and restaurant, under new management, the

Cattails Golf Course in Alamosa has been praised throughout

the Rocky Mountain Region for its superb condition and

challenging 18 holes. Call 589-9515 to reserve tee times.

Also, enjoy a disc golf course adjacent to Cattails on the

Alamosa Ranch.

21 ROLLIN’ DEEP CAR SHOW — Celebrate Father’s Day

with the entire family at Alamosa’s Cole Park with the free 24th

Annual Rollin’ Deep Car Show on Sunday, June 16, featuring low

rider custom cars and motorcycles, all makes, models and years.

Enjoy a pre-hop Saturday with live music, hop contest and food.

The show will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 719-580-3939, 719-

274-5224 or 719-580-0541.

22 SACRED HEART CHURCH — The historic Catholic

church on Fourth Street in Alamosa was constructed between

1922-1928, and is an interesting interpretation of the Mission

style designed by prominent architect Robert Willison. Step inside

to see outstanding murals painted in the 1940s by German artist

Josef Steinhage.


Pro Am motocross action at the Cat’s Classic Motocross scheduled

for July 5-7 at the Sutak Raceway, 8131 Road 11 South, Alamosa.

Sutak Raceway is a historic motocross track where racer/promoter

Dwight Catalano has hosted numerous events. Visit catsclassics.

com for the schedule and more information.


railroad offers a variety of trips originating from Alamosa and La

Veta, with stops in Fort Garland, Monte Vista and Antonito. One

of the great features is the Mountain Rails Live Summer Concerts

set in a beautiful natural mountain amphitheater. Headliners this

year include Jim Curry: Tribute to the Music of John Denver,

Michael Martin Murphey, Judy Collins, Pure Prairie League, Suzy

Bogguss, Riders in the Sky, Peter Yarrow and Tom Rush. The

Annual Rails & Ales Brewfest is June 15 when train passengers

can sample beers from numerous regional breweries at a remote

mountain location. Call toll free (877) 726-RAIL (7245) or visit


25 SPLASHLAND — The Splashland Hot Springs features

naturally artesian warm water. The pool is located just a mile

north of Alamosa on Highway 17. Splashland offers water

aerobics, deep water cardio, water yoga and parent-tot classes.

Check out the updated building and food court. Contact: 589-6258

or splashlandllc@hotmail.com. Also check Splashland out on

Facebook and at www.splashlandllc.com/

Page 12 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

Saguache County

Historic Saguache Ranger Station

26 WAGON WHEEL TRACKS — Along the trail

system of Penitente Canyon are tracks from early wagons

worn into the rock. It’s an amazing sight about a half-mile

hike from the Penitente Canyon Trail Head.


Luis Valley’s hidden treasures is the La Garita Natural

Arch located in Penitente Canyon. To reach the volcanic

rock arch, go north out of Monte Vista on Highway 285

for 18 miles to County Road G and turn left. Go west

to the “y” intersection just past the La Garita Store and

take the dirt road south, following the signs to the arch,

turning west on Forest Road 660. The arch is located just

west of Forest Road 659.

File photo

28 DRIVE COCHETOPA PASS — Cochetopa Pass,

or Pass of the Buffalo, is the northwest route out of the

San Luis Valley. At just over 10,000 feet, Cochetopa is

a scenic mountain drive into the Gunnison River valley.

Take Colorado 114 west out of Saguache.

29 BONANZA MINE DISTRICT — With a population

of 16, Bonanza is Colorado’s smallest incorporated town.

Points of interest in the Bonanza area include a former

toll road, cemeteries, and spectacular views of the aspencovered

hills where prospectors once hoped to strike it rich.

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 13

30 PONCHA PASS— At 9,010

feet, Poncha Pass is the northern

entrance into the San Luis Valley,

separating the Arkansas River

Basin and the Rio Grande Basin.

It is one of the lowest passes in

Colorado and was often used by

Native Americans, trappers and

immigrants in the 1800s.


CRESTONE — Enjoy a parade,

children’s activities, vendors,

live music, local art and more

during Crestone’s annual Fourth

of July festivities. There’s no

July 4 th celebration quite like it.


— The UFO Watchtower is just

north of Hooper off Highway

Hazard House, Saguache

17, about half an hour away

from Alamosa. Summer hours are daily from 10 a.m. to

5 p.m. or by appointment after hours. Camping permitted

on site. The annual UFO conference will be held July

27-29. For more information, call 719-378-2296 or see


33 HOT SPRINGS — Joyful Journey Hot Springs,

and the Orient Land Trust, formerly known as Valley

View, have plenty of hot water for soaking and swimming

after a long hike or bike ride. Joyful Journey also offers

massages, and Valley View, which is clothing optional,

has a hot tub and sauna. All are accessible from Colorado

17. For information call Joyful Journey at 719-256-4328;

Photo by Staci Turner

Orient Land Trust at 256-5212.


Challenger Golf Course in the Baca Grande near Crestone

features 9 holes and a magnificent setting at the base of

the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. The course is named

for Challenger Point on Carson Mountain, in honor of the

astronauts lost in the Challenger space mission. Phone

(719) 256-4856 for tee times.

35 MUSEUMS — The Hazard House at 807 Pitkin in

Saguache features the affluent lifestyle of the 1920s and

1930s. The Saguache County Museum, on U.S. Highway

285, includes an old jailhouse, rocks

and minerals, fine China dolls, and

information about Alferd Packer. Call

719-655-2805 or go to www.Saguache.org

Also, check out the new Crestone

Historical Museum.

Joyful Journey Hot Springs

File photo


POOL — Open year-round, this pool,

just north of Hooper and about half an

hour from Alamosa, is a treat for children

and adults alike with multiple pools

of warm artesian water, a full line of

concessions, pool toys, and a recreation

area. The pool is closed Thursdays for

cleaning. All other days, summer hours

are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Also enjoy The

Greenhouse, a 21-and-over area with

pool, soaking tubs, sauna and Steel Box

Bar. Call 719-378-2807 or see www.


Page 14 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

San Luis Valley Calendar


1 Peter and the Starcatcher opens, CRT, Creede

2 The Cody Sisters Band, Wildwood Sounds, Del


1-3 4th Annual Hot Rod Dirt Drags, Monte Vista

7-9 Summerfest on the Rio, Cole Park, Alamosa

6-11 Annual Earthknack Gathering, Crestone

8 Runoff Runoff, Creede

Annual Donkey Dash Burro Race, Creede

Cosy Sheridan, Society Hall, Alamosa

Thunder in the Valley, Monte Vista

Maggie Rains, Cole Park, Alamosa

9 Gravity Derby, Creede

7 Vintage Wines, Fresh Voices, Alamosa

15 Glory Days, La Jara

14 Rails and Ales Block Party, Alamosa

Bob Livingston, Society Hall, Alamosa

21 Hogan and Moss, Wildwood Sounds, Del Norte

Alice Wallace, Society Hall, Alamosa

15 La Jara Glory Days, La Jara

Kids Fishing, Tucker Ponds, South Fork

Rails and Ales, RG Railroad, Alamosa

16 Rollin’ Deep Car Show, Cole Park, Alamosa

Salmon Fly Hatch Days, South Fork

19 Creede Chute Out Rodeo, Creede

20-22 Alamosa PRCA Round-Up Rodeo, Alamosa

22-23 Jim Curry: Tribute To The Music Of John

Denver, RGSR

22 Absolution, Summer Rocks, La Jara

Arts Festival, Saguache

23 Dane Arnold & The Soup (Soul, R&B), Sundays

at Six, Alamosa

26 Creede Chute Out Rodeo, Creede

Susan Gibson, Del Norte

28 Little Shop of Horrors opens, CRT, Creede

Sally Barris, Society Hall, Alamosa

29 Photography Show opens, Creede

29-30 Michael Martin Murphey, RGSR

Maggie Rains and the Crooked Keys, Summer

Rocks, La Jara

30 Haldon Wofford & The Hi Beams (Honky-Tonk)

, Sundays at Six, Alamosa

June 29 –July 3

Rockin’ The Rio Grande Rodeo, South Fork


3 Independence Day Celebration, South Fork

Rockin’ The Rio Grande Rodeo, South Fork

4 Independence Day Celebration, Creede

Independence Day Celebration, Alamosa

Creede Chute Out, Creede

Christmas in July, Park, Saguache

5-7 Cat’s Classic Motocross, Sutak, Alamosa

6-7 Judy Collins, RGSR

7 The Rifters (Americana) , Sundays at Six,


Secondhand Street Band, Wildwood Sounds,

Del Norte

8-9 Eggfest, Colorado Gators, Mosca

10 Creede Chute Out, Creede

11 Kids Show Opens, CRT, Creede

13 McLeod Nine Duo, Wildwood Sounds, Del


Ol’ Scratch, Summer Rocks, La Jara

Mike Blakeley, Society Hall, Alamosa

13-14 Pure Prairie League, RGSR

13-19 Woodcarvers Rendezvous, Creede

14 SLV Big Band, Cole Park, Alamosa

17 Creede Chute Out, Creede

19 Jeff Blankenhorn, Wildwood Sounds, Del Norte

19-20 Ladies Aid Bazaar, Old Gym, Creede

20-21 Suzy Bogguss, RGSR

20 Pioneer Days, Sanford

Howard, Community Church, Creede

Mike Blakely, Society Hall, Alamosa

21 Rockin’ The Rio Grande Rodeo, South Fork

J-Calvin (Soul-Funk) , Sundays at Six, Alamosa

21-22 Manassa Pioneer Days, Manassa

San Juan Fiesta, La Garita

Logger Days Festival, South Fork

27 Hollyhock Festival, Saguache

Riders in the Sky, RGSR

22 The Ant People, Cole Park, Alamosa

23 Jimmy Davis & Jed Zimmerman, Society Hall,


25 Creede Chute Out, Creede

Pride and Prejudice, CRT, Creede

25-28 97th Annual Ski-Hi Stampede, Monte Vista

Creede Sculpture Show, Creede

26 Andrew Finn Magill & Alan Murray, Wildwood

Sounds, Del Norte

27 Walt Wilkins, Society Hall, Alamosa

Dinner Train, C&TSRR, Antonito

28 Little Shop of Horrors opens, CRT, Creede

Trout Fishing in America, RGSR

28 The Uz Band (Spanish, Rock) , Sundays at Six,


26-28 UFO Conference, UFO Watchtower, Hooper

27-28 Santa Ana y Santiago Festival, San Luis

31 Creede Chute Out, Creede


2-5 Covered Wagon Days, Del Norte

3 CRT gala, Rio Grande Club, South Fork

Waverly Road, Summer Rocks, La Jara

Dana Cooper, Wildwood Sounds, Del Norte

2-3 Beat the Heat BBQ, Cole Park, Alamosa

2-4 Creede Rock & Mineral Show,

Underground Mining Museum, Creede

Music Festival, South Fork

3-4 Gatorfest, Colorado Gators, Mosca

Valley Motocross Track, Mosca

3 Junior Ranger Day, Great Sand Dunes

Snowshoe Shuffle, Creede

Waverly Road, Town Park Pavilion, La Jara

3-10 San Luis Valley Fair, Ski-Hi, Monte Vista

5 Wildflower Train, C&TSRR, Antonito

Concert, Community Church, Creede

8 Rifters CD Release, Society Hall, Alamosa

9-10 Mushroom Foray, South Fork

10 Valley Cats, La Jara

10 Wine on the Scenic Line, RGSR, Alamosa

Mountain Man Encampment, Sand Dunes

Studio Tour, Creede & South Fork

Hospital Fundraiser, Bus Barn, Del Norte

Sunset Train, C&TSRR, Antonito

Peyote Bird Blues, Town Park, La Jara

10-11 Peter Yarrow, RGSR

11 The Jauntee (Jamband), Sundays at Six,


15 Creede Historical Society: Sandy Wagner,

Community Church, Creede

Eliza Gilkyson, Society Hall, Alamosa

16 Hazardous Materials opens, CRT,

17 Junior Brown, RGSR

Reckless Summer Rocks, La Jara

SLV Theatre Company: “Zoot Suit,” ASU,


Buffalo Soldier Encampment, Sand Dunes

18 Lee Roy Parnell, RGSR Skean Dubh (Celtic),

Sundays at Six, Alamosa

23 Upper Rio Grande Tour of Homes, Creede

23-25 Traditional Intertribal Pow Wow, Otto Mears

Park, Saguache

23-24 Headwaters Music Festival, Creede

Headwaters New Play Festival, CRT,

Headwaters Alliance Bike Race, Creede

Susan Gibson, Wildwood, Del Norte

24 David Rogers, Society Hall, Alamosa

24-25 Tom Rush, RGSR

25 The High Vibes (Funk Rock), Sundays at Six,


28 John Green: The Me Zone, Sunnyside, Chapel,


30-9/2 Labor Day Weekend Celebration, Balloon

Festival, Salsa Fiesta, Mountain Run, Creede

38th Annual Early Iron Car Show, Cole Park,


Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 15


1-3 Labor Day Celebration, Antonito

Colorado Gators, Mosca

2 Emily Van Fleet & Nathan Jones, CRT,

3 10-Minute New Play Festival, CRT, Creede

7-8 Valley Motocross Track, Mosca

20th Annual Rio Costilla Studio Tour

7 San Luis Valley Potato Festival, Chapman

Park, Monte Vista

Amateur Astronomy Night, Sand Dunes

9-12 Fall Colors RGSR, Alamosa

14-16 Quilt Guild Show, Creede

14 Headwaters Land Trust Headwaters Hoedown,

Conejos County

Sunset Dinner Murder Mystery Train,

C&TSRR, Antonito

SARC AMA SX, Valley Motocross Track,


20-22 Cruisin’ the Canyon Car Show, Creede

21 Fall Festival and Quilt Show, Otto Mears Park,


Block Party, Pitkin Ave. Baptist Church,


Society Hall 3rd Annual Celebration, Society

Hall, Alamosa

Big Fat Cigar Train, RGSR, Alamosa

27-28 Sir Chomps O’Lot’s Birthday, Colorado

Gators, Mosca

28 Oktobrufest, Sunset Park, Alamosa

To Pon

Page 16 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

To Gunnison & Blue Mesa

Villa G


Lake City

To Gunnison




Silver Thread

Scenic By-

North Clear Creek Falls







La Garita





Rio Grande Reservoir

Hunters Lake

Big Meadows Reservoir

Continental Divide & Lobo Overlook

Wolf Creek Pass Summit 10,580 ft.

Wagon Wheel

Shaw Lake


Tucker Ponds


D South Fork

South Fork River


Poage Lake



Beaver Creek



Gold Medal Fishing

Rio Grande

Del Norte Peak



Del Norte




West Fork

Old Spanish










Alamosa River

Conejos River

Treasure Falls

La Jara




To Pagosa Springs


Mesa Verde,

Cortez & the Four Corners

La Manga Pass ) (



) ( Cumbres Pass



To Chama

Locations are generalized - Please consult a regular highway map for exact routes.

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 17

cha Springs






re De Cristo

nal Heritage

e Vista









La Jara



To Sante










Los Caminos

Antiguos Byway




Rio Grande

12 Sanford



16 Antonito


Kit Carson 14,165ft

Crestone 14,294ft

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Great Sand Dunes

National Park &

East Fork

Old Spanish Trail

Preserve Zapata Falls





San Luis

142 14

Little Bear


Mt. Lindsey


Blanca Peak 14,390ft


Fort Garland



To I-25 &


Mtn. Home




Map Key

1 Orient Mine & Bat Cave

2 Joyful Journeys

3 Crestone

Spiritual Center

Historical Museum


4 UFO Watchtower

5 Saguache

History Museum & Hazard House

Historical Ute Theatre

Welcome Center

6 Sand Dunes Swimming Pool

7 San Luis Lakes State Park

8 Colorado Gators Reptile Park

9 Alamosa

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

SLV Museum, Luther Bean Museum

Splashland Swimming Pool

Water Park

10 Fort Garland

Fort Garland Museum

11 POW/MIA Memorial

12 Pikes Stockade

13 Manassa

Jack Dempsey Museum

14 San Luis

Stations of the Cross & Murals

15 Oldest Church in Colorado

16 Antonito

Cumbres & Toltec Railroad

Conejos County Museum

17 Monte Vista

Home Lake Veterans Center

Transportation of the West Museum

18 Old Spanish Trail Monument

19 Stone Quarry

20 Del Norte

Rio Grande History Museum


21 Penitente Canyon

22 Natural Arch

Wagon Tracks

Elephant Rocks

23 Fremonts Christmas Camp

24 Pfeiffer's Grave

25 Summitville Gold Mine

26 Wheeler Geologic Area

27 South Fork

Silver Thread Scenic Byway

Scenic Rail Excursions

28 Creede

Historical Museum

Underground Mining Museum

Underground Firehouse

Repertory Theatre

Bachelor Loop Historic Tour

23 Wolf Creek Ski Area







Russell Lakes State Wildlife Area

Alamosa Wildlife Refuge

Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge

Coller State Wildlife Area

Rio Grande State Wildlife Area

La Jara & Hot Creek State Wildlife Area

See map for general locations of; Blanca, Center,

Capulin, Conejos, Hooper, Moffat, Mosca.

La Garita, La Jara, Lake City, Platoro, Romeo,

2018 © Josephine S. Pierce Reprint by Permission Only

Page 18 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

Conejos County

37 PIKE’S STOCKADE — Lieutenant Zebulon Pike built a

small stockade during the winter of 1807 near warm springs on

the Conejos River near Sanford. The replica has been designated

a National Historic Landmark. Please note that Pike’s Stockade

will be closed for the 2019 season. Spring winds blew down

trees at the site and one of them hit the stockade causing much

damage. Repairs to the stockade, clean up and an assessment

of trees that remain standing will all need to be made before

it can reopen to the public. For more information please call

Fort Garland Museum at 719-379-3512.

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 19

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad


America’s longest and highest narrow-gauge steam railroad

built in 1880 offers great family fun and adventure on a 64-

mile trek from Antonito to Chama, New Mexico. Highlights

include the San Juan Mountains, Toltec Gorge, Phantom

Curve, and breathtaking views from trestles and bridges. For

information on tickets and times, visit www.cumbrestoltec.

com or call 1-888-286-2737.

39 MANASSA PIONEER DAYS — Thousands of people

of all ages will be heading to Manassa for the 140th Annual

Pioneer Days celebration. This year’s event is set for July

19-20, featuring carnival, dinner and the crowning of Miss

Pioneer. On Friday and Saturday there will be a parade at 10

a.m., as well as hamburger stand and rodeo both days. Saturday

night’s events include demolition derby and fireworks. Also,

there will be a barbecue on Friday at the Opera House. Call

the Manassa town hall at 719-843-5207 or see Manassa

Pioneer Days on Facebook. Sanford’s celebration is held the

same week, on July 19.

40 JACK DEMPSEY MUSEUM — Commemorate great

heavyweight champion of the world Jack Dempsey, “The

Manassa Mauler,” in Manassa where Dempsey grew up. A

full-size bronze statue of Dempsey sits in Jack Dempsey Park

next to the log cabin in which Dempsey grew up, now the

Jack Dempsey Museum. The Jack Dempsey Museum is open

File photo

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday in May, June and August,

and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday in July.


Colorado’s oldest parish, this beautiful church is located in

the small town of Conejos. The first church was dedicated

in 1863 but was destroyed by fire in 1926. The new church

was dedicated in 1927.


a high mountain valley on the Conejos River about a mile

from the town of Platoro, the lake has great fishing, camping,

hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and boating. An old mining

town, Platoro offers amenities such as lodging, groceries,

and restaurants, and is good base for exploring the nearby

South San Juan Wilderness Area.

43 HIKING — The South San Juan Wilderness Area

offers some of the best wild area backpacking in the state.

The Continental Divide runs the heart of the wilderness

area for 42 miles. Also, take the short hike to Rough Creek

Falls in the Conejos Canon. The falls are the perfect stop

for an afternoon picnic. For the more adventurous, the trail

continues to the top of Conejos Canyon.

44 LA JARA GLORY DAYS — La Jara Glory Days

will be held Saturday, June 15, in La Jara Town Park,

Page 20 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

Conejos River

with booths, crafts, kids’ crafts and live entertainment

beginning at 9 a.m., parade at 10 a.m. coloring contest

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and pool tournament from 11:30 a.m. to

4 p.m. Jack’s Market hosts breakfast from 7-9 a.m., and

a 5K run/walk will start at the grade school at 7:30 a.m.

Contact: Sylvia Montano, 580-5828 about donations and

booths; Larry Zaragoza at 580-2032 about the 5K, parade

and general information; and Julie Zaragoza at 580-7248

about donations.


Rivers offers excellent fly-fishing for rainbow and brown

trout. Colorado Highway 17 provides over 25 miles of easy

access to the river, and then follow Forest Service Road 250

along the river toward Platoro Reservoir for another 25 miles.

Plenty of accommodations are available along the route from

Antonito to Platoro.


summit of Cumbres Pass, only a few miles from the New

Mexico border is coldwater Trujillo Meadows Reservoir.

Besides fishing in high altitude scenery, there is camping

and abundant wildlife.

File photo

47 CONEJOS CANYON — Conejos Canyon features

some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Colorado.

A drive on Colorado 17 takes visitors along the Conejos

River and to Forest Service Road 250, which continues up

to the river to the old mining town of Platoro and Platoro

Reservoir. Outstanding opportunities exist for all kinds of

outdoor activities.

48 LA JARA RESERVOIR — Part of Colorado’s three

million acres of State Trust Lands, La Jara Reservoir

is open year-round for fishing. The reservoir is about

35 miles west of La Jara on Colorado 15 and USFS

Road 240.


About 25 miles south of Monte Vista on Colorado 15,

the west five miles is the Hot Creek State Wildlife

Area. Recreational activities include cold-water

stream fishing, hunting, and wildlife observation.

50 CONEJOS MUSEUM — Located in Antonito,

the museum features the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic

Railroad, Silo Park and the 1913 Warshauer Mansion.

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 21

Costilla County

51 FORT GARLAND — Established in 1858 to protect

settlers in the San Luis Valley from bands of roaming Indians,

Fort Garland was once commanded by the legendary Kit Carson.

Now operated by the Colorado Historical Society, the museum

offers historic artifacts and photographs of the Buffalo Soldiers

as well as displays of early Hispano settlers. Call 719-379-3512.

Also view the T33A (Thunderbird) Jet Trainer on static display

at the Costilla County Veteran’s Park located on CR HH east of

the Town of Fort Garland visible from Highway 160.

52 HIKE MOUNT BLANCA — Mount Blanca at 14,345

feet is the dominant landmark of the San Luis Valley. Its massif

includes four peaks over 14,000 feet - Blanca, Colorado’s fourth

highest peak; Little Bear; Mount Lindsay; and Ellingwood

Point. The recommended access point to climb Blanca is the

Lake Como route; a tough hike up the road to the lake, then

an easier hike to the peaks.


miles southwest of Fort Garland is Mountain Home Reservoir

stocked with trout 10 to 15 inches. It is a great place for a day

or afternoon of family fishing. A smaller reservoir, but also a

great place to play in the water, is Smith Reservoir, located

just south of the town of Blanca.


Trading Post) on Highway 160 at Fort Garland offers a variety

of activities including gunfights, horse rides, blacksmith

demonstrations, glassblowing demonstrations, live bison and

historical pioneer and Native American displays. The museum

is open with free entrance from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a

week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For more information

call 719-379-4179.


ALL SAINTS — Local sculptor Huberto Maestas of San Luis

created these life-sized bronze sculptures of the last hours of

Christ’s life. A beautiful chapel lies at the top of the pilgrimage

trail. Maestas’ studio is located at 331 Main Street in San Luis:

phone (719) 672-3022.

56 VISIT SAN LUIS — San Luis is the oldest town in

Colorado, founded in 1851 by Hispanic settlers from New

Mexico. The Museum and Cultural Center has colonial and

pre-colonial artifacts, a collection of santos, and a replica of

a morada, an adobe chapel of the Penitentes.


Santiago Festival and the Santa Ana Festival will be held July

27-28 in San Luis with dances, crowning of a festival queen,

lots of music, a barbecue and a mariachi mass in the courtyard

of Sangre de Cristo Parish.


Take a drive along the 129-mile Los Caminos Antiguoas

(“Ancient Roads”) Scenic Byway beginning in the San Juan

Mountains, on Cumbres Pass, and passing the oldest church in

Colorado, the first town in the state and the Great Sand Dunes

National Park. See www.loscaminos.com.

59 SANCHEZ RESERVOIR — Located about eight miles

south of San Luis at 8,200 feet elevation, Sanchez reservoir

offers fishing for walleye, saugeye and northern pike. Also

enjoy boating and other water sport opportunities.

60 RIO COSTILLA STUDIO TOUR — The 20th annual

tour is scheduled this year for Saturday and Sunday, September

7-8, in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. With

more than two-dozen artists involved, the tour features

artwork, sculpture, food and more. Contact: (575) 586-1581,

(719) 433-3885 or riocostillaart@gmail.com. Also see www.


Mountain Home Reservoir

File photo

Page 22 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 23

Page 24 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 25

Mineral County

61 VISIT HISTORIC CREEDE — Once a rip-roaring

mining town, Creede is located at the mouth of Willow

Creek Canyon. It is packed with galleries, restaurants, the

repertory theatre and museums. Visit the Creede Cemetery

at the south edge of Creede where one of the graves of note

is Bob Ford, the man who killed Jesse James. For activities

and attractions log on to www.creede.com or call the Creede

Chamber of Commerce at (800) 327-2102.


— The nationally acclaimed and award-winning Creede

Repertory Theatre celebrates its 54th season in 2019. The

season runs through September. Plays, offered in rotation

this summer, include Peter and the Starcatcher, Ripcord,

Little Shop of Horrors, Pride and Prejudice, BOOMTOWN!

and Hazardous Materials. Visit www.creederep.org or call

(866) 658-2540 for schedule and ticket information.

North Clear Creek Falls

File photo

63 WHEELER GEOLOGIC AREA — Located between

South Fork and Creede, about 20 miles north of Highway

149, Wheeler Geologic Area is an extraordinary view of

volcanic geologic formations.


CAR SHOW — In its 11th year, this event is scheduled Sept.

20-22 in Creede. All vintage vehicle owners are invited.

Call 719-658-2374 or visit www.creede.com.


Falls, just off S.H. 149 near the summit of Spring Creek Pass,

is the most photographed waterfall in Colorado. A scenic

overlook/rest area is easily accessible from the highway.


Fork of the Rio Grande, Big Meadows Reservoir is stocked

with catchable rainbow trout along with a good natural

population of brook trout. Big Meadows is located 12 miles

west of South Fork on U.S. Highway 160, turn right on

Forest Service Road 410.


U.S. 160, Wolf Creek Ski Area boasts the most snow in

Colorado. The full-service ski area covers 1,500 acres, has

six lifts, and accommodates snowboarding.

Page 26 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 27



TRAIL — For a oncein-a-lifetime

trek try a

hike along the Continental

Divide Trail as it winds

235 miles through the

Rio Grande National

Forest at elevation of

10,500 to nearly 13,000

feet. The trail crosses

back and forth over the

Continental Divide and

goes through parts of

La Garita, Weminuche,

and South San Juan

Wilderness areas.


TRAIL — The Colorado

Trail passes through

northwestern elevations

of the San Luis Valley

from Saguache Park to

Rio Grande Reservoir. It’s

Taste of Creede

a demanding hike that’s

rewarding in its natural splendor.

70 THE RIO GRANDE RIVER — The headwaters of

the fifth longest river in North America and 20th longest

river in the world are just west of Creede at 12,000-foot

Stony Pass on the Continental Divide. The Rio Grande

flows nearly 1,900 miles from its headwaters to the Gulf

of Mexico. It is a major source of cropland irrigation as

well as a source for recreational activities such as fishing

and rafting.


COMPETITION — During the holiday July 4 in Creede

watch or enter the mining competition - hand mucking,

machine drilling or spike driving. Celebrate the nation’s

birthday on July 4 in Creede with a parade, festivities and

fireworks. Watch the Colorado State Mining Championship.


annual Woodcarvers’ Rendezvous takes place in Creede July

13-19 at the Creede Community Center. The rendezvous

features woodcarving classes, demonstrations, vendors and

art auction. See www.creedewoodcarvers.com.


hounds flock to this annual show that takes place August

2-4 in Creede’s Underground Mining Museum/Community

Center. See beautiful crystals, rocks, nuggets, geodes and

jewelry. Enjoy evening geology programs. See www.


File photo

74 LABOR DAY IN CREEDE — The Labor Day weekend

celebration, August 30-September 2, in Creede will feature

the 9th Annual Balloon Festival; 33nd Annual Creede

Mountain Run; Salsa Fiesta; and ATV Rodeo (URGEC).

See www.creede.com.

75 CREEDE MUSEUMS — Blasted into the face of

Willow Creek Canyon at the north end of Creede, the

unique Underground Mining Museum illustrates the history

and technology of mining. The museum is open daily, 10

to 4 in the summer, and 10 to 3 in the winter. The Creede

Historical Museum and Library, in Basham Park, is open

daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Memorial Day weekend to Labor

Day. Call 658-2004.


ANTIQUE MARKET — Enjoy produce, crafts, workshops,

entertainment and more on Main Street in downtown Creede

on Fridays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Sept.

14. Contact Karen Miller, market director, at 719-873-5466

or mkmillermink@aol.com.


Silver Thread Scenic Byway links Creede, Lake City, and

South Fork on Colorado 149 and derives its name from the

rich veins of silver ore that lured miners and settlers to the

region. The 16 th Annual Silver Thread Studio Tour, a selfguided

tour of studios and galleries in Creede and South

Fork, sponsored by the Creede Arts Council, will be held

on Saturday, August 10, 9 a.m. to 5p.m.

Page 28 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

Rio Grande County

78 MUSIC IN SOUTH FORK — From August 2-4 enjoy the

14 th Annual Rhythms of the Rio Music Festival featuring local

artists as well as bands from around the country. The festival

features music, art, crafts and food. See rhythmsontherio.com.

79 RIO GRANDE CLUB — The $10 million 18-hole

championship Rio Grande Club golf course in South Fork

features a state-of-the-art clubhouse with dining, weight room

and swimming pool. The Colorado Golf Bible chose the course’s

No. 1 hole with its 80-foot drop from tee to fairway as the “Best

Opening Hole in Colorado.” Phone (719) 873-1995 for tee times.


Golf Course is a beautifully cared for 9-hole municipal course

in the heart of Monte Vista where for a nominal fee a golfer can

spend a fine, sun-filled day. Phone 852-4906 for tee times.


South Fork area provides many different options for anglers

whether fly fishing for brown trout in the many miles of Gold

Medal waters of the Rio Grande River or relaxing at one of 13

local lakes where large browns, rainbow, brook trout and cutthroats

can be found. Tucker Ponds is a great place for kids to fish, and

Big Meadows and Beaver Reservoirs offer great fishing all year

long. Kids 4 to 15 spend the day, June 15, fishing at Tucker Ponds,

about 13 miles from South Fork toward Wolf Creek Pass. Call

873-5512. For more information contact the South Fork Visitors

Center, 1-800-571-0881, www.southfork.org

82 ROCKIN THE RIO GRANDE — The Annual Rockin

the Rio Grande barrel racing and bull riding series presented by

Burris and Sons will be held at Rickel’s Arena in South Fork on

Saturday, June 29, Tuesday, Wednesday, July 3 and Saturday,

July 20. Performances are at 6:30 p.m. each night. Events

include open barrels, mutton busting, calf riding, steer riding,

bull riding and ranch rodeo riding. See www.southfork.org or

www.burrisandsonsbuckingbulls.com; email barsx@aol.com or

call (719) 588-9979.

83 LOGGER DAYS FESTIVAL — The 27 th Annual Logger

Days Festival, a rodeo for loggers, will be held at the community

center in South Fork July 19-21. Professional loggers and amateurs

compete in events such as axe throwing and the very loud hotsaw

contest. Also featured are crafts, live music and children’s

events. Call 873-5512 or see www.southfork.org.

84 COVERED WAGON DAYS — Del Norte honors its

western heritage with the 46th Annual Covered Wagon Days

August 1-4. The Saturday parade includes antique tractors,

horse-drawn carriages and floats. Firefighters serve pancakes and

sausage after the parade. Put on Victorian era dress and enter the

costume contest, and don’t miss the Saturday night dance. Call

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 29

to 12 p.m. noon and 1-3 p.m. Contact: (719) 852-5118.

86 SKI HI STAMPEDE — Founded in 1911, the Ski Hi

Stampede in Monte Vista is Colorado’s oldest outdoor rodeo. This

year marks the 98th anniversary of the San Luis Valley Ski Hi

Stampede planned July 25-28. There will be parades beginning

at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The rodeo brings major

entertainment and many of the best cowboys in the country to

Monte Vista’s Ski-Hi Arena. Also enjoy dances, fireworks, carnival

and chuckwagon dinner. Featured in the Thursday night concert this

year will be Gary Allan, with “Smithfield” opening for him. For

information call 719-852-2055 or see www.skihistampede.com.


ANTIQUE MARKET — Enjoy fresh foods, crafts and more at

the South Fork Farmers, Local Artisan and Antique Market, in front

of Outdoor Depot, 0168 Four Seasons Drive, South Fork, every

Thursday from 12-4 p.m. and every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2

p.m., from June 10-September 2. For information or to become

a vendor, contact Karen Miller, market director, 719-873-5466,


Ski Hi Stampede

657-2845 or visit www.coveredwagondays.org.

File photo


State Veterans Center Homelake was established in 1889 as the

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home. After more than a century the center

has been home to veterans from every major war in United States

history. Through October 31, the Homelake Veterans History

Museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.

88 MUSHROOM FORAY — Enter the woods in search of

edible wild mushrooms during the South Fork Mushroom Foray

August 10. Call 719-873-5512 for reservations.


CENTER — Featuring displays about Indian rock art, Hispanic

settlers, fur trappers, and other history of the San Luis Valley, the

Rio Grande County Museum and Cultural Center is located in

Del Norte at 508 Oak Street. Call 657-2847.

Page 30 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019


“different museum” the Transportation of the West Museum

features early modes of travel in the San Luis Valley, including

a century-old buggy. The museum is located at 961 First Ave. in

Monte Vista and is open Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3

p.m. through Labor Day. The Monte Vista History Center, 110

Jefferson Street, is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to

3 p.m. through Labor Day. No admission, handicap accessible.

Contact for both: 719-849-9320.


—Habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl and other birds, this

14,084-acre artificially created wetland is intensively managed

for the benefit of wildlife. The refuge is located south of Monte

Vista on Colorado 15. Information: 719-589-4021.

The one-mile trail to the USGS named summit at 8,475

feet is moderately difficult with craggy switchbacks near

the top. At the summit, view the entire San Luis Valley and

Upper Rio Grande. An additional 3.5 miles of easy trails

loop around the mountain near the base.

99 DEL MONTE GUN CLUB —Located between Alamosa

and Monte Vista on Highway 160, the course offers sporting clays,

trap and the “what cha call it” stand. The course is open to the

public and open for shooting most weekends. RV accommodations

are available. Events this year include Registered Trap Shoots

June 8-9 and August 3-4; Scott Erickson Memorial Registered

Sporting Clays June 22-23; Super Sporting Clays July 20-21; and

Stephanie Miner Registered Sporting Clays August 24-25. Call

719-589-4155 or go to www.delmontegunclub.net

92 PENITENTE CANYON — Penitente Canyon offers worldclass

rock climbing, as well as challenging mountain bike trails. A

short hike to the rim of the canyon is rewarded with an incredible

of the San Luis Valley and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.

93 SUMMITVILLE — The drive to Summitville, an old

gold mining town, is a dramatically scenic mountain loop that

can start in Del Norte by driving up Pinos Creek and returning

via Jasper, also a historic mining town, and the Alamosa River

canyon, or by taking the Pass Creek route to U.S. Highway 160

south of South Fork.

94 SLV POTATO FESTIVAL — Acknowledging one of the

main crops grown in the San Luis Valley, SLV Potato Festival is

held in Monte Vista September 7. Enjoy the annual 5K Spud Run,

Craft and Food Vendors, and Semi Show, the Famous Mashed

Potato Dunk Tank, Freshly Harvested Colorado Potatoes and

much more!. Also, professional chefs participate in the annual

cook off. See www.coloradopotato.org.

100 COL. PFEIFFER GRAVE — The final resting place

for early San Luis Valley pioneer Col. Albert H. Pfeiffer who

served as scout for Kit Carson and later as agent for Ute Indians

in Southwest Colorado is located on Rio Grande Road 15, between

Del Norte and South Fork; look for the sign.

101 HOT ROD SHOW — Movie Manor just west of Monte

Vista on Highway 160 hosts the 2019 Hot Rod Dirt Drags May

31 - June 2 with dirt drags Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m., live

bands, show cars, drive-in live music, vintage hot rod movies

and barbecue. Bring your 1950’s vintage bobber, hot rod, or

custom for what is sure to be the best Traditional Hot Rod Event

west of the Mississippi! If you have a 1964 or earlier Hot Rod,

Custom, Pick-up, Bobber Motorcycle get registered now! See



Grande State Wildlife Area, located one mile east of the City of

Monte Vista, is an important component of the Rio Grande wetland

complex. The 1,213-acre area provides essential habitat for many

bird species. A 121-acre portion of the area was renamed the

Shriver-Wright State Wildlife Area to honor community leaders,

Doug Shriver and Ray Wright, who died in 2010.

96 ROCK CREEK — The moderate hike along the Rock

Creek trail offers a number of scenic views of the valley, and is a

must-see in the fall, when the aspen trees turn the landscape into

living art. A number of campgrounds are in the area.

97 BEAVER CREEK RESERVOIR — Fishing at Beaver

Creek Reservoir south of South Fork traditionally offers trout

and kokanee salmon.

98 TRAILS — An Old West route linked Santa Fe to

the coast of California. Used for nearly 20 years, 1829-48,

the Old Spanish Trail was designated a National Historic

Trial in 2002. Two branches of the trail came through the

San Luis Valley. At a site west of Monte Vista on U.S.

Highway 160 are stone markers marking one of the branches

with access to hiking and biking and the Limekiln area.

The Town of Del Norte’s Lookout Mountain Trails offers

diverse experiences for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians.

Summer in the San Luis Valley Page 31

Hot Rod Dirt Drags

File photo

Page 32 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2019

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