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. 27 LA GARITA NATURAL ARCH— One of the San 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. 31 FOURTH OF JULY IN 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. 32 UFO WATCHTOWER — 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 www.ufowatchtower.com 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. 34 CHALLENGER GOLF COURSE — The 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 36 SAND DUNES SWIMMING 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. sanddunespool.com.