101 Things to do in the San Luis Valley2020

alamosanews74250


Page 2 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

Things To

Do In The San Luis Valley

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Top 10

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

many San Luis Valley events were cancelled or

postponed in 2020. See notations below.)

File photo

1. SAND DUNES

The Great Sand Dunes National Park features

the tallest sand dunes in the United States and

was recently declared an International Dark

Sky Park, one of only 76 in the world, 55 in

the U.S. Limiting light pollution allows for a

clear view of the night sky.

During the summer under normal conditions,

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 available.

Alamosa Tourism

Cattails


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 3

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

nps.gov/grsa/

2. CUMBRES & TOLTEC SCENIC RAILROAD

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was built in 1880 with

three feet — narrow gauge — between the tracks 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 tunnels.

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 (286-2737).

3. RIO GRANDE SCENIC RAILROAD

SUSPENDED DUE TO BANKRUPTCY- The Rio Grande

Scenic Railroad offers steam engine rides through breathtaking

mountain valleys and over legendary La Veta pass 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

www.coloradotrain.com/

Early Iron Festival

File photo

4. EARLY IRON FESTIVAL

POSTPONED FOR 2020- 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 would have marked the 39th anniversary from

September 4-6. WATCH FOR DETAILS ON AN ALTERNATE

TSJC

Kristi


Page 4 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

EVENT. Early Iron welcomes a variety of vehicles including

pickups, custom, street rods, classics and street machines. See

www.earlyironclub.com/

5. SKI HI STAMPEDE

POSTPONED FOR 2020- Colorado’s oldest outdoor rodeo,

the Ski Hi Stampede in Monte Vista is a delight for the entire

family. This year would have marked the 98th anniversary

of the San Luis Valley Ski Hi Stampede planned July 23-26.

Traditionally, 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

6. ALAMOSA ROUND-UP

The 2020 Alamosa Round-Up, sanctioned by the Professional

Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA), is scheduled from August

27-30 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 Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers

Band. Buy tickets at The Colorado Welcome Center and Alamosa

Big R. See www.alamosaroundup.com

File photo

The Creede Repertory Theatre’s 53rd season included a

journey over the rainbow into the magical world of Oz.

7. CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE

2020 SEASON POSTPONED TO 2021- 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, 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.

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

8. LOS CAMINOS ANTIGUOS

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 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.

9. SILVER THREAD

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 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.

10. FORT GARLAND

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.


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 5

Sangre de Cristo H.A.


Page 6 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

AlAmosA County

1 GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK AND

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

www.nps.gov/grsa

Alamosa Wildlife Refuge

File photo

2 ALAMOSA WILDLIFE REFUGE — Alamosa National

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.

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

ascgrizzlies.com

4 TRAILS AND HISTORIC MONUMENTS — 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 — CLOSED DUE TO

COVID-19- 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 ROUND-UP — The 2020 Alamosa Round-

Up, sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association

(PRCA), is scheduled from August 27-30 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

Ala. P&R

3 ADAMS STATE UNIVERSITY — Since its cornerstone

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

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

Pig


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 7

will be Saturday with a round-UP Concert featuring Chancey

Williams and the Younger Brothers Band. Buy tickets at The

Colorado Welcome Center and Alamosa Big R. See www.

alamosaroundup.com

7 POSTPONED FOR 2020- BEAT THE HEAT BBQ —

The newest event in Alamosa County, in its seventh 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. Enjoy barbecue, live

music, cornhole tournament, children’s activities and more.

Contact the Alamosa County Chamber of Commerce at 589-

3681, e-mail chambergrowthdirector@gmail.com or see www.

slvbeattheheat.com.

8 ALAMOSA ART WALK AND DOWNTOWN

SCULPTURES — Enjoy art demonstrations of all types,

exhibitions, entertainment and special fare in downtown

Alamosa on Friday and Saturday, September 18-19 during the

17th Annual Alamosa Art Walk. Contact: 719-589-3681, 587-

0878 or 589-5163 or see Alamosa Art Walk on Facebook. In

conjunction with the Art Walk, the City of Alamosa celebrates

15 new art pieces created by artists from near and far stationed

around downtown.

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 in early July and

the Annual Gatorfest in early August. 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.

Zapata Falls

File photo

11 SAN LUIS VALLEY ANTIQUE IRON CLUB —

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

on dates TBA. 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.

FSWB


Page 8 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

This year would have marked the 39th anniversary from

September 4-6. WATCH FOR DETAILS ON AN ALTERNATE

EVENT. Early Iron welcomes a variety of vehicles including

pickups, custom, street rods, classics and street machines. See

www.earlyironclub.com/

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

Engine 169

File photo

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

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 POSTPONED FOR 2020- 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. The event is typically held the first weekend in June.

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

Rio Frio 5K on the Rio Grande

17 RIO FRIO ICE FEST & 5k ON THE FROZEN RIO

GRANDE- Annually celebrated in late January, this event

features live ice sculpting in downtown Alamosa along

Jade

File photo

15 EARLY IRON — POSTPONED FOR 2020- 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.

High Valley Canabis


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 9

with other fun activities. A highlight of the weekend is a 5k

walk/run on the frozen Rio Grande, conditions permitting.

18 FOURTH OF JULY — CANCELLED FOR 2020-

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.

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.

23 CAT’S CLASSIC MOTOCROSS — CANCELLED

FOR 2020- Experience AMA-Pro Am motocross action at the

Cat’s Classic Motocross scheduled for early July 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.

Farmers Market

Photo by Keith R. Cerny

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 in a second location, the farm park just north of

the Highway 160/17 intersection, Alamosa, on Wednesdays

TBA. See more details at alamosafarmersmarket.org, 719-

480-4365, or alamosafarmermarket@gmail.com.

20 CATTAILS GOLF COURSE — With a beautiful

clubhouse, pro shop and new restaurant TBA, 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 25th Annual Rollin’ Deep Car Show on Sunday,

July 26, featuring low rider custom cars and motorcycles,

all makes, models and years. Enjoy a pre-hop Saturday

24 RIO GRANDE SCENIC RAIL EXCURSIONS —

SUSPENDED DUE TO BANKRUPTCY- The Rio Grande

Scenic Railroad offers steam engine rides through breathtaking

mountain valleys and over legendary La Veta pass 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

www.coloradotrain.com/

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. Splashland Photo by Jennifer Alonzo

Contact: 589-6258

or splashlandllc@hotmail.com. Also check Splashland out

on Facebook and at www.splashlandllc.com/

Joyful Journey


Page 10 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

sAguAChe County

Wagon wheel tracks in stone

File photo

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.

Bonanza Mine District

File photo

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.

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.

La Garita Natural Arch

File photo

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.

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.

31 FOURTH OF JULY IN CRESTONE —

CANCELLED FOR 2020- 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 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 — CALL FOR MORE INFO DUE

TO VIRUS- 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; Orient

Land Trust at 256-5212.

Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 11

Hazard House

File photo

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.

Challenger Golf Course

File photo

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.

36 SAND DUNES SWIMMING POOL — LIMITED

ATTENDANCE DUE TO VIRUS. CALL FOR INFO-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.

house


Page 12 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 13

Map Key

1 Orient Mine & Bat Cave

2 Joyful Journey Hot Springs

3 Crestone

4 UFO Watchtower

5 Saguache

6 Sand Dunes Swimming Pool

7 San Luis Lakes State Park

8 Colorado Gators Reptile Park

9 Alamosa

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

Observatory

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

28 Creede

Historical Museum

Underground Mining Museum

Underground Firehouse

Repertory Theatre

Bachelor Loop Historic Tour

29 Wolf Creek Ski Area

A

Area

B

C

D

E

Area

F

Russell Lakes State Wildlife

Alamosa Wildlife Refuge

Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge

Coller State Wildlife Area

Rio Grande State Wildlife

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 and

Romeo.

2018© Josephine S. Pierce Reprint by Permission Only


Page 14 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

sAn luis VAlley CAlendAr

Snowshoe Shuffle

Gatorfest

August

1 Snowshoe Shuffle, Basham Park,

Creede

Junior Ranger Day, Great Sand Dunes

National Park

SLV Pride Art Show Opening, Milagros

Coffee House, Alamosa

1-8 118 th Annual San Luis Valley Fair, Ski-Hi

Park, Monte Vista

2 Wildflower/Botany Train, Cumbres &

Toltec Scenic Railroad, Antonito

6 Giulia Millanta performance, Society Hall,

Alamosa

7-10 Fireman and Engineer School, Cumbres &

Toltec Scenic Railroad, Antonito

7-8 Mushroom Foray, South Fork

8 LOCAL! Harvest Festival, Rio

Grande Farm Park, Alamosa

Silverthread Artists’ Studio Tour, Creede

8-9 Gatorfest, Colorado Gators, Mosca

N a -

tive American

Artists

Fair, First

Ave.& Jefferson

St.,

Monte Vista

9 Sundays

at Six:

Ol’ Scratch, Facebook Live, Alamosa

14 Public Stargazing Event (with telescope),

Colorado College, Crestone

15 D a r k

Sky Dinner

Train

with Flamenco

Guitar

by Luis

Campos

Cumbres

& Toltec Scenic Railroad, Antonito

11 th Annual Arts Walk, Downtown Saguache

Josh Grider Band performance, Society

Hall, Alamosa

Kahler Memorial Golf Tournament, Cattails

Golf Course, Alamosa

Annual Astronomy Event, Great Sand

Dunes National Park

16-26 Stephen Quiller Watercolor Painting Workshops,

Quiller Gallery, Creede

20 Creede Historical

Society

Series: Pam

Houston: Deep

Creek Book

Signing, Community

Church,

Creede

Intertribal

Pow Wow Celebration,

Otto

Mears Park, Saguache

25 National Park

Birthday-Free Entry, Great Sand Dunes

National Park

Stephen Quiller

28-30 Round-up Rodeo, Fairgrounds, Alamosa

Fiber Weaving Demonstration, Great Sand

Dunes National Park


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 15

29 SLV Pridefest,

Virtual at www.

slvpride.org,

Alamosa

29-30 Native American

Artists Fair,

First Ave. &

Jefferson St.,

Monte Vista

31 50 th Anniversary

Celebration, 4UR

Ranch, Creede

September

4-7 Labor Day Weekend Celebration, Creede

6 Gravity Derby, Creede

5 Susan Gibson

performance, Society

Hall, Alamosa

7 Labor Day

Celebration, Antonito

11-13 Crestone Energy

Fair, Town Park,

Crestone

Gravity Derby

4UR Ranch

11-15 Fireman and

Engineer School,

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Antonito

15 Ordinary Elephant performance, Society

Hall, Alamosa

17 Creede Historical Society Series: Kandra

Payne: Creede’s Ghost Stories, Community

Church, Creede

18-19 Alamosa Arts Festival, Downtown Alamosa

Annual Celebration & Arts Festival, Society

Hall, Alamosa

19 27 th Annual Fall Festival & Quilt

Show, Otto Mears Park, Saguache

Sunset Dinner Train featuring Speakeasy,

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Antonito

Master Santero Geronimo Olivas presentation,

Great Sand Dunes National Park

19-20 Cruisin’

the Canyon

Car Show,

Creede

26 O k t o -

brufest,

Sunset

Park, Alamosa

National

Public

Lands Day-

Cruisin’ the Canyon

Free Entry,

Great Sand Dunes National Park

27 10/03 Stephen Quiller Watercolor Painting

Workshops, Quiller Gallery, Creede

TBD South Fork Colorfest

Shades

RG Club


Page 16 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

Conejos County

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 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday in

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

Pike’s Stockade

File photo

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. For more information please call

Fort Garland Museum at 719-379-3512.

Courtesy photo

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

38 CUMBRES &

TOLTEC SCENIC

RAILROAD —

OPERATING

ON LIMITED

SCHEDULE-

America’s longest

and highest narrowgauge

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 — CANCELLED FOR

2020. Thousands of people of all ages will be heading to Manassa

for the 140th Annual Pioneer Days celebration. This year’s event

was set for July 17-18, 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 16.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

File photo

41 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE CHURCH —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.

42 PLATORO RESERVOIR & RESORT —Located in 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 — CANCELLED FOR 2020

La Jara Glory Days is held in June or July, in La Jara Town Park,

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.


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 17

Conejos River

45 FISH IN THE CONEJOS RIVER — The Conejos 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.

File photo

46 TRUJILLO MEADOWS RESERVOIR — Near the

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

border is cold-water Trujillo Meadows Reservoir. Besides fishing

in high altitude scenery, there is camping and abundant wildlife.

SLV REC

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.

49 HOT CREEK STATE WILDLIFE AREA — 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.


Page 18 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

CostillA County

week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For more information

call 719-379-4179.

55 STATIONS OF THE CROSS AND CHAPEL OF 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.

Fort Garland

File photo

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.

Mountain Home Reservoir

File photo

53 MOUNTAIN HOME RESERVOIR — Just a few

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.

54 THE LIVING HISTORY MUSEUM (White Mountain

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

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.

57 SANTIAGO Y SANTA ANA FESTIVAL—

CANCELLED FOR 2020- The Santiago Festival and the Santa

Ana Festival will be held July 25-26 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.

58 LOS

CAMINOS

ANTIGUOS

SCENIC

B Y W A Y

— Take a

drive along

the 129-mile

Los Caminos

Antiguos

(“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

San Luis’s first school

the Great Sand

Dunes National Park. See www.loscaminos.com.

File photo

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 21st annual

tour is tentatively scheduled this year for early September,

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.

riocostillaart.com.


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 19

101 things…

mAke Creede one of them!

Antlers Broken Arrow Elk Country

Creede Chamber

Kids


Page 20 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

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.

62 ATTEND THE CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE —

The nationally acclaimed and award-winning Creede Repertory

Theatre would have celebrated its 54th season in 202o. The season

runs through September. Plays postponed until 2021 include the

popular musicals “Oklahoma” and “Annie.” Visit www.creederep.

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

La Garita, Weminuche, and South San Juan Wilderness areas.

69 COLORADO TRAIL — The Colorado Trail passes through

northwestern elevations of the San Luis Valley from Saguache Park

to Rio Grande Reservoir. It’s 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.

71 FOURTH OF JULY AND DAYS OF ‘92 MINING

COMPETITION — CANCELLED FOR 2020- 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.

72 WOODCARVERS’ RENDEZVOUS — CANCELLED

FOR 2020- The 29th annual Woodcarvers’ Rendezvous takes

place in Creede in mid-Julyat the Creede Community Center. The

rendezvous features woodcarving classes, demonstrations, vendors

and art auction. See www.creedewoodcarvers.com.

Wheeler Giologic Area

Photo by Ashli Adams

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.

64 CRUISIN’ THE CANYON ANNUAL FALL COLOR

CAR SHOW — In its 12th year, this event is tentatively scheduled

for Sept. 18-20 in Creede. All vintage vehicle owners are invited.

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

65 NORTH CLEAR CREEK FALLS —North Clear Creek

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.

66 BIG MEADOWS RESERVOIR — On the South 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.

67 WOLF CREEK SKI AREA/PASS — Located on U.S. 160,

Wolf Creek Ski Area boasts the most snow in Colorado. The fullservice

ski area covers 1,500 acres, has six lifts, and accommodates

snowboarding.

68 CONTINENTAL DIVIDE SCENIC TRAIL — For a

once-in-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

73 CREEDE ROCK & MINERAL SHOW —CANCELLED

FOR 2020- Rock hounds flock to this annual show that takes

place in early August in Creede’s Underground Mining Museum/

Community Center. See beautiful crystals, rocks, nuggets,

geodes and jewelry. Enjoy evening geology programs. See www.

creederocks.com.

74 LABOR DAY IN CREEDE — The Labor Day weekend

celebration, September 5-7, in Creede will feature the 10th Annual

Balloon Festival; 34th Annual Creede Mountain Run; Salsa Fiesta;

and ATV Rodeo (URGEC). TBA 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.

76 CREEDE FARMERS, LOCAL ARTISAN AND

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 mid-

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

or mkmillermink@aol.com.

77 SILVER THREAD SCENIC BYWAY — The 75-mile

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 self-guided 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.


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 21

rio grAnde County

78 MUSIC IN SOUTH FORK — CANCELLED FOR 2020-

Annually, in early August, enjoy the 15 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.

Rio Grande Club

Courtesy photo

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.

80 MONTE VISTA GOLF COURSE — The Monte Vista

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.

81 FISHING

AROUND

S O U T H

FORK —

Fishing in the

South Fork

area provides

many different

options for

anglers whether

fly fishing for

brown trout in

Fishing at Tucker Ponds

the many miles

File photo

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

File photo

Rockin the Rio Grande barrel racing.

82 ROCKIN THE

RIO GRANDE —

TBA- 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 dates

to be announced.

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 — CANCELLED FOR

2020- The 28 th Annual Logger Days Festival, a rodeo for loggers,

will be held at the community center in South Fork in late July.

Professional loggers and amateurs compete in events such as

axe throwing and the very loud hot-saw contest. Also featured

are crafts, live music and children’s events. Call 873-5512 or

see www.southfork.org.

84 COVERED WAGON DAYS — CANCELLE FOR 2020-

Del Norte honors its western heritage with the 47th Annual

Covered Wagon Days in early August. 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 657-2845 or visit www.

coveredwagondays.org.

85 HOMELAKE VETERANS CENTER — The Colorado

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.

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

86 SKI HI STAMPEDE — CANCELLED FOR

2020-Founded in 1911, the Ski Hi Stampede in Monte Vista is

Colorado’s oldest outdoor rodeo. This year would have marked

the 99th anniversary of the San Luis Valley Ski Hi Stampede

planned in late July. 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. An annual highlight is the Thursday night

concert featuring well-known musicians.. For information call

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

87 SOUTH FORK FARMERS, LOCAL ARTISAN AND

ANTIQUE MARKET — Enjoy fresh foods, crafts and more


Page 22 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

Rio Grande State Wildlife Area

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, mkmillermink@aol.com

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.

89 RIO GRANDE COUNTY MUSEUM AND CULTURAL

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.

90 TRANSPORTATION OF THE WEST MUSEUM — A

“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.

91 MONTE VISTA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

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

14,084-acre artificially created wetland is intensively managed

Photo courtesy of Andy Cook

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

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

92 PENITENTE CANYON — Penitente Canyon offers

world-class 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 TBA. 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.

95 RIO GRANDE STATE WILDLIFE AREA — The

Rio 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.

Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020 Page 23

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.

Grande Meat

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. 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

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 STAR DRIVE-IN — Choose from two featured movies

at this one-of-a-kind drive-in movie theatre. Shows TBA.

Col. Pfeiffer grave

Courtesy photo


Page 24 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2020

Alamosa Round Up

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines