101 Things 2021 for Yumpu

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Page 2 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

Things To

Do In The San Luis Valley

Top 10

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 available.

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

www.nps.gov/grsa/

1. SAND DUNES

The Great Sand Dunes National Park features the

2. CUMBRES & TOLTEC SCENIC

RAILROAD

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was built in


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 3

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

g i v e s

passengers

a unique

view of the

beauty of

the San

J u a n

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. EARLY IRON FESTIVAL

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 will mark the 39th anniversary as the event

was cancelled last year. Early Iron welcomes a variety of

vehicles including pickups, custom, street rods, classics

and street machines. See www.earlyironclub.com/

4. SKI HI STAMPEDE

Colorado’s oldest outdoor rodeo, the Ski Hi Stampede

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

will mark the 98th anniversary of the San Luis Valley

Ski Hi Stampede planned July 23-25. Traditionally,

there will be parades beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday


Page 4 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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 a big name

concert, dances,

fireworks, carnival

and chuckwagon

dinner. For information call 719-852-2055 or see www.

skihistampede.com

5. ALAMOSA ROUND-UP

The 2021 Alamosa Round-Up, sanctioned by the

Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA), is

scheduled from August 26-29 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

6. CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE

Creede Repertory Theatre is a professional theatre

company located in

the historic town of

Creede. CRT’s awardwinning

company

produces the best

of contemporary

and classic theatre

from June 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

The 2021 season will feature three plays produced

outdoors at Sieme Park as well as cabaret and Boomtown

improv performances on the patio at the Creede Hotel.

7. 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


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 5

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.

8. 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.

9. 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 recreation

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.

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.


Page 6 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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

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.

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

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

ASU is celebrating 100 years in 2021.

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 at 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 ROUND-UP — The 2021 Alamosa Round-

Up, sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association

(PRCA), is scheduled from August 26-29 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

7 BEAT THE HEAT BBQ — One of the newest events

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. It is scheduled for Aug. 6-7. 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 SCULP-

TURES — Take a walk through

downtown Alamosa and see

artists of various different two

and three-dimensional mediums

creating one-of-a-kind

work, much of which will be

displayed for a tour downtown.

An annual celebration featuring

local musicians and performers

will also take place at Society

Hall. Info: www.cityofalamosa.org/public-art

and www.

societyhall.org

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.


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 7


Page 8 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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.

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 2021- 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

15 EARLY IRON — 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 will mark the 39th anniversary from September 3-5.

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 reduced 2021 series will feature a variety

of music at 6 p.m. on scheduled dates. For more information


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 9

see www.almaonline.org

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

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 —Celebrate the 4th of July in

Alamosa on Saturday, July 3 beginning with the Kiwanis

pancake breakfast in the morning, 7-10 a.m., followed by

a parade down Main Street at 10. Fireworks are tentatively

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 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.

condition and challenging 18 holes. Call 589-9515 to

reserve tee times. Also, enjoy an 18-hole 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 26th Annual Rollin’ Deep Car Show on Sunday,

July 20, 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

20 CATTAILS GOLF COURSE — With a beautiful

clubhouse, pro shop and the new Reeds at Cattails restaurant,

the Cattails Golf Course in Alamosa has been praised

throughout the Rocky Mountain Region for its superb


Page 10 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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 — TBA for 2021-

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.

24 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/

Attendance may be limited due to the pandemic so call

ahead.

25 SAND DUNES RECREATION –– Enjoy multiple

pools and other activities at Sand Dunes Recreation, located

just northeast of Hooper. The adult-only greenhouse features

multiple hot spring tubs at varying temperatures currently

by appointment only. Also, enjoy delicious food from the

Mile Deep Grille. Cabins and camping sites are available.

For more information, go to www.sanddunespool.com


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 11

Saguache County

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.

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.

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.

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

31 FOURTH OF JULY IN CRESTONE — TBA FOR

2021. 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


Page 12 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 13

San Luis Valley Calendar

Alamosa County:

Farmers Market, July 10-Oct. 9 Saturdays

Located in the heart of Alamosa’s downtown, the farmer’s

market includes local growers, certified dairy

producers and meat producers. The market runs

each Saturday, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the corner of

6th and State in downtown Alamosa. Info: www.

alamosafarmersmarket.org

Kahler Memorial Golf Tournament, Aug. 14-15

This exciting 36-hole men’s stroke play tournament takes

place at Cattails Golf Course north of Alamosa on

North River Road. Info: www.alamosacattails.com

Alamosa Roundup, August 26-29

The 2021 Alamosa Round-UP kicks off Thursday with

The High Noon Parade and Cattle Drive, Friday

and Saturday Nights bring The Professional PRCA

Rodeo, Saturday also includes Cowboy Church.

Saturday Night after the Rodeo is the 3rd Annual

Round-UP Concert! Sunday Afternoon is The

Metal Crashing Demolition Derby! Tickets will

be available online for all events and the concert!

Combo rodeo/concert packages are also available!

Advance Sale Tickets will be available online

until Aug. 1- then the prices go up! Info: www.

alamosaroundup.com

Alamosa Arts Festival, Sept. 17-18

Take a walk through downtown Alamosa and see artists of

various different two and three-dimensional mediums

creating one-of-a-kind work, much of which

will be displayed for a tour downtown. An annual

celebration featuring local musicians and performers

will also take place at Society Hall. Info: www.cityofalamosa.org/public-art

and www.societyhall.org

Rollin’ Deep Car Show, June 20

Head on out to Cole Park on Fathers’ Day for the annual

Rollin’ Deep Lowrider & Custom Carshow — open

to all vehicles: all makes, models, and years of cars

and motorcycles, along with some custom bicycles.

Enjoy live music, vendors and kids activities while

checking out the great entries. Info: 719-580-3939,

719-274-5224

Independence Day, July 3

Celebrate our nation’s independence in Alamosa, July 3.

Begin the day with the Kiwanis pancake breakfast in

the San Luis Valley Federal parking lot, then make

your way to Main Street for the annual parade. At

dusk don’t miss the gala fireworks at the fairgrounds.

Info: www.alamosa.org

Beat the Heat BBQ, Brews & Chili, Aug. 6-8

Come check out the San Luis Valley Beat the Heat BBQ, a

sanctioned Kansas City Barbecue Society and Rocky

Mountain Barbecue Association State Championship

event, at Alamosa’s Cole Park. Enjoy BBQ,

beer, and sample a little green chili to wake up

your taste buds. Live music all day Saturday with

kids’ games and family entertainment. Info: www.

slvbeattheheat.com

Early Iron Festival, Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 3-5

The Early Iron Festival is a premier event of Alamosa and the

surrounding area, bringing visitors from Colorado,

New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Kansas and beyond

to Cole Park. It now draws well over 600 rodders

and street car enthusiasts. This is a three-day event

starting on Friday and ending on Sunday, jam-packed

with parties, music, vintage nitro, pinstriping, slow

cruising and of course, awesome hot rod displays!

Info: www.earlyironclub.com

Conejos-Costilla:

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad opening day, May 29

Antonito celebrates the beginning of the scenic railroad’s

season at the depot with music, ceremonies and

family fun beginning on May 29 — with bells

clanging, whistles blowing, and surrounded by

clouds of steam. Info: 1-888-286-2737, www.

cumbrestoltec.com

Sanford Pioneer Days, July 24

This small town celebrates its history, rooted deeply in the lives

of the pioneers who settled here between 1880 and

1890. Mormon pioneers of Sanford came from Utah

in covered wagons, first living in Ephraim and Richfield

until Sanford was located. Info: 719-274-4024

Manassa Pioneer Days, July 16-17

The Pioneer Days Celebration started with its namesake—the


Page 14 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

pioneers. Generations of Manassa’s families descend

on the town from far and wide for the two-day celebration

of history, legacy and family. The town bustles

with carnival rides, food, bands, Miss Pioneer and

her princesses and a parade so great it runs up and

down Main Street twice. Info: www.manassa.com

Woodcarvers Rendezvous, July 10-16

Woodworkers will congregate in Creede for the 30th Annual

Woodcarvers Rendezvous where they can sell their

wares or even learn a new skill. Each year offers

new demonstrations, classes and contests. Info:

www.creedewoodcarvers.com

Santa Ana y Santiago Fiesta, July 23-25

San Luis, Colorado’s oldest town, honors and celebrates the

area’s faith and culture as it plays host to mariachis,

local bands, spectacular parades, traditional singers,

fabulous food and more. Info: 719-672-2080

Antonito Labor Day Celebration, Sept. 4-5

Labor Day is always the first Monday in September, but no

place welcomes it in like Antonito, with celebrations

Saturday and Sunday. The day begins with a

pancake next to the mansion town hall, followed

by a parade at 10 a.m. Info: 719-376-2355

Mineral County:

Creede Farmers Market, May 28-Sept., Fridays

The Creede Farmers Market runs on Fridays from 9 a.m. to

2 p.m. at 10 S. Main Street. Other special occasion

dates will be added in as well. Browse vendors selling

produce, other food items, crafts and antiques

and enjoy activities, entertainment and more. Info:

www.creedefarmersmarket.com

Taste of Creede, May 28-31, 2021

The Annual Taste of Creede on Memorial Day weekend will

showcase all the “tastes” around town, where taste includes

much more than food. Music lovers will sample

melodies all weekend. Art aficionados can tour all the

galleries in town and attend the National Small Print

Show opening on Saturday. Info: www.creede.com

Runoff Runoff, June 5

Throughout the summer, racers can choose to ride ATVs,

run alone or run with a donkey. The Runoff Runoff

includes three races (6K, half-marathon and marathon)

with a festive finish line in the heart of Creede.

Info: www.runoffrunoff.com

Donkey Dash & Gravity Derby, June 12-13

The Annual Creede Donkey Dash races into Main

Street on Saturday. The course covers about

10 miles through Creede’s Historic Mining

District; teams consist of a burro and runner

On Sunday, join the annual free-style soapbox derby

down Main Street! Only three rules apply: rides

must steer, brake and stop. Info: www.creede.com

Independence Day celebration, July 3-4

The Fourth of July festival and parade runs Saturday and

Sunday in Creede. The parade is at 9 a.m. on July

4. Street vendors will offer food and crafts, and a

beer garden will pour brain-softeners throughout

the two-day event. Info: www.creede.com

Rock and Mineral Show, Aug. 6-8

Over 40 exhibitors will be showing and selling a fascinating

array of gems, geodes, fossils, silver ore, turquoise

nuggets, Australian opals, beads, jewelry and stone

carvings at Creede’s Underground Mining Museum.

Info: www.creederocks.com

Snowshoe Shuffle, Aug. 6

A benefit for Mineral County Search and Rescue, the Annual

Snowshoe Shuffle starts with a 5K run and a 5K

walk two minutes later. The course starts and ends

in Basham Park with registration beginning at 8

a.m. for race-day signups. Info: www.creede.com

Headwaters Music Festival, Aug. 28-29

Music lovers head to Creede for the Fifth Annual Headwaters

Music Festival, where fans can camp near

the concert site, and visitors who plan ahead can

make reservations in the RV parks, hotels, motels

and other lodging options in town. Info: www.

HeadwatersMusicFestival.com

Labor Day weekend celebrations, Sept. 4-6

Over the Labor Day weekend, revelers have plenty

of options for action or audience participation.

The Creede Mountain Run includes four

separate races to continue a summer-ending tradition

on Saturday. Also on Saturday, from 11 a.m.

to 4 p.m., the Salsa Fiesta will feature more than a

dozen locations downtown where local chefs create

one of four kinds of original salsa: red, green, fruit

and freestyle. Info: www.creede.com

Cruisin’ the Canyon Car Show, Sept. 17-20

The Cruisin’ the Canyon Car Show is an autumn event that

inspires car fanatics to motor along the beautiful

Upper Rio Grande and enjoy the fall landscapes

of red, gold and yellow. Finish the weekend with

Sunday morning breakfast and Fly-In at the Mineral

County Airport. Dozens of planes come in and out

of the Valley, putting on quite the show. Info: www.

creede.com

Rio Grande:

Monte Vista Farmers Market, opens July 9

The Monte Vista Farmers Market, located in the parking

lot on U.S. Hwy. 160 at Jefferson Street, across

from the Information Center, offers local produce,

freshly baked goods and more. The market runs

Friday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through

Sept. 17. Info: www.facebook.com/MonteVista-

FarmersMarket


Thunder in the Valley Motorcycle Rally, June 11-12

Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club, Chapter 19, presents

the third annual Thunder in the Valley Motorcycle

Rally, this year to be held at Ski Hi Park. With a

poker run, silent auction, beer garden, games, live

music and dance, it will be an exciting fun-filled

day for all. Info: www.brotherskeepersmc.com/

bkmc/event/35

Logger Days, July 16-18

South Fork will celebrate the area’s culture and history

during the 28th Annual Logger Days Festival.

Events and competitions taking place throughout

the weekend celebrate the time-honored tradition

of logging, an initial economic draw for the area.

Info: 719-873-5512, www.southfork.org.

Ski Hi Stampede, July 23-25

The largest special event in the San Luis Valley is Ski Hi

Stampede in Monte Vista. The Ski Hi Stampede

is Colorado’s oldest professional rodeo. New for

2021, the event will be celebrating their first year

in a brand-new facility after the Friends of Ski-Hi

spent 2019 and 2020 brainstorming, fundraising

and planning to replace the dated event center.

Info: www.skihistampede.com

Covered Wagon Days, July 30- Aug. 1

Del Norte turns back the clock for some good old-time

fun with events harking back to when the West

was born. There is something fun for everyone to

enjoy. Info: www.coveredwagondays.com.

San Luis Valley Fair, Aug. 7-14

A SLV tradition, come see the 119th fair in Monte Vista.

The Fair starts with the Horse Exhibitors events

on Saturday and has numerous 4-H events over

the week. The culminating event is the junior

livestock auction on Friday, Aug. 13. For more

information see www.slvfair.com

South Fork Mushroom Foray, August date TBA

For mushroom enthusiasts and wanna-be mushroom enthusiasts.

Get quick tips regarding the proper way

to identify and collect mushrooms from an expert

and then head out for a nearby hike to look for and

collect mushroom species. Info: 719-873-5512,

www.southfork.org

San Luis Valley Potato Festival, Sept. 11

Celebrating one of the most important crops to the region

the San Luis Valley Potato Festival celebrates the

potato and kicks off the harvest season. Held in

Monte Vista’s scenic Chapman Park the festival

boasts exciting! Info: 719-852-3322, www.coloradopotato.org

Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 15

Saguache:

Town of Center 4th of July celebration,

Fun in the SunEnjoy “Fun in the Sun” celebrating the 4th

of July in Center with a parade, activities at Casa

Blanca Park, live music, vendors, a beer garden and

more. Info: 754-3497

Town of Crestone Annual 4th of July Celebration,

July 4The Fourth of July celebration is participatory with

events that everyone can join. The central event is a

parade through the downtown area, with a “Creation

Station” for children to decorate themselves and

their bikes prior to the parade. Info: 719-256-4313.

Hollyhock Festival, July 31

The 10th Annual Hollyhock Festival is July 31. The Chamber

is hoping this date will allow for gathering in

the Community Building and touring gardens in

person. The hours for this event will be 10 a.m.

until 3 p.m. The hollyhock is the official flower for

the town of Saguache. Info: 719-849-0240, www.

saguachechamber.org

Saguache Arts Walk, Aug. 21

Held in downtown Saguache, local artists will display their

work through the downtown area in businesses, as

well as in several galleries for the annual Saguache Arts

Walk. Info: 719-849-0240, www.saguachechamber.org

Inter-Tribal Pow Wow Celebration, Aug. 28-29

A weekend of Native American celebrations and events

in Otto Mears Park, vendors will be selling their

wares at the ninth annual pow wow and Indian

drummers, singers and dancers will be performing

throughout the event. Info:www.facebook.com/

SaguachePowwow

Crestone Energy Fair, Aug. 28-29

The Crestone Energy Fair is an annual event highlighting

innovative and visionary energy, building, and

human relation’s technologies while networking

the skill sets and resources of local, regional and

global communities who practice sustainable, regenerative

and whole systems designs. Info: www.

crestoneenergyfair.org.

12 Hours of Penitence, Sept. 11

12 Hours of Penitence is an endurance mountain bike race

held in the Penitente Canyon Recreation Area from

7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s a family-friendly, festival-type

atmosphere all day while racers are racking up miles

on the course. Info: www.12hoursofpenitence.com

Saguache Fall Festival & Quilt Show, Sept. 18

The 28th Annual Fall Festival and Quilt Show will take place

at Otto Mears Park and the community building in

Saguache. Fun starts at 9 a.m. on Sept. 18 and continues

until 4 p.m. Info: www.saguachechamber.org


Page 16 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 17

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


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Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 19

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. For more

information please call Fort Garland Museum at 719-379-

3512.

38 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 — TBA FOR 2021.

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 16-17, 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 tentatively scheduled for July 24.

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.

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.


Page 20 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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 — TBA for 2021. La Jara Glory

Days is traditionally 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.

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.

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.

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 ANTONITO LABOR DAY — Labor Day is always the

first Monday in September, but no place welcomes it in like

Antonito, with celebrations Saturday and Sunday. The day

begins with a pancake next to the mansion town hall, followed

by a parade at 10 a.m. on the street in front of the

building and grounds, where vendors, information and souvenir

booths will be set up. Live entertainment will be included

on the mansion porch all day and into the night. Info:

719-376-2355

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Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 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.

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.

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— San Luis,

Colorado’s oldest town, honors and celebrates the area’s faith

and culture as it plays host to mariachis, local bands, spectacular

parades, traditional singers, fabulous food and more July 23-25.

Info: 719-672-2080

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.

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 week from Memorial Day to

Labor Day. For more information call 719-379-4179.

58 LOS CAMINOS ANTIGUOS SCENIC BYWAY — 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 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 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.


Page 22 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

Mineral County

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

The 2021 season will feature three plays

produced outdoors at Sieme Park as well as

cabaret and Boomtown improv performances

on the patio at the Creede Hotel.

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 13th

year, this event is tentatively scheduled for

Sept. 17-20 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.

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

— 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 June 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

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 full-service 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 La Garita, Weminuche, and

South San Juan Wilderness areas.


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 23


Page 24 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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

COMPETI-

TION — The

Fourth of July

festival and

parade runs

Saturday

and Sunday

in Creede.

The parade is

at 9 a.m. on

July 4. Street

vendors will

offer food and crafts, and a beer garden will pour brainsofteners

throughout the two-day event. Unless it’s too

dry and dangerous, a fireworks display will wrap up Independence

Day. Visitors get to see mining competitions,

rodeo events and the Days of ’92 Mining Championship.

Since the 1970s, the Days of ’92 has drawn professional

mineworkers from the southwestern United States to battle

for the “Best Overall Miner of the Year” award. Info:

www.creede.com

72 WOOD-

CARVERS’

RENDEZ-

VOUS —

Woodworkers

will congregate

in Creede for

the 30th Annual

Woodcarvers

Rendezvous,

July 10-16,

where they can sell their wares or even learn a new skill.

Each year offers new demonstrations, classes and contests.

Beginners can pick up their first woodworking tools, while

those with more experience can find just about anything

they’re looking for. Info: www.creedewoodcarvers.com

73 CREEDE ROCK & MINERAL SHOW — Over 40

exhibitors will be showing and

selling a fascinating array of gems,

geodes, fossils, silver ore, turquoise

nuggets, Australian opals,

beads, jewelry and stone carvings

at Creede’s Underground Mining

Museum, Aug. 6-8. Plus all types


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 25

of rock and mineral specimens from around the world will

intrigue viewers, buyers, collectors and rockhounds of all

ages. Info: www.creederocks.com

74 LABOR DAY IN CREEDE — The Labor Day weekend

celebration, September 4-6, in Creede will feature the 34th

Annual Creede Mountain Run; Salsa Fiesta; and ATV Rodeo

(URGEC). The annual hot air balloon festival has tentatively

been cancelled. 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 DONKEY DASH & GRAVITY DERBY — The Annual

Creede Donkey

Dash races into

Main Street on

June 12-13. The

course covers

about 10 miles

through Creede’s

Historic Mining

District; teams

consist of a burro

and runner. Also,

don’t miss the

mini donkey race, street festival and live music. On Sunday,

join the annual free-style soapbox derby down Main

Street! The race includes multiple heats, featuring many age

groups. Only three rules apply: rides must steer, brake and

stop! (well, and no motors or pedal power - let gravity do

the work!) Info: www.creede.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 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 26 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 27

Rio Grande County

78 MUSIC IN SOUTH FORK — TBA FOR 2021- Annually,

in early August, enjoy the 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. A

change in venues is being reviewed. 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.

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 SOUTH FORK — Fishing in the

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 — 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.


Page 28 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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 — South Fork will celebrate

the area’s culture and history during the 28 th Annual

Logger Days Festival July 16-18. Events and competitions

taking place throughout the weekend celebrate the timehonored

tradition of logging, an initial economic draw for

the area. Crowd-favorite competitions include chainsaw

carving, the ax throw, the two-man crosscut and a relaytype

race with team members pulled from the audience.

The parking lot and community center are packed with

children activities, various vendors and food trucks. The

event is free and open to the public. Info: 719-873-5512,

www.southfork.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 — The largest special event in the

San Luis Valley is Ski Hi Stampede in Monte Vista. The Ski Hi

Stampede is Colorado’s oldest professional rodeo.

It was founded in the late 1800s for local cowpoke to compare

skills they learned while riding the range. Today, it’s an official

84 COVERED WAGON DAYS — Del Norte honors its

western heritage with the 47th Annual Covered Wagon Days

July 30-Aug. 1 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.


Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 29

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.

Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) event, where

the pros accumulate points towards competing in the National

Pro Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev.

However, this four-day event is not only a rodeo. There are

several other fun, big events to participate in. There are parades

on Friday and Saturday, with Saturday being the largest day, a

chuck wagon dinner on Thursday night right before the concert

which features A-list country western recording artists, dances,

concerts and a carnival at Ski Hi Park. New for 2021, the event

will be celebrating their first year in a brand-new facility after

the Friends of Ski-Hi spent 2019 and 2020 brainstorming, fundraising

and planning to replace the dated event center. Info:

www.skihistampede.com

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

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.

87 POTATO FESTIVAL, SEPT. 11 — Celebrating

one of the most

important crops

to the region the

San Luis Valley

Potato Festival

celebrates the

potato and kicks

off the harvest

season. The day is

filled with fun for

the entire family.

Held in Monte

Vista’s scenic

Chapman Park

the festival boasts

exciting activities

including a 5k

Tator Trot race,

craft and food

vendors, guided agricultural tours, chef demonstrations, narrated

train tours, a truck and semi show, the famous mashed

potato dunk tank and much more! Info: 719-852-3322, www.

coloradopotato.org

88 MUSHROOM FORAY — Enter the woods in search of

edible wild mushrooms during the South Fork Mushroom Foray

TBA in August. Call 719-873-5512 for reservations.


Page 30 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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 FAIR, AUG. 7-14— A SLV tradition, come see the

119th fair in Monte Vista. The Fair starts with the Horse Exhibitors

events on Saturday and has numerous 4-H events over the

week. The culminating event is the junior livestock auction on

Friday, Aug. 13. For more information see www.slvfair.com

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

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.

96 ROCK CREEK — The moderate hike along the Rock

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


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.

Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 31


Page 32 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021

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