Page 2 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021
Do In The San Luis Valley
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
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
1. SAND DUNES
The Great Sand Dunes National Park features the
2. CUMBRES & TOLTEC SCENIC
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,
g i v e s
view of the
J u a n
on a twisty
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
many of the best
cowboys in the
country to Monte
Vista’s Ski-Hi Arena.
Also enjoy a big name
dinner. For information call 719-852-2055 or see www.
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.
6. CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE
Creede Repertory Theatre is a professional theatre
company located in
the historic town of
Creede. CRT’s awardwinning
produces the best
and classic theatre
from June through
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
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
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
The museum features
displays of the life of officers
and enlisted men during the
years the fort served southern
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
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
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
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
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
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 email@example.com or see
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
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
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
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
Attendance may be limited due to the pandemic so call
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
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
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
views of the aspencovered
hoped to strike it
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-
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/
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.
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,
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
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.
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/
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.
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
1 Orient Mine & Bat Cave
2 Joyful Journey Hot Springs
4 UFO Watchtower
6 Sand Dunes Swimming Pool
7 San Luis Lakes State Park
8 Colorado Gators Reptile Park
10 Fort Garland
Fort Garland Museum
11 POW/MIA Memorial
12 Pikes Stockade
Jack Dempsey Museum
14 San Luis
Stations of the Cross & Murals
15 Oldest Church in Colorado
Cumbres & Toltec Railroad
Conejos County Museum
17 Monte Vista
Home Lake Veterans Center
Transportation of the West
18 Old Spanish Trail Monument
19 Stone Quarry
20 Del Norte
Rio Grande History Museum
21 Penitente Canyon
22 Natural Arch
23 Fremonts Christmas Camp
24 Pfeiffer’s Grave
25 Summitville Gold Mine
26 Wheeler Geologic Area
27 South Fork
Silver Thread Scenic Byway
Underground Mining Museum
Bachelor Loop Historic Tour
29 Wolf Creek Ski Area
Russell Lakes State Wildlife
Alamosa Wildlife Refuge
Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge
Coller State Wildlife Area
Rio Grande State Wildlife
La Jara & Hot Creek State
See map for general locations of;
Blanca, Center, Capulin, Conejos,
Hooper, Moffat, Mosca. La Garita,
La Jara, Lake City, Platoro and
2018© Josephine S. Pierce Reprint by Permission Only
Page 18 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021
Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 19
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-
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
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.
17 provides over
25 miles of easy
access to the river,
and then follow
Road 250 along
the river toward
for another 25
miles. Plenty of
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
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
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
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:
Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021 Page 21
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
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.
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
email@example.com. Also see
Page 22 Summer in the San Luis Valley 2021
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 —
South Fork and
20 miles north
Geologic Area is
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
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
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
71 FOURTH OF JULY AND DAYS OF ‘92 MINING
TION — The
Fourth of July
The parade is
at 9 a.m. on
July 4. Street
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:
in Creede for
the 30th Annual
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
Dash races into
Main Street on
June 12-13. The
about 10 miles
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
racing and bull
Burris and Sons
will be held at
in South Fork
on dates to be
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call
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,
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:
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
to the region the
San Luis Valley
potato and kicks
off the harvest
season. The day is
filled with fun for
the entire family.
Held in Monte
the festival boasts
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.
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
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