On a clear, blue-sky day, the Great Sand Dunes are shadowed in the background with Medano Creek flowing in the middle. In the foreground scrubby green trees, grasses and bushes are basking in the sun.

Discover Alamosa and all it has to offer, from authentic local cuisine to historic train rides through the Rocky Mountains. The area is home to the mystifying Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, a vast outdoor playground nestled between two vast mountain ranges — the San Juan Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.


Watch: Outdoor recreation in the San Luis Valley

Massive volcanic activity formed the San Juans, while continental upheaval formed the Sangre de Cristos; running between the ranges is the mighty Rio Grande.

Near the Great Sand Dunes, check out Zapata Falls. The falls were formed when South Zapata Creek wore a groove in the crystalline rocks of the Sangre de Cristos, allowing its water to spill onto the soft alluvial soils below. Over millennia, the creek has carved a dim, deep and narrow chasm through which water tum­bles some 30 feet. In the summer, the falls offer a cool respite; winter temperatures turn them into a giant ice sculpture. Explore more hiking trails in Alamosa.

Summer is an exceptional time to be outdoors in the San Luis Valley. Take in the music, crafts and food at the Summerfest on the Rio, share the adrenaline rush at the Alamosa Round-up Rodeo, or walk downtown to the Farmers Market for fresh local produce and more.

Additional Reading:
10 Things Your Family Will Love About Alamosa
An Adventure Guide to the Rio Grande River

Experience spectacular mountain views first-hand on the historic rails and machinery on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. But trains aren’t the only classic iron you can see in Alamosa. The Early Iron Festival each September showcases masterfully restored and modified hotrods and cars from all over. 

Fall and winter may bring lower temperatures, but not the end of activities in the valley. Fall is a great time for a road trip. While enjoying the colorful changing leaves, check out one of many museums and historical sites such as the Fort Garland Museum or Pike’s Stockade. In the winter, cross-country ski, snowmobile or snowshoe through pristine powder and witness the spectacular nature that envelopes the San Luis Valley.

Any time of year is a great time to visit Alamosa, Depending on when you visit, you can discover many of the treasures the San Luis Valley holds. Explore the inviting downtown, filled with great shopping and dining. Alamosa proudly offers over 35 restaurants, ranging from authentic Mexican and Thai cuisine to American cooking. Need a place to stay?  There are many lodging options in and around Alamosa, ranging from chain motels, locally owned properties and both public and commercial campgrounds.  

With sweeping views and copious sunshine, there is plenty to do in Alamosa. We boast well over 300 days of sunshine yearly, so bring your sunscreen! As you spend time here, you will begin to see the layers unfold that make Alamosa what it is today, from the early settlers who put this town together and the agricultural prowess that fuels a large part of the economy to that small-town exclusivity that makes you feel right at home.

More Alamosa Trip Ideas

Watch: Making Alamosa Your Home Base in the San Luis Valley

Nearby Accommodations