3 Scenic Byways: Leaf Peeping in Southern Colorado
See the reds, yellows, oranges and browns create a kaleidoscope of color in the southern Colorado towns of Lake City, Creede, Alamosa, Antonito, Mosca, La Veta, Cuchara and Trinidad.
Our communities love sharing their wealth of natural beauty and outdoor experiences with you. All we ask is that you have an amazing time while showing our lands and people plenty of love, kindness and respect. We promise to pay it back tenfold.
Heading south on the Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway, make a pit stop at Windy Point, east of Lake City. This overlook offers superb views of five fourteeners (mountains that stand more than 14,000 feet in height) and endless views of golden aspens.
This 17-mile, self-guided driving tour showcases amazing foliage and historic mining structures throughout Creede’s silver-mining district.
Views of golden aspens line Pool Table Road, just off the Silver Thread. Scenic views of the Rio Grande River Valley are visible for the first few miles of the trip, which climbs through aspen, spruce and fir to beautiful rolling, grassy, sub-alpine parks. The 9.4-mile scenic drive is accessible by passenger car and leads to Hanson's Sawmill Site.
Take a drive on the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway.
Take a brisk fall drive starting in Alamosa through the southern end of the San Luis Valley to the beautiful San Juan Mountains along the Conejos River. Climb Highway 17 along the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway through colorful aspen trees and crisp mountain air. Enjoy the views from Conejos Canyon Overlook. You may even spot the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad train rumbling by.
On the way back to Alamosa, turn right on Hwy 142 toward San Luis and drive to the Rio Grande Natural Area at the pull-off just west of the Rio Grande. You might even come across a tarantula — this is one of the few places in Colorado to find them!
Drive North past Hooper to see the UFO Watchtower. It's a 360-degree-view observation platform of the San Luis Valley. Get directions, and after you've seen the view, hop on the road to La Veta.
Hop onto the Highway of Legends and head south toward Trinidad.
Pinyon-juniper woodland and short- and mixed-grass prairies occupy park uplands making for excellent photos.
Take a more interesting drive to your final destination for the evening: From Trinidad Lake State Park, take the road over the Trinidad Dam (CR 18.3) to Starkville then north on Santa Fe Trail into Trinidad.
Your morning meal is included in your stay at the La Quinta Inn & Suites.
Wormhole Loop Trail is a 2.3-mile moderately trafficked loop near Trinidad. Trail run, hike or mountain bike the afternoon away.