3 Scenic Byways: Leaf Peeping in Southern Colorado

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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.

Sustainability Activity
Care For Colorado

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.

Day
1
Activity
Windy Point Overlook

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.

Insider's Tip
Pick Up a Guide
Stop by the Lake City Visitors Center for a Mile Post Guide prior to hitting the road and heading south toward Creede.
Interior Photo
Lunch
Climb Elevated Eatery

Elevated comfort food and craft cocktails served with attentive, friendly service.

Activity
Bachelor Loop Tour

This 17-mile, self-guided driving tour showcases amazing foliage and historic mining structures throughout Creede’s silver-mining district.

Dinner
Kip's Grill

Kip's Grill started operating out of a caboose on the side of the Highway in Del Norte, Colorado in 1996. The goal was to create seriously fresh,…

Activity
Historic Downtown Creede: Walking Tour

Experience the history and charm of the western mining town of Creede.  Downtown is home to shops, art galleries, and eateries, as well as the…

Lodging
Aspen Inn & Finding Gems Gift Shop

A small inn in a historic building of an old mining town offers accommodations in comfort and natural beauty while retreating from the modern…

Day
2
Breakfast
Cafe Ole

Fresh-baked pastries and light breakfast, sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch.

Activity
Pool Table Road Scenic Drive

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.

Insider's Tip
Head to Alamosa
Lunch
Rubi Slipper
The Rubi Slipper has classic American cuisine, and is open for lunch and dinner. Famous for their $1 Taco Tuesdays, they've extended that special to…
Activity
Scenic Autumn Drive & Conejos Canyon Overlook

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.

Insider's Tip
Make a Pitstop
If you have more time, stop at Elk Creek Bridge before you drive up the switchbacks and take a kayak or tube down the Conejos River (during low water in July and August when it’s hot). Stop to see Elk Meadow Ranch on your way back to Mogote on the southeast side of the Conejos River. 
 
Dinner
Dos Hermanas Restaurant
For two delicious decades, Dos Hermanas Restaurant has been a destination for Antonito’s best homemade recipes and margaritas.
Activity
Rio Grande Natural Area

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!

Lodging
Valley Motel
Valley Motel is a family operated independent economy motel located right of Highway 160 in the beautiful town of Alamosa in Colorado’s San Luis…
Day
3
Breakfast
Milagros Coffee House

Drink Coffee....Love Others!  Milagros Coffeehouse not only serves a full line of delicious espresso and coffee drinks, teas, and baked goods, we…

Activity
Colorado Gators Reptile Park

Reptile rescue park. See more than 300 alligators including Mr. Bo Mangles the albino alligator, tortoises, pythons and much more! World's only…

Insider's Tip
UFO Watchtower

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.

Activity
Insider's Tip
Drive to Dinner

Hop onto the Highway of Legends and head south toward Trinidad. 

Dinner
Dog Bar & Grill

Long considered the heart and soul of the Cuchara Valley, Dog Bar & Grill is the place to enjoy lunch on the outdoor deck with your favorite…

Activity
Trinidad Lake State Park

Pinyon-juniper woodland and short- and mixed-grass prairies occupy park uplands making for excellent photos.

Insider's Tip
Take the Long Way Round

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.

Lodging
La Quinta Inn & Suites Trinidad
Take advantage of our pet-friendly hotel's many modern amenities, free hotel features, friendly service, and convenient location near the city's…
Day
4
Insider's Tip
Breakfast

Your morning meal is included in your stay at the La Quinta Inn & Suites.

Activity
Art Cartopia Art Car Museum

Our wondrous array of art cars has finally opened at fantastic location just off of Interstate 25 (exit 15). The museum is open year round with 25…

Lunch
Mission at the Bell Restaurant
Mission at the Bell is a cozy, family-owned restaurant, (over 20 years in business) serving Tex-Mex style menu items. Located on the basement level…
Wormhole Loop Trail

Wormhole Loop Trail is a 2.3-mile moderately trafficked loop near Trinidad. Trail run, hike or mountain bike the afternoon away.