3 Scenic Byways: Short Walks, Long Views

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Three scenic byways in southern Colorado offer a three-day road tour for travelers who like frequent stops, short walks and awe-inspiring walking trails that are good for both kids and dogs. These 203 mystic miles feature the Highway of Legends Scenic and Historic Byway, Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway and the Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway. You'll be seeing the towns of Trinidad, Cuchara, La Veta, Fort Garland, Alamosa and South Fork — all of which offer unique amenities. 

Sustainability Activity
Three Unique Ways to Give Back

Looking to give back to Colorado during your visit? Work to improve the Cuchara Mountain Park is an ongoing process. Maybe you want to donate? The San Luis Valley Museum Association is an all-volunteer nonprofit that supports the efforts of 22 museums throughout the Mystic San Luis Valley. Finally, if you're an animal lover, Citizen Science hikes along creeks near South Fork, recording information about beavers.

Day
1
Bob & Earl's Cafe Photo
Breakfast
Bob & Earl's Cafe
Providing great food since 1993. Here you can leave the mood of the Interstate behind, and pick up the quieter rhythm of a historic two-lane road on…
Activity
Hike Carpios Cove Trail at Trinidad Lake State Park

The half-mile Carpios Cove Trail is an easy jaunt through pinyon pine and juniper trees with beautiful lake views and access to multiple ecosystems — riparian, grassland, and forest. There is a day-use fee.

Lunch
Stonewall Shopping Bag

Stonewall Shopping Bag is a small country store with a 40 seat restaurant plus an RV Park located next to the Stonewall Gap on Highway 12 - the…

Activity
Hike the Vista View Trail

Native Americans regarded the majestic Spanish Peaks as the abode of the Gods. Today hikers enjoy a top-down view of this National Natural Landmark via a short half-mile trail that brings them to a majestic view of the entire wilderness.

Dinner
Legends on Main

Authentic New Mexican and international food in the European tradition. A small restaurant with an even smaller kitchen produces clean, quality,…

Activity
Go on a Dark Skies Walking Tour

After dinner, take the 4-block walking tour of historic downtown La Veta, then drive south of town on Highway 12 to reach deeply dark skies and, hopefully, an unimpeded view of the Milky Way.

Lodging
Two Fox Cabins & RV's

Twelve rental cabins in La Veta. The property abuts the Cuchara River. We do daily, weekly and monthly rentals.

Day
2
Breakfast
Ryus Ave Bakery

We are a small-town artisan bakery in the heart of Spanish Peaks Country serving artisan breads, pastries, breakfast and lunch.

Activity
Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center

Fort Garland was built in 1858 during US expansion into the West. Visitors can explore life in an 1800s Army fort including five original adobe…

Lunch
All-Gon Pizza
Located in the heart of historic Fort Garland, our family-owned restaurant is known for fine dining, delicious home-style cooking, and comfy rustic…
Insider's Tip
Experience the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area

The Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway is located within the heritage area. The mission of the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area is to promote, preserve, protect and interpret the profound historical, religious, environmental, geographical, ​geologic, cultural and linguistic resources of Costilla, Alamosa and Conejos counties.

Activity
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Because the dunes and surrounding mountains are designated wilderness, this is a great place to enjoy unspoiled natural beauty in a variety of ways…
Dinner
Hideaway Steakhouse

HIDEAWAY STEAKHOUSE is where Classic American Steakhouse meets Contemporary Upscale Restaurant. Locally owned and operated, we use fresh seasonal…

Activity
Go for a Walk

After dinner, head for Alamosa's Blanca Vista Park. Take in the views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the sunset or do a bit of birdwatching.

Lodging
Dunes Inn

The newly renovated Dunes Inn offers personal, small-town hospitality with budget-friendly rates. It's within walking distance of Alamosa…

Day
3
Breakfast
AIRPORT ROAD CAFE
Airport Road Café is a sandwich shop located in the San Luis Valley Behavorial Health Group.
Activity
Hike Alder Creek Canyon

This in-and-out trailhead is located behind the Alder Creek Cabin. Keep your eyes and ears open as their is an abundance of wildlife.

Activity
Trail Run Big Meadows Loop Trail

This is a major trailhead to the Weminuche Wilderness as well as a connector to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Expect great mountain views and wildlife

Dinner
Ramon's Mexican Restaurant
Ramon’s Mexican Restaurant serves delicious food for an authentic taste of Mexico! Come experience our fresh-prepared burritos, fajitas, tacos,…
Activity
Enjoy an Evening Hike

Near South Fork, Giant Fir Tree Trail is a half-mile walk to see the biggest Douglas Fir tree in Rio Grande National Forest. Fun Fact: It's the second largest fir in Colroado.

Insider's Tip
Experience the Night

Enjoy stargazing in the Mystic San Luis Valley towns of La Veta, Cuchara, Crestone, Lake City, Westcliffe and Creede as well as the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve — all Colorado stargazing hotspots, many of which are International Dark-Sky Association Designated Communities.

Lodging
Riverbend Resort Cabins & RV Park

Cozy log & wood cabins are open year round with wood buring fireplaces, kitchens, flat screen tvs, grills & decks with river & mountain views…