4 Days to Explore the Historic San Luis Valley

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Speckled with sand dunes, 14,000-foot peaks and a variety of historic sites, the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway spans one of Colorado's most impressive landscapes.

Sustainability Activity
How to Give Back to These Special Places

There are special places and unique vistas around nearly every Colorado corner. You can help ensure these places exist for generations to come by staying on roads and trails, keeping speeds in check, leaving campsites and picnic spots just as you found them, and following instructional signs while you’re out and about in our state

Day
1
monte vista national wildlife refuge photo
Activity
Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge
In the heart of the arid San Luis Valley is a birdwatchers paradise. Lush wetlands provide year-round habitat for various birds, coyotes, deer and…
Lunch
Ef's Restaurant
Come in and try our green chili burger guaranteed to not disappoint...
Activity
Historic Downtown Alamosa Walking Tour
Experience the hometown feel of this historic downtown on a self-guided walking tour.  Art Deco tile and influences are visible along Main Street,…
Dinner
Purple Pig Pizzeria and Pub
The Purple Pig Pub was the oldest bar in Alamosa and in 2019, the location was remodeled and The Purple Pig Pizzeria and Pub was born. In addition to…
Activity
The Colorado Farm Brewery
Tilled, planted, grown, malted, milled, brewed, bottled and consumed in Alamosa.
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
2
Breakfast
Campus Café
Campus Cafe is the local favorite. American food, amazing breakfasts, you have to try the cinnnamon roll! Great lunch menu too. 
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…
Insider's Tip
Enjoy a Picnic

Plan ahead by choosing lunch goodies at an Alamosa supermarket or cafe before heading to Zapata Falls. Dine outdoors in the sunshine before heading out for a hike.

Activity
Zapata Falls Recreation Area
Cut from the rock face by glaciers and scoured by millennia of rushing water, cold water crashes through a 30 ft. cleft in the rock walls. The…
Dinner
Mile Deep Grille at Sand Dunes Recreation
Located on the campus of Sand Dunes Recreation near Hooper off Hwy 17. This grill is known for their burgers and salads. After dinner, swing into…
Activity
UFO Watchtower
The watchtower is a 10-foot-tall viewing platform that takes advantage of the remote area’s high elevation. Pass the time with your eyes on the sky,…
Lodging
Great Sand Dunes Lodge
Come and enjoy the peace and serenity of the Great Sand Dunes National Park at the Great Sand Dunes Lodge. Relax at the foot of the majestic Sangre…
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
Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge
In the heart of the arid San Luis Valley lies a birdwatchers paradise. Lush wetlands provide year-round habitat for songbirds, water birds, coyotes,…
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…
Activity
Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center
Fort Garland was built in 1858, ten…
Dinner
Mrs. Rios Restaurant & Thai Kitchen
If you're after amazing Thai food in southern Colorado, look no further than Mrs. Rios Restaurant & Thai kitchen. You'll also find an array of…
Activity
Take a Walk

Walk along the Plaza de San Luis de la Culebra Historic District for architecture from another time in Colorado's oldest town.

Lodging
El Convento Inn
A former convent, this small inn is run by the the Sangre de Cristo Parish in historic San Luis, Colo. Enjoy a Southwestern motif along with kiva…
Day
4
Breakfast
R&R Market
As Colorado's oldest business, the R&R Market has operated for more than 150 years. It serves as remote San Luis' grocery store.
Insider's Tip
Get Going Early

See the shrine before catching a full- or half-day trip along the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Lunch is served on the train for both trip lengths.

Activity
Shrine of the Stations of the Cross
Built as an act of faith and love for the parishioners of the Sangre de Cristo Parish. Visitors can climb the half-mile trail to view fifteen…
Activity
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
All Aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad for a Train Ride of a Lifetime!  The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a National…
Dinner
Locavores
Locavores serves fresh, inspired food at our fast-casual restaurant in Alamosa, Colorado. Every day in the store we roast our own meats and prepare…
Activity
San Luis Valley Brewing
Offers the finest in craft brews and fine food in an inviting atmosphere.
Lodging
Hampton Inn Alamosa, CO
Here at the Hampton Inn Alamosa, we're passionate about taking good care of you. That's why we offer a broad range of services and amenities to…