Scenic Byways Scenic Byways

Colorado Scenic Byways Map
Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway

 

Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway Map, The Colorado Vacation Directory Click here to go to map legend

Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway near Alamosa, Antonito, Blanca, Capulin, Conejos, Fort Garland, Hooper, Mogote, Mosca, Sanford, San Luis

Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway

The south central region of Colorado was originally settled as part of requirements for getting and keeping a Spanish or Mexican Grant which called for establishing centers of population and developing the land. However, when the United States obtained this land, San Luis was the first permanent town in Colorado and was founded in 1851. The Los Caminos Antiguos Byway goes through this first town, as well as Fort Garland, Antonito, Alamosa, and into Chama, New Mexico, following the trails of the Spanish Conquerors (see our San Luis Valley Area Map). The byway is 129 miles long and takes about three hours to travel.

A deer in grove of grass, Colorado
Wildlife Along the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway
Conejos River, Colorado
Find your Perfect Fishing Hole along the Conejos River

 

As you're traveling the byway, be sure to visit the oldest church in Colorado, Our Lady of Guadelupe Parish church. Joseph Machebeuf (1812-1889), spread Roman Catholicism throughout Colorado. A French missionary, he said first Mass in Colorado in a crude adobe chapel in Conejos in 1858. It was later replaced by Our Lady of Guadeloupe Church, Colorado's oldest church. The church is located in Conejos, Colorado, just off US Highway 285.

Rainbow in the sky in the San Luis Valley, Colorado, Photo by Michael Hartzog
Gorgeous Vews of the San Luis Valley During the Day
Beautiful sun set with The San Juan Mountains, Colorado
The San Luis Valley offers Stunning Sun Sets at Dusk

 

Another interesting historical spot is the Jack Dempsey Museum. Jack Dempsey, born in Manassa, Colorado, June 24, 1895, went on to become the heavy-weight boxing champion of the World. At age 14, Jack began fighting at mining camps under the name "Kid Blackie." At age 24 Jack was the first superstar of the ring, and one of the most popular champions ever. Jack died in 1983. The Museum opened in the 1960s in a one-room log cabin near the spot where Jack grew up. Displayed are boxing mementos and pictures donated by locals and the Dempsey family. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Also in the path of the byway is Fort Garland, one of the first military posts in the region. The 100+ men who manned this fort protected the early settlers of the San Luis Valley.

The San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Beauty can be Found all around in the San Luis State Park - Enjoy this Vast Mountain Valley
Zapata Falls River, Colorado
The hike to Zapata Falls offers views of the
San Luis Valley and Mount Blanca

 

The Smith Reservoir, The San Luis Lake State Park and Mountain Home Reservoir offer many water activities. Hiking is also available at Zapata Falls. The falls also offers spectacular views of the entire San Luis Valley, the San Juan Mountains, Mount Blanca, and the Sangre de Cristo range of the Rocky Mountains. These areas also boast fabulous wildlife viewing opportunities. Also along the byway is the Blanca Wetlands, a birder's paradise. Also in the area is the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This Park also provides many recreational activities.

Enter the byway from The Front Range at Fort Garland, From the North at Mosca, or from the West at Alamosa.

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Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do

Chama Trails Inn email this Colorado cabin link to Colorado vacation Photos available on Colorado vacation page
An Inn with a touch of Old New Mexico in Chama: handmade furniture, family suites, gas-log fireplaces, jetted tub. Trails nearby: ATV, hike, snowmobile. ROMANCE PACKAGES: flowers and private label wine.
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad link to Colorado vacation Photos available on Colorado vacation page
America's Highest and Longest Narrow Gauge Railroad; 64 miles of wild, scenic, and rugged National Forest. A 19th Century Railroad Operating in the 21st Century between Colorado and New Mexico.
Mogote Meadow Cabins & RV Park email this Colorado cabin link to Colorado vacation Photos available on Colorado vacation page
On 7 acres of green lawns and shade trees: modern cabins, spacious camp sites: RV and Tent. Mogote Meadow Park is 5 miles west of Antonito in the Conejos Canyon with trout fishing. WI-FI! Pets Allowed.
Rio Chama RV Park Photos available on Colorado vacation page
Fish our Rio! In Chama, New Mexico along scenic Highway 17. Watch the TRAIN steam over the bridge by our RV Park. BIG RIG Friendly: 60 foot pull-thrus! Camp in shade along the Chama River. Free WI-FI!
Twin Rivers Cabins and RV Park link to Colorado vacation
5 miles West of Antonito and Cumbres/Toltec train depot in the village of Mogote. Small, medium, large mountain cabins at Twin Rivers close to Conejos River. Park meadow RV & tent sites. family reunions!

More Activities & Information

Alamosa, Colorado includes: Blanca, Capulin, Center, Fort Garland, Hooper, Mosca, San Luis, Sanford

Antonito, Colorado includes: Conejos, Mogote



Scenic Byways in Colorado


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