Scenic Wonders

Scenic Wonders

The San Luis Valley is a land of sharp and beautiful contrasts, deep history, and wild experiences that stay with visitors long after they're gone. Take a tour through our incredible region in the pages that follow, but be careful – we're hard to resist.

Didn't think you could build sandcastles in Colorado? Think again. North America's highest sand dunes flank some of the continent's highest mountain peaks in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Don't forget to visit the San Luis Valley's Wildlife Refuges. Two well-established refuges, The Alamosa and Monte Vista refuges, are havens for migratory birds and other wildlife.

From long, straight, echoing highways to undulating, ribbony canyon roads to breathtaking mountain passes, our region's highways, byways, and back roads captivate visitors from across North America every year. Select a location below to explore the possibilities!

 

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Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge

Humans aren't the only ones that find the valley a heavenly sanctuary. Every year tens of thousands of migratory birds and other wildlife make their home in and around th ...
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Blanca Peak

Standing tall as the fourth highest peak in Colorado, Blanca Peak is the signature summit of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and can be easily spotted towering against the ...
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Blanca Vista Park

Blanca Vista Park features two covered picnic areas, trails, and several types of wildlife from deer to waterfowl, fox, and many bird species.  The area is cent ...
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Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

    Built in 1880, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a proud remnant of the spirit that won the west. It's path through steep passes and deep gorg ...
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Dark Sky Park, at the Great Sand Dunes National Park

Recognized as a Dark Sky Park in 2019, the Great Sand Dunes National Park has since become an increasingly popular destination for those searching for a unique yet i ...
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San Juan Mountains

The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. This area contains a number of 14 ...
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Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area

The Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area is a breathtakingly rugged and beautifully preserved area located immediately to the Northwest of Alamosa. Standing tall behind the G ...
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The Great Sand Dunes National Park

Against the backdrop of rugged 14,000' peaks in the Sangre de Cristo mountains—the 30 square mile sand dune field, with no designated trails—invites you on an adventure. ...
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The Rio Grande

Float the Rio By the time the Rio Grande reaches Alamosa, it has slowed down to a leisurely pace. This makes the waters perfect for floating! This stretch is also popula ...
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Wheeler Geologic Area

Located West of Alamosa in the Rio Grande National Forest, Wheeler Geological Area is a breathtaking destination for those willing to put in the extra distance.  ...
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Zapata Falls

 The views of the valley and the Sand Dunes are fantastic from Zapata Falls, and there are four miles of well-marked hiking and mountain biking trails below the parking a ...
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Zapata Ranch and Conservancy Preserve

Zapata Ranch is an authentic working cattle and bison guest ranch owned by The Nature Conservancy, covering more than 100,000 acres and bordering the Great Sand Dunes Nat ...
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