A Traveler's Blog

Do you want to visit Alamosa like you know a local?  Here is your chance!  Enjoy the following feature articles writtten by a traveler enjoying some hidden (and not so hidden) treasures around the San Luis Valley. 

11 Adventures That You Can Only Have in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado

When you set foot in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, you enter a landscape unlike any other in the country. Two mountain ranges with 14,000-foot peaks tower over a valley filled with giant sand dunes, rushing rivers and waterfalls, and wetlands teeming with wildlife. Sitting at an elevation of 7,500 feet, the vast valley measures 65 miles wide and 100 miles long. Its size and special blend of natural wonders enable adventures that travelers won’t find in other places. From sandboarding to backpacking among massive dunes, here are 11 epic adventures that celebrate the unique nature of the San Luis Valley.

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An Inside Look at the Impressive Beer Scene of Alamosa

In 1978, home brewing was legalized in the United States, and one year later the first microbrewery opened in Colorado. Decades later, the state continues to pioneer the art of craft brewing and boasts one of the country’s—and the world’s—most impressive craft beer cultures, with hundreds of independent beer makers (and growing).

When you travel to Southern Colorado, you’ll find that same pioneering spirit in Alamosa, where beer is ingrained in the culture. For years, local farms have supplied barley and hops to large and small breweries, and the town is home to a handful of craft breweries. Plus, Alamosa was the birthplace of one of the state’s first craft malting operations.

If you also have a passion for craft beer, you’ll feel right at home in Alamosa. Here, we raise a glass to three breweries and their diverse selections of ales, lagers, stouts, porters, and malts.

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The Ultimate Road Trip Guide From Denver to Alamosa

Sometimes, the journey is the destination, and that certainly is true when you're traveling to Alamosa, Colorado.  When you're traveling from Denver to Alamosa, you have two options ahead of you: traveling via I-25 and US-160 W or traveling via US Hwy 285 S.  Each has its own adventures to offer you, and we've outlined them in this handy guide.  So, choose your route, load up the car and enjoy the ride!  

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On the Outskirts of the Great Sand Dunes: 8 Can't-Miss Experiences Outside Park Boundaries

Reaching a height of 750 feet, the sand dunes in Colorado’s San Luis Valley are the largest dunes in North America, and they attract thousands of travelers each year. But, something equally impressive lies beyond these mountains of sand. Looking like massive shark teeth, a collection of ten 14,000-foot peaks pierce the sky and tower over the valley. These mountains in the Sangre de Cristo Range not only provide a dramatic backdrop to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, but they also offer the chance to experience amazing hikes and other adventures beyond the park’s boundaries.

Outside of the park, you’ll not only encounter rugged mountains, but also several other ecosystems, including wetlands, grasslands, and the Riparian area where cottonwoods, aspens, and alders thrive along lively creeks.

With such a rich landscape surrounding the park, there’s plenty do after you’ve slid down the dunes, like hiking to waterfalls, fishing, biking, and viewing bison. Before you head to the sand dunes or the surrounding area, check out these eight amazing things to experience beyond the boundaries of the national park.

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What to do on Valentine's Day in Alamosa

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and if you're still looking for something romantic to do with your Valentine, we've compiled some of Alamosa's most dreamy attractions.  No matter what your Valentine's interests are, the perfect date is waiting for you!  

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10 Things to Know Before Planning a Trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is home to the tallest dunes in North America, topping out at around 755 feet. These ever-shifting hills and mounds sit west of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, creating a mind-boggling, desert-like landscape surrounded by 14,000-foot snow-capped peaks. Compared to most of Colorado’s mountains, the Sangres are extremely rugged, due to the earth’s sudden upheaval that created their relief. The landscape here is one of the most stunning scenes in the entire country.

The dunes are also surrounded by a variety of environments, including grasslands, wetlands, aspen forests, and alpine lakes. Nearby, a grove of 200 ponderosa pine trees, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was historically peeled by indigenous tribes for food and medicine.

From the best ways to explore the dunes to where to stay when visiting the area, here are 10 things you should keep in mind to make the most of your trip.

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How to Have a Memorable Family Vacation in the San Luis Valley

With its craggy peaks and remote canyons, the San Luis Valley attracts plenty of hardcore explorers, but it’s also a fantastic destination for families. From the Great Sand Dunes to Penitente Canyon, you’ll find fun activities suited for everyone in the family, from children to grandparents.

Kids will have a blast zooming down sand dunes and splashing in thermal pools, and everyone in the family can enjoy easily accessible campsites with nearby mellow trails that wind through striking scenery. Plus, the valley holds unique and unexpected thrills, like train rides through the rugged mountains and close encounters with alligators.

To help you plan a trip that will create lifelong memories for everyone in your family, we’ve picked out some of the best activities and must-see destinations in the San Luis Valley.

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Annual Christmas Bird Count at Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes is looking for birders of all skill levels to volunteer in Audubon's longest-running wintertime tradition, the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC). This year’s event will be held at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve on Saturday, December 29th. Great Sand Dunes is one of many locations nationwide participating in this survey. The park is also encouraging those within the count circle who have bird feeders to join in the fun.

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A Food-Lover's Guide to Alamosa

While Alamosa is bordered by wild and rough terrain, including high passes, craggy peaks, and the famous Great Sand Dunes, the San Luis Valley is known for its rich agricultural history.

Established in 1878 as a stop on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, Alamosa became a major hub for commerce, and in the last century farming and ranching have flourished in the San Luis Valley. Towns in Alamosa County export barley, wheat, and potatoes, among other crops, and there’s plenty of room for sheep and cattle ranching.

Thanks to this agricultural background, Alamosa has plenty to offer food lovers, from farm-to-table eateries to breweries to markets where you can pick up fresh produce. To help you plan a foodie tour of this corner of southern Colorado, we’ve highlighted some of the best ways to dig in.

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