1 Tank Trips: Three awesome adventures in the San Luis Valley

Visiting a new area is always so exciting and fun, but getting gas a couple of times a day can be frustrating! Visit Alamosa has prepared three one tank activities that will save you time and money, without cutting back on the experience! Continue reading below to decide which trip you and your travel buddies will be taking during your visit to Alamosa and the San Luis Valley!



The Alamosa Adventure

This one tank trip will take you to three locations all filled with unique fun you are sure to remember! 


Your first stop will be Colorado Gators, located just 15 minutes outside of town. This reptile rescue and rehabilitation center has animals from all walks of life and all different places come to find their home at this secluded sanctuary including retired movie stars like ‘Morris’ who is most famous for his role in ‘Happy Gilmore’. Find snakes, lizards, birds, and more as you walk through their facility. Feed the big gators or test your bravery as you hold a baby gator! There is tons of fun waiting to be had at this stop, so be sure to pack your camera, because you may need proof for people to believe you!  


After you have spent plenty of time at Colorado Gators, it is time to head to Alamosa’s number one attraction: The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve! We recommend that you prepare for this adventure prior to leaving your lodging facility in the morning as there are several essential items you need to bring to ensure a fun filled experience. Sandboarding or Sand Sledding down the dunes is the ultimate colorado bucket list experience! Sand boards can be rented at Kristi Mountain Sports located in Alamosa. Tons of people can say that they have done this on the snow, not as many can say they have done it on sand! 


We also recommend that you bring sunscreen, snacks or lunch, plenty of water, protective shoes if you plan to hike the dunes, sunglasses, a hat, and things like footballs or soccer balls to play the day away with!


The National Park hosts hiking trails, a campground, and a visitors center that will teach you all you need to know about the park. If you are looking to explore the dunes a little differently, you can opt to take a Jeep tour with Mountain Master Off-Road Tours or a thrilling air tour with Rudded Air Tours and soar above the dunes. There is no wrong way to enjoy the dunes, no matter how you choose to explore, you are sure to find an exciting adventure here. 


It has been a long day already and we are sure you are exhausted by now! Be sure to head into town and dine at one of our delicious eateries before you head out to your last stop for the day: The UFO Watchtower. Do you believe in aliens, UFO’s, or other unexplained phenomena? Maybe you are just looking for an incredible place to stargaze? This location is perfect for both. This location is known for its extraterrestrial sightings and for its wide open night sky that allows you to see for miles on a clear night. Be sure to pack an item to leave behind in the garden with all of the others that have visited before. It is said that leaving an item there links humans to the two portals in the garden and that good fortune comes to those that leave something behind! Believers and skeptics alike can test their theories at this otherworldly adventure stop! 

A roadtrip to Creede, CO

A trip to Creede will be well worth the time spent to get there! Take a step back in time as you drive into the rustic town seemingly set in a different time. Creede was developed and built during the time of wild west cowboys, prospectors looking to hit it big during the gold rush, and miners looking to start anew. This destination is filled to the brim with history with most of the downtown featuring original buildings now filled with adorable shopping stores and eateries that you are sure to love. When visiting Creede, one cannot skip touring an authentic 1891 silver mine at Last Chance Mine, led by someone who has worked in mines and has all of the knowledge and experience needed to answer any questions had along the way. Creede is picturesque and photo opportunities will be around every corner!  

Looking for a great way to spend a morning or afternoon? Hop in the car and head for Bachelor Loop in Creede, Colorado. Along this 17-mile trai, you will find historical markers, ghost towns, and see the remnants from a time far before us surrounded by flawless landscapes that create the perfect backdrop for photographers. The West Willow Creek route is suited for vehicles while the East route is only accessible by ATV travel. There is a trail map available for purchase in the Creede Visitors Center with all the information needed for $3.00. 

The Shrine of the Stations of the Cross

This last one tank trip will take you 45 minutes away from Alamosa to the quiet town of San Luis. This is the oldest inhabited town in Colorado being established in 1851 and holds so much rich history, including The Shrine of the Stations of the Cross. This location hosts bronze statues of the 15 stations of the cross. The sculptures are ¾ to life size and have been preserved beautifully. You will take a trail under a mile long to reach the shrine. On the way up, you will find a grotto hosting pink sandstone statues of Virgin Mary and Juan Diego.  

The original sculptures are part of the permanent collection at the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy. As said by publishers for The Town of San Luis.org, “The spiritual traditions evident in this Shrine and reflected in the lives of the people of San Luis and the surrounding area have deep roots. The Hispanic, first settlers of this area brought with them Spanish and Mexican traditions of communal ownership of land and water, a strong allegiance to their language and customs, and intense religious faith. We are proud to be their descendants, and we are committed to preserving our sacred heritage.”

This adventure is rare and unique as it is not every day that you get to visit one of the oldest towns in a state and see such a beautiful piece of both culture and history. 

You don't have to fill up the take three times to have an amazing time in and around Alamosa. With the itinerary planner hosted on alamosa.org, planning your trip has never been easier. Visit the website today to get started on the perfect one tank adventure for you, or you and your travel buddies of choice! From all of us here at Visit Alamosa, happy planning! 


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