San Luis State Park

San Luis State Park near Alamosa
May 11, 2012

San Luis State Park Alamosa County, northeast of Alamosa San Luis State Park and Wildlife Area features boating, camping and birding. It lies 15 miles west of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. All the park’s 51 campsites look out on San Luis Lake, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Great Sand Dunes. Campgrounds are closed from October through April. The lake has been a water sports haven in…

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Alamosa hot springs and water parks

Staff writer The Alamosa area is home to several hot springs and water parks: • Joyful Journey Hot Springs is at the northern entrance to the San Luis Valley, 30 miles south of Salida on Hwy 17 and one mile south of Highway 285. 719-256-4328 (HEAT) 800-673-0656 Pin # 4328 • The clothing optional Valley View Hot Springs, operated by Orient Land Trust, lies where river rock creates pools of…

October 24, 2011
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Colorado Gators Reptile Park

Colorado Gators Reptile Park near Alamosa
October 24, 2011

Staff writer The Colorado Gators Reptile Park – yes, gators, in Colorado! – features more than 400 alligators. It started as a tilapia farm in 1974, where the African perch were grown as food in warm geothermal waters. In 1987 the owners purchased 100 one-year-old alligators to dispose of fish remains. The facility opened to the public in 1990 and even took in overgrown alligators and other reptiles such as…

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Adams State College

Adams State College in Alamosa
October 24, 2011

Staff writer Adams State College offers daily tours, largely aimed at prospective students. Classes are in session from September to mid-December and mid-January to mid-May. The Adams State College Theatre has a growing national reputation, with award-winning productions staged in its state-of-the-art theater building. Also on the Adams State campus, the Luther E. Bean Museum features Native American pottery, Navajo and Rio Grande weavings, and paintings and bronzes by locally…

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San Luis Valley Museum

Staff writer The San Luis Valley Museum illustrates the diversity of the area’s history. Artifacts of Indians and frontiersmen, farmers and ranchers, a typical old schoolroom and a traditional trading post are included. Railroad memorabilia, arrowheads, exotic insects, also are on display. And a veterans’ memorial wall shows uniforms of those who served. Details San Luis Valley Museum 401 Hunt Ave. Alamosa, CO 81101 (719) 587-0667 Website

October 24, 2011
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Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway
October 24, 2011

Staff writer The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is an 1880 narrow gauge train between Antonito, 28 miles south of Alamosa, and Chama, N.M., calling itself America’s highest and longest coal-fired, steam operated, narrow-gauge railroad. Now operated by the states of Colorado and New Mexico through the nonprofit Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission, it travels over 10,015-foot Cumbres Pass, the highest mountain pass reached by rail in the United…

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Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad in Alamosa
October 24, 2011

Staff writer The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad uses a century-old steam locomotive to transport visitors between Alamosa and La Veta during the summer season. The historic railway passes through tunnels and around horseshoe curves with dramatic views of scenery and wildlife all the way. Dinner rides are available, and the train also ferries concertgoers to several Mountain Rails Live concerts each summer at a mountaintop concert venue, with acts such…

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Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges

Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge
October 24, 2011

Staff writer The three San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Alamosa refuge includes more than 11,000 acres, eight miles southeast of the city, and shelters migratory birds and wildlife. Most of it sits in the Rio Grande floodplain, and it includes a visitor center and hiking trail. Backdrop of the refuge is 14,345-foot Mount Blanca. The Monte Vista refuge to…

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Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area

San Luis Valley Colorado
October 24, 2011

Staff writer The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area recognizes the San Luis Valley as the cradle of Colorado’s earliest settlement, where Hispanic, Native American and Anglo cultures met and interacted. The 3,000-square-mile heritage area covers three counties, Conejos, Costilla, and Alamosa and includes the Monte Vista, Baca and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuges, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Details Sangre de…

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Alamosa history

Resettlement family in Alamosa
October 24, 2011

Staff weriter As the city’s website notes, Alamosa “literally grew up overnight.” It started out as a tent city, but in June 1878, according to local lore, a building in Garland City where Denver & Rio Grande railroad workers were fed was lifted up after breakfast and carried to Alamosa on a flatcar, where it was ready that evening to feed the workers their dinner. The name Alamosa is Spanish…

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