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Highway of Legends: An Epic Day Trip from Trinidad to Walsenburg (By Way of La Veta)

Highway of Legends: An Epic Day Trip From Trinidad to Walsenburg (by Way of La Veta)


Okay. You’ve found the perfect property for sale in Trinidad, Walsenburg, or La Veta, and you’ve settled in. Now you’re wanting to explore the area. Well, we’ve got the best day trip ever! Take the Highway of Legends from Trinidad to Walsenburg, or the reverse, stopping along the way to take advantage of this amazing locale. Views, eats, drinks, shopping, hiking, and history—you’ve got it all in one day! We’ve curated an awesome day trip—in two directions. No matter where you start your journey, here are recommendations to make it an adventure. Now get out there and enjoy your new backyard!

Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - A scenic drive through autumn colors, with a winding road leading towards snow-capped mountains under a cloudy sky.
Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - A map showing a travel route highlighted in blue, with a travel time of 1 hour and 49 minutes covering a distance of 72 miles.
Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - A quaint orange building houses weston supply, a general merchandise store, along with a u.s. post office in weston, colorado, under a serene blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds.
Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - Signboard for "gallery shalawalla gift shop" with a rustic outdoor seating area under an umbrella, amidst a bright, sunny day.
Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - A brewery sign illuminated at twilight, with a tranquil street view along the Highway of Legends as the night begins to set in.

Starting in Trinidad


Start your two-hour, 82-mile drive heading west out of Trinidad on CO-12 W. You will follow this highway for a little over 70 miles before turning right to continue on US-160 E all the way to Walsenburg.


If you’re looking to start your morning with a masterfully brewed cup of coffee and yummy pastry, Perkatory Coffee House is the spot for you. Then, you can pick up a breakfast burrito at The Canary @ Weston Supply in Weston, CO. You’ll love this little general store and cafe!


Stop in the tiny mountain village of Cuchara to enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, or even backcountry skiing in the winter. A local favorite is the easy Spring Creek Trail. It’s just an easy, 2.6-mile stretch for your legs with beautiful views and options to lengthen the hike if you’d like.


For a great burger or dog and quick, counter service, head to Lokal Burger on Main Street in La Veta. Or if you’d rather get some table service on a beautiful patio before your shopping/gallery trip, head to Legends on Main for some authentic international cuisine.


Land at Main Street & Ryus Avenue in La Veta for ample shopping and galleries in this artistic community. La Veta is a hub for art in the Spanish Peaks area. Visit the Shalawalla Gallery & Gift Shop where you can take a batik lesson if you have the time. The Spanish Peaks Art Council (SPACe) always has new exhibits of local and national artists as well as workshops for children and adults. Stop into the La Veta Mercantile to peruse the art, shop for local wares, or listen to some music.


Before you leave La Veta, take the trip to Uptop, the ghost town on Old La Veta Pass. A Colorado Historic District, you’ll find a dozen preserved buildings, lovely views, and several hikes. And when you get to Walsenburg, stop by the Walsenburg Mining Museum. It is housed in an old jail from 1896 that “Mother” Jones herself spent the night in.


Extend your evening in La Veta with a visit to Deerprint Wine for a delightful drink or head to Mountain Merman for a locally crafted beer. Right behind Merman, discover the perfect dinner spot at Legends on Main, where you can indulge in Authentic New Mexican and International cuisine steeped in European tradition, a town favorite.

Alternatively, venture into Walsenburg for a refreshing beverage at Crafty Canary Brewery, offering craft beer, wine, and inventive cocktails along with a limited yet tempting food menu.

For another option, check out the Stokehouse, situated next to Walsenburg Mercantile. While it’s newly opened as a bar, the restaurant section is on its way. Take a moment to enjoy a drink and place an order from RegalBurg Deli or Gub Gubs Pizza and Ice Cream, conveniently located next door. Stokehouse isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a homage to the resilience and spirit of Walsenburg.

Whether you choose La Veta or Walsenburg, culinary wonders await at every turn. Whichever establishment you pick, you’re not just in for a delicious meal – it’s an opportunity to savor the local spirit and vibrant energy that define these charming Colorado towns. So, embrace the moment, relish the flavors, and transform your evening in southern Colorado into an unforgettable experience.




Start your two-hour, 82-mile drive heading west out of Walsenburg on US-160 W. You will follow this highway for a little over 10 miles before turning left to continue on CO-12 E all the way to Trinidad. Download the Highway of Legends audio tour before you go.


Start your adventure at the Walsenburg Mercantile, a hidden gem boasting over 70 local vendors offering handmade treasures. But that’s not all – tucked inside this treasure trove is RegalBurg, affectionately known as the Burg Deli, offering the perfect start to your day. Whether you’re in the mood for a grab-and-go treat or sit-down delights they have a diverse menu to fit everyone’s needs. This hidden gem connects you to the local arts scene, allowing you to take home a piece of Walsenburg while supporting talented creators.


Continue your Highway of Legends tour by heading a few miles west and making a pitstop at Lathrop State Park. Embark on a scenic 1.5-mile hike along the Hogback Trail encircling the lake, offering breathtaking views to kickstart your day. Following the hike, refresh yourself in the lake before continuing your journey.

Upon resuming your tour, make your way to La Veta to explore the historic Francisco Fort. Originally an outpost for early settlers in Huerfano County, this site has transformed into a museum featuring a functional blacksmith’s shop, the state’s largest collection of arrowheads, and a variety of unexpected artifacts.


For lunch, make a pitstop in Cuchara Village and savor a meal at The Dog Bar & Grill. Recognized as one of Colorado’s Top 12 Patios by the Denver Post, this family-owned gem offers not only delicious food and drinks but also stunning views and quality live entertainment. If you’re up for a little more adventure just beyond the mountain, explore the Small town charm of Stonewall Shopping Bag. Another family-owned establishment, it promises great souvenirs, home-cooked delights, and friendly company. Whichever spot you choose, you’re sure to fall in love with the unique charm of each place.


As your making your way toward Trinidad on Highway 12, keep an eye out (or stop and explore, but beware of Private Property!) the House on the Bridge and the Cordova Chapel. The House (Just northwest of where County Road 21.6 meets Hwy 12 near Vigil) sits on a bridge that was the original road from Stonewall to Trinidad, crossing over the North Fork of the Purgatoire River. The Chapel was built in 1871 and still stands on the south side of Hwy 12. Once in Trinidad, visit the Trinidad History Museum and observe the contrasting architecture of the Baca House and the Bloom Mansion.


In Trinidad, there are at least two must-see’s for the art lover. For an eclectic collection of art—Western pulp magazine covers, “Native American art and artifacts, Hispanic traditional and religious art displayed in an authentic turn-of-the-century building”—visit the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art. And for something a little different, stop by the Art Cartopia museum! This place is so much fun. A result of the ArtoCade ArtCar festival, there is always something going on here, or you can just check out the outrageous cars.


It’s time to go to Grandma’s House! In the historic Trinidad train depot, you’ll find a unique spot to have craft beer, wine, cider, and spirits, as well as some Sexy Pizza. Or head further down Main Street and get something smoked at the Trinidad Smokehouse.
Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - A screenshot of a route on a digital map, showing a journey that takes approximately 1 hour and 49 minutes to cover 72 miles, with the path meandering through various towns and natural areas.
Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - A monochromatic photo capturing the vintage charm of an old brick building with bold signage that reads "the Walsenburg Mercantile Company Wholesale Grocers," accompanied by various retro advertisements on the facade
Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - Two frothy beverages in branded glass mugs sit on a rustic wooden table with snowy tracks stretching into the distance under a cloudy sky, framing the beginning of an epic trip from Trinidad to Walsenburg
Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - A quaint and colorful corner in a rustic setting featuring "the dog bar restaurant" sign, flanked by lush green trees and blooming red flowers, with a welcoming "open" sign indicating a charming spot for visitors to explore.
Colorado Mountain Property and Homes for Sale - A curious group of deer exploring a parking lot in front of a rustic building with a "shoe tree" sign along the Highway of Legends.


Now that you’ve decided to make Southern Colorado your home, get out there and discover all the things that make it such a special place to live. These two day trips (or make it a weekend!) along the Highway of Legends highlight only a fraction of the amazing things to see in Colorado’s Spanish Peaks country. Go exploring and be sure to let us know about your favorite stops and spots!


For more info on this historic route and everything of interest along it, download and audio tour from TravelStorysGPS.


Whether you’ve already found a home for sale in the Trinidad, La Veta, or Walsenburg area or you’re currently looking for Southern Colorado real estate, Code of the West has the perfect broker for your needs! Take advantage of our extensive knowledge of the Colorado area and let us help you find the right home for you or the right buyer for your home!


Find plenty of information in our blog to give you ideas for how to finance a property, advice on living that mountain life, and much more. And if you can’t find the answer there, contact us!

A Winning Combination: Code of The West Real Estate Merges with Town & Country Estates


We didn’t think it could get any better, and then it did! Twice! Code of the West Real Estate is proud to have united with Town & Country Estates Realty out of Trinidad and Colorado Homestead Properties out of Aguilar.


Broker/Owners Arica Andreatta, Ed Trommeter, and Kerry Campbell, respectively, joined forces earlier this year to bring Zane Grey’s tenets to a larger market. The collective commitment is to put service to our clients first. This collaboration will grow our team of devoted agents and widen our knowledge of Southern Colorado Real Estate, while strengthening our presence with stellar marketing.


Town & Country Estates Realty has been a leader in the industry since its inception in 2001. Colorado Homestead Properties brings a 4th generation local knowledge of the Apishapa valley combined with a real estate background. Code of the West prides itself on a positive reputation, recognizable brand, and a marketing platform second to none. Together, three companies become one, instilled with the values of big city marketing and small town service.


The merger has been a seamless transition as all companies operate with the utmost transparency, honesty, and integrity. Excited for our common future, we look forward to the journey and wish to thank everyone who has supported our companies. You have contributed to the strengthening of our ability to serve our clients and the community. We promise to continue to serve the Southern Colorado community with courage, commitment, and honor on this new path forward.


Don’t worry! You can still work with the same agents that have brought you top of the line service in their current locations. You will just benefit from the addition of further expertise and years of experience.


Please contact us today for all of your Southern Colorado residential, commercial, farm and ranch, and vacant land real estate needs by calling (719)742-3626, or visiting us online at or via email at Or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. And if you’d like to hear what people are saying about our service, find reviews of each of our agents on Zillow!

Alamosa Day Hikes

Living near Alamosa is an outdoors person’s dream. The variety of terrain is stunning and there are plenty of day hikes nearby. Nestled in the San Luis Valley, you’ll have the opportunity to explore everything from sand dunes to volcanic rock cliffs to alpine lakes. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to some of the nearby treks that the locals love.  

Great Sand Dunes

  Alamosa County boasts the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the “tallest dunes in North America!” There are 30 square miles of massive dunes. Though there are no trails on the dunes, feel free to hike to the summits of High Dune, Hidden Dune, Star Dune, and Eastern Dune Ridge. It is advised to hike early as the sand can reach temperatures of 150° in the afternoon.   For a change of pace, explore the forested Montville Nature Trail, the 3.5-mile Mosca Trail along the creek, or visit an alpine lake on the Medano Lake Trail. For info on all these excursions visit this National Park Service page.  

Cross Creek Trail

  This 10-mile, easy hike takes you to the largest tree in the Rio Grande National Forest. You’ll also get beautiful views of Del Norte Peak and Willow Park. Much of the foot traffic along this trail are people staying at the Cross Creek Campground. There is big game hunting here during the fall and fishing at Beaver Reservoir and Beaver Creek.   For detailed directions to the trailhead see this link to Cross Creek Trail #812 on the USDA Forest Service website.  

La Garita Natural Arch

  This 2.6-mile easy hike gets you close to the La Garita Natural Arch. The arch was created more than 30 million years ago by volcanic flow. You can drive up to the Natural Arch, but by hiking, you get a closer view. While you’re here, hike to Penitente Canyon and take a break to watch the climbers.   Find directions to the trailhead here.  

El Rito Azul (Blue Lake) Trail

  The El Rito Azul Trail is a 10.2-mile, moderate hike through woodlands and meadows up to the lake. You’ll be able to spot volcanic rock bluffs and other “magnificent views.” There are many chances to extend your hike as this trail connects with the Continental Divide Trail at the southern end of Blue Lake. Bring your backpack and stay the night for an easy, yet beautiful weekend escape.   Use these coordinates (37.27954345, -106.6208257) and map to find the trailhead.  

Red Lake Trail

  This 5.2-mile, moderate trail provides amazing, panoramic views of the Continental Divide and hopefully sightings of some elk or bighorn sheep. The Red Lake Trail rises from the La Manga Creek Valley up to an alpine plateau. This is a favorite area for camping and fishing.   Find directions to the trailhead here.  

Embargo Creek Trail

  The 12.2-mile, moderate Embargo Creek Trail is popular with birdwatchers. Start at Cathedral Campground and travel through lovely, Ponderosa pine forests. You’ll end up with stunning views from atop Mesa Mountain. There are many ways to extend this hike.   Find directions to the trailhead and a list of amenities here.  

Ruybalid Lake Trail

  This 9.4-mile, difficult, out and back trail climbs 2,300 feet in elevation and features plenty of switchbacks. The first 3 miles will be a tough workout, but then it plateaus and you’ll see breathtaking views of Rough Creek Waterfall and the Conejos River Valley. Camping is encouraged along the shores of Ruybalid Lake.   Find directions to the trailhead here.  

Middle Frisco Trail  (Frisco Creek)

  This difficult hike is about 12 miles out and back. You’ll travel through conifer and aspen forests to San Francisco Lakes. The lakes are surrounded by meadows and there are outstanding views from below the 13,209-foot Bennett Mountain . You’ll likely see mountain bikers and people on horseback.   Find directions to the trailhead here.   Interested in a home in Alamosa? If you are looking for Colorado mountain homes for sale, we’ve got you covered! Snag some real estate for sale in southern Colorado at the gateway to the Great Sand Dunes. Please contact us at Code of the West Real Estate so we can help you find your new home today!  

References and Resources,for%20hiking%20and%20nature%20trips.

I hope we can all agree that buying a mountain home is always the way to go. High-altitude living is entirely different from life anywhere else. The mountains afford you peace, solitude, and privacy, with a spectacular view to boot. Nature is just one step out your front door, allowing a myriad of outdoor play options year round and a constant supply of fresh, piny air. The high altitudes offer milder summers and snowier winters, and in combination with the slower pace, benefits to your health and longevity.


If you’re somebody who enjoys getaways to the mountains as often as possible, you might just save yourself a bundle by buying a Colorado mountain property for sale and using it as a short or long-term rental in between visits. We’ve come up with a list of benefits and considerations when buying a mountain home as a rental to help you make your decision! And if you’ve already made your decision, consider some ideas to on how to build your rental business and where to buy it.





Lower Cost


Mountain homes are definitely cheaper to buy than coastal or city homes. And mountain rentals are meant for short, rustic stays because the amenities are outside! There’s no need to spend on a huge, modern place (unless you want to capitalize on the versatility of renting out a luxury home for bachelor/bachelorette parties, family reunions, corporate retreats, etc., of course!) to get an ROI.


Passive Income


Don’t we all want a passive income? The ability to have a second source of income that is constant and requires very little actual work? Well, this is it! According to TurnKey and Vrbo, “the average owner who rents out a second home collects more than $33,000 a year in rental revenue.”


Longtime return


The value of a mountain home is constantly rising, especially these days with people desperate to get out of town. If you’re committed to the home for the long haul, you will continue to make more in passive income with each coming year, especially if the home is located near national or state forests or popular skiing and recreation areas!


Tax benefits


Buying Real Estate in general, and rental property in particular, also comes with “tax advantages, such as deductions for interest, insurance, and other expenses,” informs Investopedia. You may even qualify for tax breaks. Be sure to consult a tax professional when the time comes!


Diversify your portfolio


We know. It’s a bit of a catchphrase, but it’s also true. The more diversified your investments are, the more covered you are in case of any type of hardship or disaster.







You’ll need to make sure to winterize and fireproof your mountain rental property.


Who’s running the show?


Keep in mind that either you will need to be the landlord, or you’ll need to hire a property management company to handle the in’s and out’s of your rental.


Emergency Kit


Make sure that the cabin is equipped with an emergency kit in case of a snow storm or flood. It should be stocked with dry firewood, drinking water, non-perishable food reserves, candles, flashlights, blankets, layers, and a power generator.


Set aside some of your income


Be sure to be putting some of your rental profits aside to prepare for inevitable maintenance and cleaning costs. There will be a little more than normal wear and tear on a rental property.


Be in the know


Make sure that you are up to date on any local and state landlord/tenant laws and short-term rental regulations before you buy.




Code of the West Real Estate has a vast catalog of Colorado mountain property for sale. Let us help you find your dream vacation rental! Contact us today to talk to one of our expert Real Estate agents. And we’ve recently expanded to cover houses for sale in Durango, CO! Now that is some sweet mountain Real Estate.

“The People of the State of Colorado find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons twenty-one years of age and older…”


In 2012 Colorado Amendment 64 was passed legalizing the use and possession of cannabis in the state of Colorado. Although a relatively new industry, here at Code of the West Real Estate we have worked diligently to educate ourselves on the rules and regulations at both state and local levels to assist our clients with top-of-the-line service.


We have successfully assisted many in the sale, leasing, and purchasing of Cannabis cultivation facilities, MIP facilities (Marijuana Infused Products), Hemp facilities, and commercial storefronts for the sale of such products in various locations throughout the state. We have the knowledge and expertise to assist in real estate transactions for cannabis/marijuana operations from the ground up; from site development, moving into three-phase power, to the final production facility for commercial production. We can also assist in the purchase of storefronts and have knowledge of the city and county rules and regulations and will work diligently alongside our clients to ensure that the process is executed seamlessly.


If you are selling a related business or facility, we have top-of-the-line marketing to ensure that your property is marketed not just in the state of Colorado but across the country.


As licensed real estate professionals we understand the cannabis real estate market and have the knowledge and resources to help educate and guide you through the complex regulations that come with starting, expanding or moving your cannabis business including knowledge of zoning regulations, market data, distance requirements, property analysis, etc. Whether you are looking to buy or sell, we look forward to helping you accomplish your cannabis-related real estate goals!


*Disclaimer – We do not practice law and do not give legal advice in any manner. For a complete list of Medical/Recreational Marijuana Laws regarding growing, selling, and consuming please see the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division website.

The value of land in Southern Colorado is directly related to the quality and quantity of its water rights. No truer words have ever been spoken! Whether you’re looking for luxury property, cattle, equestrian, hunting, farm, or mountain ranches in Colorado, the success of your operation revolves around water.


If you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of questions when it comes to Colorado Water Laws you’re not alone! In the mid-to-late 1800’s the “First in Time, First in Right” was established. It was designed to give allocation in times of drought to Colorado Ranches and their citizens higher on the list. Basically, it means that those who own a senior water right have the authority to place a “call” on the right to fulfill their need before sending water to anyone with a lower water right.


Adjudication is the judicial process through which the existence of a Colorado water right is confirmed by a court decree. (Glossary of Water Terminology, A) However, adjudication does not guarantee that the water on the property will always be available, and allowed usage and pumping rates may be limited. On the flip side, adjudication legally defines the allowed uses, amount, and location of your water right (Owning Your Water Rights).


Water Wells are another hot topic. Knowing the difference between what permits you can apply for, and how they can be used is key. A minimum of 35 acres of land is required for pulling a domestic and livestock well permit. Property owners with lots smaller than 35 acres can apply for a “household-use only” permit. Household-use-only well permits are issued for ordinary household uses in one single-family dwelling and do not allow for outside water or livestock watering. Generally, individuals may obtain this type of permit if they own a lot in a subdivision that was created prior to 1972, or if the parcel was created by an exemption to the subdivision laws by the local county planning authority (Guide to Colorado Well Permits). Commercial wells are permitted separately. Commercial wells can often require an augmentation plan. An augmentation plan is a court-approved plan that allows a junior water user to divert water out of priority so long as an adequate replacement is made to affect the stream system preventing injury to the water rights of senior users (Glossary of Water Terminology, A).


Tributary groundwater is water in an aquifer that is hydraulically connected to surface water, meaning if you pull water out of the ground you have an impact on the surface water flows of the stream. Non-tributary groundwater is water that is physically separated from surface water by impermeable layers in the aquifer.  It is also considered non-tributary when the groundwater is at such a great distance from the surface water that it has little or no hydraulic connection with it.  In a non-tributary aquifer, the landowner overlying the aquifer has the ability to pump the groundwater as long as it will not affect surface water levels at an annual rate greater than one-tenth of one percent of the annual rate of withdrawal within 100 years.  Under this system of water management, obtaining and exercising non-tributary groundwater rights emulates the basic concepts of beneficial use, non-waste, and anti-speculation (Colorado State Water Law).


The Colorado Division Of Water Resources ( ) as well as the Colorado Water Conservation Board ( ), both offer very informative and easy-to-navigate websites. It can be tricky and overwhelming to learn the ropes of Colorado Water Court, but here at Code Of The West Real Estate we never expect you to take that walk alone. We strive to stay on top of the ever-changing Water Laws and have a great list of reputable water lawyers at our disposal. Water is the key to our survival here in Colorado. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell consider letting one of the professional realtors here at Code Of The West Real Estate assist you on this journey.

Colorado mountain

Looking to learn more? Here are some quick links to several helpful and key resources.


Citizen’s Guide to Where Your Water Comes From

Colorado Hydropower

Colorado Water Law Basics

Glossary of Water Terminology

Owning Your Water Rights

Guide to Colorado Well Permits

Colorado State Water Law