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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.
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Starting in Trinidad

DIRECTIONS

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.

BREAKFAST

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!

RECREATION

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.

LUNCH

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.

ART & SHOPPING

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.

HISTORY

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.

DINNER

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.

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STARTING IN WALSENBURG

DIRECTIONS

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.

BREAKFAST

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.

RECREATION

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.

LUNCH

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.

HISTORY

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.

ART

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.

DINNER

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.

SEE YOU THERE!

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.

HOW CAN CODE OF THE WEST REAL ESTATE HELP?

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!