Las Animas County, Colorado

Towns and Villages in
Las Animas County

Attractions in
Las Animas County

Huerfano County, Colorado

Towns and Villages in
Huerfano County

Attractions in
Huefano County


Southern Colorado
Your Guide to Las Animas County and Huerfano County in Southern Colorado

Near Cordova Pass, driving south. Photo by Ruth Ann White,

The Scenic Highway of Legends

State Highway 12, the Scenic Highway of Legends ties Trinidad, Weston, Stonewall, Cuchara, La Veta, and Walsenburg together with a ribbon of asphalt that journeys through some of the most beautiful mountain countryside in the world.

Going west out of Trinidad it passes the Trinidad Lake State Park before entering the Purgatoire River Valley. Then it passes by Cokedale, rated the "Best Preserved Coal Mining Camp" in Colorado. The old coke ovens can be seen right beside the road as you go by town.

Next are Madrid and Valdez, two almost abandoned coal camps (the old mine works are right there) before coming to Segundo, a small town full of wonderful stone architecture. Continuing west you'll come to Primero and then Weston. The highway continues west to Stonewall.

Fall colors near Cordova Pass. Photo by Linda Nusser

You'll know when you reach Stonewall because it is named for the incredible stone walls that traverse the area from south to north. South of Stonewall are Torres, Tercio and Vermejo Park Ranch, an area known for the size of its' elk herd.

From Stonewall, Highway 12 goes north past Monument Lake Resort (the lake is named for the Dakota sandstone monument that stood up in the middle of it until just a few years ago), past North Lake State Wildlife Area (trophy fishing lake and Trinidad city water supply) to Cuchara Pass (elevation: 9,995 feet).

The entire length of Highway 12, the Scenic Highway of Legends, you are presented with vistas and panoramas of the Culebra Range (Culebra Mountain, elevation: 14,047 feet) of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. After you make the turn north at Stonewall, the Sangres are on the left and the Spanish Peaks (West Peak elevation: 13,656 feet, East Peak elevation: 12,708 feet) on the right.At times, looking to the east, you can see Fisher's Peak (elevation: 9,665 feet) rising to the southeast of Trinidad, 50 miles away.

Near Trinidad on Highway 12. Photo courtesy of Trinidad Graphics

Cities and Towns near The Scenic Highway of Legends

Cuchara.  Cuchara, Colorado is situated on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the heart of the Cucharas River Valley.

La Veta.  La Veta, Colorado is situated on the eastern side of La Veta Pass through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and at the northern opening of the Cuchara River Valley. Just south of town is the foot of the West Spanish Peak. At the southern edge of town is the eighteen hole, Tom Weiskopf designed Grandote Golf Course.

Trinidad.  Trinidad, Colorado is the county seat of Las Animas County. Located between exits 11 and 15 on the I-25 at the foot of Fisher's Peak (elevation: 9,665 ft.)

Weston.  Weston, a village of spectacular scenery and rich history, is located about 20 miles west of Trinidad on Highway 12.

Click on a photo to see a larger version.

Purgatoire River near Stonewall. Photo by Sherry Sabol.

Photo courtesy of R. Michael Babnick Photography.

Approahing Stonewall from the east. Photo courtesy of R. Michael Babnick Photography.

Abode house built on an abandoned bridge. Photo by Sherry Sabol.

The same house in winter. Photo by Linda Nusser.

Photo by Sherry Sabol

Photo by Sherry Sabol

Near Cuchara. Photo by Sherry Sabol

Part of the Great Stone Wall. Photo by Sherry Sabol
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