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BLM>Colorado>Programs>Recreation>Recreation Areas>San Luis Valley Field Office>Penitente Canyon
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Recreation Areas

 
Penitente Canyon Recreation Area
 

Rock climber

Avid rock climbers will love the walls and pinnacles of Penitente Canyon Recreation Area. Technical climbing through nearly 300 world-class routes will test both abilities and endurance. In addition, an extensive trail system offers excellent hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. For an extended stay, a developed campground and primitive camping are both available. Penitente Canyon has a unique history as a spiritual haven for a Spanish religious group long ago. In the more recent past, the "Virgin de Guadalupe" was painted onto one of the canyon walls. In addition, the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, formerly a 19th century Mexican trade route, passes by this area.

Field Office:  San Luis Valley

Total Area:  5,307 acres 

Activities:
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Heritage tourism
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain biking
  • National Trail
  • Rock climbing

 

Attractions, Facilities, & Services:
  • Virgin de Guadalupe
  • Developed campground
  • Restrooms
  • Picnic areas
  • No paved roads
  • Available in Alamosa, Del Norte and Monte Vista: lodging, restaurants and shops
  • La Garita Trading Post is nearby

 

Directions:  From Monte Vista, travel north on US-285. Continue for about six miles and turn left onto G Road. At the fork in the road after the La Garita Trading Post, bear left onto County Road 38A. Continue for about 0.5 miles and follow the signs to the turnoff for Penitente Canyon Recreation Area.