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BLM>Colorado>Programs>Recreation>Recreation Areas>Byways and National Trails>Los Caminos Antiguos
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Recreation Areas

Los Caminos Antiguos
Scenic and Historic Byway

Marsh with mountainous background

Winding through a valley once used by Native American tribes and later traveled by Spanish explorers, Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway climbs up into the beautiful San Juan Mountains. The route begins in Alamosa and leads to Great Sand Dunes National Park, where enormous dunes create a stunning backdrop. Located nearby is Zapata Falls Recreation Area, which boasts a magnificent 25-foot waterfall. Other attractions along the Byway include Fort Garland and the narrow-gauge Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, which have both been preserved for historical value.

Total Length:  128 miles

  • Byway
  • Camping
  • Heritage tourism
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife viewing

Attractions, Facilities, & Services:
  • Fort Garland
  • Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
  • Zapata Falls Campground
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park
  • Restrooms
  • Parking
  • Available in Alamosa, Antonito and San Luis: lodging, restaurants and shops

Directions:  To follow Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway, begin in Alamosa and travel north on Highway 17. Turn right onto Lane 6 N, turn right onto Highway 150, then turn left onto US-160. At Fort Garland, turn right onto Highway 159, and tt San Luis, turn right onto Highway 142. Turn left onto US-285, which will become Highway 17. Continue until you reach the Colorado-New Mexico border.