About the Area
The South San Juan area is special for its rugged scenery, large expanses of forest, and high altitude trails that offer a sense of remoteness difficult to find elsewhere. High ridges, pinnacles and deep canyons, carved by the headwaters of the San Juan, Conejos, and Blancos rivers characterize the geography of the wilderness. Pristine spruce, fir and ponderosa forest make the South San Juan wilderness a sanctuary for deer, elk, bear, and other wildlife that thrives unmolested by human activity. It comes as no surprise then that it was in this place that the last Colorado grizzly was shot in 1979. Biologists speculate that if any Colorado grizzlys remain, it would be in this remote wilderness.
Antonito, Co (15 miles)
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
Cano’s Castle – A folk art wonder of wire, hubcaps, grills, screen doors, window casements, bicycle reflectors and beer cans.
The oldest church in Colorado - Our Lady of Guadeloupe Parish Church dedicated in 1863 is located just north of Antonito
Alamosa, CO (42 miles)
Zapata Falls – Hikers wade through chilly waters and maneuver over slippery rocks to Zapata’s hidden falls a short ½ mile from the parking lot. Views of the Great Sand Dunes National Park are spectacular.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Rio Grande Scenic Railroad - Enjoy a ride to the meadows above La Veta Pass for the Summer Concert Series.
San Luis Brewing Company
Platoro (35 miles) – Don’t let the distance fool you! This winding dirt road (FR 250) follows the Conejos River up the canyon to Platoro Reservoir and the headwaters of the Conejos. Platoro started out as a boomtown in the late 1800’s following the discovery of large deposits of gold and silver in the area. Even today, you can still find plenty of gold and silver in the Conejos River valley.
Salida (125 miles) – Get ready for some spectacular whitewater rafting! The upper Arkansas River offers some of the best rafting in the state.
Philmont Scout Ranch (134 miles) - Philmont Scout Ranch is the Boy Scouts of America's largest national High Adventure Base. Its 34 staffed camps and 55 trail camps provide an unforgettable adventure in the high country along hundreds of miles of rugged, rocky trails. Drop the kids off for their trek and head on over to the Homestead on the Conejos for your own wilderness adventure.