From Trinidad to Walsenburg
Highway of Legends Scenic Byway
Highway 12, also known as the “Highway of Legends”, is the perfect afternoon ride for those looking to experience a more rural mountainous part of Colorado. It’s also perfect for those who want a more scenic alternative than driving I-25 from Trinidad to Walsenburg.
From there, you’ll travel through Cuchara, La Veta, and finally the route ends in the town of Walsenburg (where you can intersect I-25). You can also take the route in reverse and start in Walsenburg instead of Trinidad, the world is your oyster!
Audio Tour Available
An audio tour is available as you take the drive through the Highway of Legends. Click the button below to learn more.
Landmarks along the journey
Ruins of the past
After passing Trinidad Lake State Park, the journey will take you along some old forgotten ruins. At first glance, you may think you’re in the middle of Rome gazing remnants of an old colosseum. This remarkable structure is what remains of the Cokedale Ovens. Back in the early 1900s, this facility was used to heat up coal and turn it into “coke”, which is a harder, purer version of coal.
Through the stone walls
Monument Lake & North Lake
Relax at Monument Lake
Monument Lake is the perfect spot for an outing with friends or family. From fishing , hiking, to camping, you’ll find plenty of things to do. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards for going out on the water. If camping is not your thing, then you can rent an adobe cabin instead.
For those of you who are traveling in an RV, the lake hosts full service RV sites as well.
If you drive a little further along Highway 12, you will pass North Lake, which also has some fishing.
This mountain town is a small oasis where folks come to escape the hustle of daily life, enjoy the natural beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and immerse themselves in Spanish traditions steeped in cultural art, music and food.
Explore La Veta
A one-of-a-kind treasure in Colorado, La Veta is a mountain town with a Western flair where the views are spectacular and the community spirit is second to none.
Things to do in La Veta
If you’re interested in Colorado History, you should check out the Francisco Fort Museum where you can tour some of the old historic buildings that have remained since 1862. Some of the buildings include: a trading post, a general store, and a school.
La Veta hosts a small collection of restaurants, shops, and galleries where you can enjoy an afternoon stroll.
Uptop Ghost Town:
Want to visit a ghost town? Take a drive up Old La Veta Pass to discover the city of Uptop, an old abandoned town that used to host miners and a small ski resort. You can still visit the town and walk around some abandoned structures.
As you leave the Mountains of La Veta, the last destination on the Highway of Legends is the town of Walsenburg. Smack dab right in the middle of I-25 between Trinidad and Pueblo, Walsenburg hosts a plenty of things to do such as fishing, shopping, and local restaurants.
Things to do in Walsenburg, CO
Lathrop State Park:
Lathrop State park is a great location for getting out into the wilderness. There are two lakes located within the park that provide excellent fishing spots. You can also find camping, an Archery range, and a 9-hole Golf Course.
Walsenburg Mining Museum:
Dive back in time by visiting the Walsenburg Mining Museum located in downtown Walsenburg.
Walsenburg Wild Waters
In the summer time, you can enjoy a nice cool down at the Walsenburg Wild Waters. This small water park is perfect for children of all ages.