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Highway 12 is located in south eastern Colorado, between Walsenburg, La Veta, and Trinidad. From Walsenburg it follows the Cuchara River westward, climbs Cuchara Pass and descends to follow the Purgatoire River to Trinidad. It was designated as a Colorado State Byway in 1987 and a National Forest Byway in 1990.

An excellent guide booklet is available free of charge that provides insight into the rich history, legends and geology of the area. The booklet describes 22 different sites along the 82 miles between Trinidad and Walsenburg. Be sure to get a copy before beginning your journey, as it will greatly enhance the experience.

Legends abound along this byway concerning Native American nomads, Spanish explorers, and Anglo and Hispanic settlers. Taller than the lore are the Sangre de Christo mountains and the Spanish Peaks. Other highlights include: the red rock abutments of the Dakota Wall, Profile Rock and the Devil's Stairstep formations.

Camping sites located along Highway 12 in the San Isabel National Forest include: Cuchara, Blue Lake, Bear Lake, Purgatoire, Trinidad State Recreation Area and Trinidad Reservoir.


La Veta/Cuchara Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 32
La Veta, CO 81055
(719) 742-3676

Huerfano County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 493
Walsenburg, CO 81089
(719) 738-1065

San Isabel National Forest
1920 Valley Drive
Pueblo, CO 81008
(719) 545-8738

Scenic Highway of Legends Tourist Information
PO Box 122
La Veta, CO 81055
(719) 742-3822

Trinidad Chamber of Commerce
309 Nevada St.
Trinidad, CO 81082
(719) 846-9285

Directions: From Walsenburg, Take U.S. Highway 160 southwest from Walsenburg to the junction with Highway 12 to la Veta and turn south.

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Pike and San Isabel National Forests
Walsenburg, Colorado

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 719-553-1400
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.