Alamosa, nestled in the San Luis Valley, is home to some truly amazing scenery, including the mountain peaks that have come to symbolize Colorado. It's also home to some unexpected sights—towering sand dunes, a tumbling water fall, and relaxing hot springs all along the Rio Grande River. Nowhere else has same array of scenery that you'll find in this southern Colorado community. When you add to that cultural sites, two heritage railroads, and welcoming visitor amenities, you have a perfect setting for a Colorado getaway to remember.
When talking about things to do in Alamosa Colorado, it makes sense to start with the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This attraction with no equal covers more than 30 miles, with the tallest dunes in North America. If you want to know more about this natural wonder, you'll want to make a trip to the visitor center to learn about this unique geology. You won't find a lot of organized hiking trails winding through the park, but the dunes are open for exploring as are forest trails and Medano Creek.
Beyond the national park, there are many things to do in Alamosa Colorado that involve outdoor adventure. A half-mile hike to Zapata Falls is well worth the effort. In the wintertime, the crystal-clear water freezes, creating an otherworldly sight. You'll also find outdoor fun close to Alamosa in the Rio Grande National Forest; its rivers are especially well suited for high-altitude fishing, while the woodlands are perfect for wildlife watching. These natural areas provide a home to mule deer and elk, as well as red foxes and bears. In the spring, thousands of sandhill cranes and other species pass through the San Luis Valley and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains during their annual migration.
At the end of your day packed with adventure, a soak in the hot springs will feel especially relaxing. If relaxation is what you seek, it's possible to enjoy the scenery without exerting a lot of effort. With a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, you can sit back and soak in the views as the steam engine does the work. This fully narrated excursion heads into New Mexico, into the scenic old town of Chama. A second railroad excursion is included on the list of things to do in Alamosa Colorado. The Rio Grande Scenic Railway travels between Alamosa and several other distinctive towns in Southern Colorado.
The rich history of the San Luis Valley is waiting to be discovered. With a visit to the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Center, you can learn about the native cultures who have longed lived in this area. Much of downtown Alamosa dates to the nineteenth century. With a walking tour brochure picked up at the visitor center, the history behind these Victorian, Art Deco, and Mission-style buildings will come to life. Two scenic byways also provide a peek into the past and the views. Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway follows a route used by the Spanish settlers, and the Silver Thread Scenic Byway, once a favorite route of miners, twists and turns high above the Rio Grande and Gunnison River.
Whatever you decide to pack into your vacation plans, you'll need a place to stay once the sun sinks below the horizon. A host of Alamosa hotels will be happy to provide a place to you to get some rest. The area also has some excellent campgrounds and bed and breakfast inns.