Alamosa Day Hike blog resource

Alamosa Day Hikes

Living near Alamosa is an outdoors person's dream. The variety of terrain is stunning and there are plenty of day hikes nearby. Nestled in the San Luis Valley, you’ll have the opportunity to explore everything from sand dunes to volcanic rock cliffs to alpine lakes. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to some of the nearby treks that the locals love.

Great Sand Dunes

Alamosa County boasts the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the “tallest dunes in North America!” There are 30 square miles of massive dunes. Though there are no trails on the dunes, feel free to hike to the summits of High Dune, Hidden Dune, Star Dune, and Eastern Dune Ridge. It is advised to hike early as the sand can reach temperatures of 150° in the afternoon.

For a change of pace, explore the forested Montville Nature Trail, the 3.5-mile Mosca Trail along the creek, or visit an alpine lake on the Medano Lake Trail. For info on all these excursions visit this National Park Service page.

Cross Creek Trail

This 10-mile, easy hike takes you to the largest tree in the Rio Grande National Forest. You’ll also get beautiful views of Del Norte Peak and Willow Park. Much of the foot traffic along this trail are people staying at the Cross Creek Campground. There is big game hunting here during the fall and fishing at Beaver Reservoir and Beaver Creek. 

For detailed directions to the trailhead see this link to Cross Creek Trail #812 on the USDA Forest Service website.

La Garita Natural Arch

This 2.6-mile easy hike gets you close to the La Garita Natural Arch. The arch was created more than 30 million years ago by volcanic flow. You can drive up to the Natural Arch, but by hiking, you get a closer view. While you’re here, hike to Penitente Canyon and take a break to watch the climbers.

Find directions to the trailhead here.

El Rito Azul (Blue Lake) Trail

The El Rito Azul Trail is a 10.2-mile, moderate hike through woodlands and meadows up to the lake. You’ll be able to spot volcanic rock bluffs and other “magnificent views.” There are many chances to extend your hike as this trail connects with the Continental Divide Trail at the southern end of Blue Lake. Bring your backpack and stay the night for an easy, yet beautiful weekend escape.

Use these coordinates (37.27954345, -106.6208257) and map to find the trailhead. 

Red Lake Trail

This 5.2-mile, moderate trail provides amazing, panoramic views of the Continental Divide and hopefully sightings of some elk or bighorn sheep. The Red Lake Trail rises from the La Manga Creek Valley up to an alpine plateau. This is a favorite area for camping and fishing.

Find directions to the trailhead here.

Embargo Creek Trail

The 12.2-mile, moderate Embargo Creek Trail is popular with birdwatchers. Start at Cathedral Campground and travel through lovely, Ponderosa pine forests. You’ll end up with stunning views from atop Mesa Mountain. There are many ways to extend this hike.

Find directions to the trailhead and a list of amenities here.

Ruybalid Lake Trail

This 9.4-mile, difficult, out and back trail climbs 2,300 feet in elevation and features plenty of switchbacks. The first 3 miles will be a tough workout, but then it plateaus and you’ll see breathtaking views of Rough Creek Waterfall and the Conejos River Valley. Camping is encouraged along the shores of Ruybalid Lake. 

Find directions to the trailhead here.

Middle Frisco Trail  (Frisco Creek)

This difficult hike is about 12 miles out and back. You’ll travel through conifer and aspen forests to San Francisco Lakes. The lakes are surrounded by meadows and there are outstanding views from below the 13,209-foot Bennett Mountain . You’ll likely see mountain bikers and people on horseback.

Find directions to the trailhead here.

Interested in a home in Alamosa? If you are looking for Colorado mountain homes for sale, we’ve got you covered! Snag some real estate for sale in southern Colorado at the gateway to the Great Sand Dunes. Please contact us at Code of the West Real Estate so we can help you find your new home today!

References and Resources

https://www.colorado.com/articles/hiking-alamosa-11-locals-favorite-trails

https://www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/hiking.htm

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/la-garita-arch#:~:text=La%20Garita%20Arch%20is%20a,for%20hiking%20and%20nature%20trips.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande/recarea/?recid=64790

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande/recarea/?recid=29116

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=29592&actid=50

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=29598&actid=104

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande/recarea/?recid=29100

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=28982&actid=50

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=29520&actid=50

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande/recarea/?recid=29008

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