Highway of Legends: An Epic Day Trip From Trinidad to Walsenburg (by way of La Veta)

Okay. You’ve found the perfect property for sale in Trinidad, Walsenburg, or La Veta, and you’ve settled in. Now you’re wanting to explore the area. Well, we’ve got the best day trip ever! Take the Highway of Legends from Trinidad to Walsenburg, or the reverse, stopping along the way to take advantage of this amazing locale. Views, eats, drinks, shopping, hiking, and history—you’ve got it all in one day! 

We’ve curated an awesome day trip—in two directions. No matter where you start your journey, here are recommendations to make it an adventure. Now get out there and enjoy your new backyard!

Starting In Trinidad


Start your two-hour, 82-mile drive heading west out of Trinidad on CO-12 W. You will follow this highway for a little over 70 miles before turning right to continue on US-160 E all the way to Walsenburg.


If you’re looking to start your morning with a masterfully brewed cup of coffee and yummy pastry, Perkatory Coffee House is the spot for you. Then, you can pick up a breakfast burrito at The Canary @ Weston Supply in Weston, CO. You’ll love this little general store and cafe!



Stop in the tiny mountain village of Cuchara to enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, or even backcountry skiing in the winter. A local favorite is the easy Spring Creek Trail. It’s just an easy, 2.6-mile stretch for your legs with beautiful views and options to lengthen the hike if you’d like.


For a great burger or dog and quick, counter service, head to Lokal Burger on Main Street in La Veta. Or if you’d rather get some table service on a beautiful patio before your shopping/gallery trip, head to Legends on Main for some authentic international cuisine.  

Art & Shopping: 

Land at Main Street & Ryus Avenue in La Veta for ample shopping and galleries in this artistic community. La Veta is a hub for art in the Spanish Peaks area. Visit the Shalawalla Gallery & Gift Shop where you can take a batik lesson if you have the time. The Spanish Peaks Art Council (SPACe) always has new exhibits of local and national artists as well as workshops for children and adults. Stop into the La Veta Mercantile to peruse the art, shop for local wares, or listen to some music.


Before you leave La Veta, take the trip to Uptop, the ghost town on Old La Veta Pass. A Colorado Historic District, you’ll find a dozen preserved buildings, lovely views, and several hikes. And when you get to Walsenburg, stop by the Walsenburg Mining Museum. It is housed in an old jail from 1896 that “Mother” Jones herself spent the night in.


For dinner, you could hang out a little longer in La Veta and try Deerprint Wine & Bistro for a drink, some charcuterie, and some live music. Or head into Walsenburg and grab a little “nosh” at the Crafty Canary Brewery. They have craft beer, wine, and “crafty” cocktails with a limited food menu, but you can bring in some BBQ from the Rollin’ Smoke Garage down the street for a small fee. 

Starting in Walsenburg


Start your two-hour, 82-mile drive heading west out of Walsenburg on US-160 W. You will follow this highway for a little over 10 miles before turning left to continue on CO-12 E all the way to Trinidad.


Start your morning off with a moderate, 2-mile hike on the Hogback Trail in Walsenburg’s Lathrop State Park. There’s nothing like gorgeous views to open the day. Afterward, cool off in one of the park’s two lakes before heading for breakfast.


You’ve got to start at Serendipity Coffee House for a coffee, a pastry, and some shopping! This little spot has it all. You can even grab a sandwich to go for later, and unique souvenirs and gifts abound!


Before you head out, do a little more shopping at the Walsenburg Mercantile! Support local businesses and enjoy this bazaar of local artists & artisans, snacks, and treats. Then, let’s talk antiques! Walsenburg is known for its Main Street antique shops. Within two blocks you’ll find Antique Avenue, which is four shops in one, and Main Street Antiques.


Stop in Cuchara to enjoy lunch at The Dog Bar & Grill. Touted as one of Colorado’s Top 12 Patios, by the Denver Post, this little spot has good food, good drinks, terrific views, and quality live entertainment!


As your making your way toward Trinidad on Highway 12, keep an eye out (or stop and explore, but beware of Private Property!) the House on the Bridge and the Cordova Chapel. The House (Just northwest of where County Road 21.6 meets Hwy 12 near Vigil) sits on a bridge that was the original road from Stonewall to Trinidad, crossing over the North Fork of the Purgatoire River. The Chapel was built in 1871 and still stands on the south side of Hwy 12.

Once in Trinidad, visit the Trinidad History Museum and observe the contrasting architecture of the Baca House and the Bloom Mansion


In Trinidad, there are at least two must-see’s for the art lover. For an eclectic collection of art—Western pulp magazine covers, “Native American art and artifacts, Hispanic traditional and religious art displayed in an authentic turn-of-the-century building”—visit the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art. And for something a little different, stop by the Art Cartopia museum! This place is so much fun. A result of the ArtoCade ArtCar festival, there is always something going on here, or you can just check out the outrageous cars.


It’s time to go to Grandma’s House! In the historic Trinidad train depot, you’ll find a unique spot to have craft beer, wine, cider, and spirits, as well as some Sexy Pizza. Or head further down Main Street and get something smoked at the Trinidad Smokehouse.

See You There!

Now that you’ve decided to make Southern Colorado your home, get out there and discover all the things that make it such a special place to live. These two day trips (or make it a weekend!) along the Highway of Legends highlight only a fraction of the amazing things to see in Colorado’s Spanish Peaks country. Go exploring and be sure to let us know about your favorite stops and spots!

And for more info on this historic route and everything of interest along it, download and audio tour from TravelStorysGPS.

How Can Code of the West Real Estate Help?

Whether you’ve already found a home for sale in the Trinidad, La Veta, or Walsenburg area or you’re currently looking for Southern Colorado real estate, Code of the West has the perfect broker for your needs! Take advantage of our extensive knowledge of the Colorado area and let us help you find the right home for you or the right buyer for your home! 

Find plenty of information in our blog to give you ideas for how to finance a property, advice on living that mountain life, and much more. And if you can’t find the answer there, contact us!

Code of the West Real Estate
Code of the West Real Estate
(719) 742-3626
215 S. Main St. La Veta CO 81055
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