Location: Colorado, USA
Length: 131 km (82 miles)
Width: 5 m, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 5): 4
Highest point: 3.046 m (9995 feet)
Operating times: all year round
Route: La Veta to Cuchara
Scenic Highway Of Legends Description
Colorado is home to many beautiful places, and it offers diversity when it comes to sightseeing. If you’re an avid driver and enjoy special routes, the scenic Highway of Legends should be on your bucket list and here’s why.
The State Highway 12 begins in the north of La Veta, and it heads southward through the town. Once you leave La Veta, its beauty unleashes through serpentines, the view of the majestic mountains and lush meadows. It passes through Cuchara, the Cuchara Pass and takes you into Las Animas County. It ends in Trinidad city, at Interstate 25. Even though this highway is longer, we think the best of it can be seen starting from La Veta and ending at the Bear Lake.
For you to have a few more pieces of information regarding this route, note that it was established in the 1920s. Although it has a long history and many changes have been made, this road was designated a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway only in 1989.
This highway is open all year round, and it takes you from Trinidad, following the Cucharas River, Cockedale, Cuchara, La Veta and end in Walsenburg. You can also start from Walsenburg and go the other way. It’s 131 km (82 miles) long and, if you want to see it all, it will take you around 2 hours of driving.
Enjoy the landscape
This byway offers those driving it the possibility to enjoy some stunning views of the attractions in the area. It’s a well-known fact that Colorado has a beautiful and diverse landscape. Many choose to come here to enjoy its beauty. Driving on this scenic highway, you can see views of the Spanish Peaks while travelling through the San Isabel National Forest.
A strange attraction in the area is the Devil’s Stairs. There’s even a legend that says the Devil came out of hell to survey the world and he chose the Cuchara Valley to enter it. Once you pass it, you will soon arrive in Cuchara, a small mountain resort where you can stop by and enjoy the fresh air and grab a bite at one of the restaurants here. If you drive further, the narrow mountain road will slowly take you to the Bear Lake, also our final destination in this itinerary. Also, the area offers plenty of trails for hiking if that’s included on your list of hobbies, along with driving.
If you get back on Highway 12 and want to continue your trip, you’ll get to Trinidad. Here you can enjoy the town’s Victorian architecture and a part of Colorado’s well-preserved past.
To conclude, the scenic Highway of Legends is a great choice for drivers that want to enjoy Colorado’s natural beauty while driving a historical highway. The road bends following the landscape shapes, giving drivers the thrill one feels when discovering new places.
Photo sources: https://www.uncovercolorado.com/scenic-drives/highway-of-legends-byway/, http://coloradoguy.com/highway-of-legends/colorado.htm, https://circlethewagonsrvpark.com/highway-of-legends.html
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