Local Area Attractions Near Alamosa KOA Journey
We are just 3 miles from the Alamosa Wildlife Refuge and 30 miles from the Great Sand Dunes. Our KOA is 4 miles from Alamosa and so many other attractions. Use our campground as a basecamp while you discover all the area has to offer.
Things to Do In Alamosa
In addition to the attractions listed below, please visit www.alamosa.org for more information about things to do, restaurants to visit, and scheduled community events! Be sure to plan enough days at the KOA to take in all the sites!
If you wish to extend your stay at the after you have arrived, please see us at the front desk. We are happy to help you enjoy more of what Alamosa has to offer.
The Mystic San Luis Valley
Our KOA is located in the mystic San Luis Valley (SLV). The SLV is home to many of Colorado's first and oldest: you can visit Colorado's oldest church (Mission of San Acacio); and oldest parish (Our Lady of Guadalupe); the oldest town in Colorado; oldest still-standing fort (Fort Garland Museum); and Colorado's first designated national monument (Wheeler Geologic Area). The SLV is also home to 130 hiking trails, the Great Sand Dunes, hot springs, spiritual centers, and eleven 14ers! The Go to www.sanluisvalley.org to plan your SLV vacation.
Great Sand Dunes National Monument
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park located in the easternmost parts of Alamosa County and Saguache County, Colorado. The park contains approximately 85,000 acres. The park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising about 750 feet from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range, covering about 19,000 acres. The dunes were formed from sand and soil deposits of the Rio Grande and its tributaries, flowing through the San Luis Valley. Over the ages, westerly winds picked up sand particles from the river flood plain. As the wind lost power before crossing the Sangre de Cristo Range, the sand was deposited on the east edge of the valley. This process continues, and the dunes are slowly growing. The wind changes the shape of the dunes daily. http://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm
Colorado Alligator Farm - See KOA OFFICE for discount tickets and gator food coupon
Colorado Gators is a family oriented, educational facility that focuses on full use of natural and recycled resources. Our goal is to maintain an integrated ecosystem while providing educational opportunities and viable farm products.The History of Colorado Gators Erwin and Lynne Young moved from Post, Texas to Alamosa, Colorado in September, 1974 with their four children, Mark, Mike, Sherri, and Jay. Erwin learned of the geothermal water resources available in the Valley and wanted to grow Tilapia, an African perch that requires warm water and is very good to eat.In 1977 they purchased the 80 acre farm that is now Colorado Gators Reptile Park. It wasn't until 1987 that they purchased 100 baby alligators to dispose of dead fish and the remains of filleted fish.Those baby gators grew quickly in the warm geothermal water (87° F) and the locals wanted to see them, so we opened to the public in 1990. Soon we were in the spotlight of many media programs and articles. Individuals with overgrown alligators and other reptiles such as large pythons, tortoises, iguanas, and more started dropping them off with us.We have become a sanctuary for unwanted exotic pets and we care for them as best we can. We display them for the public to understand the dangers in owning these pets and we take them to schools for educational programs.
9162 CR 9 N
Mosca, CO 81146
Zapata Falls and Trail
The views of the valley and the Sand Dunes are fantastic from Zapata Falls, and there are four miles of well-marked hiking and mountain biking trails below the parking area. Access into the mountain peaks and wilderness area is also available on Forest Service Trail #852 beginning in the parking area. This trail follows South Zapata Creek to South Zapata Lake. There are several ruins of cabins along the trail to view.The falls are particularly impressive in winter when it freezes into a sculpture of ice. In both fall and summer, the water is cold and the rocks can be slippery, so use good judgment as to whether or not you are up to the challenge. Even in the summer, air temperatures inside the alcove can be cool, so bring a jacket.
Access Zapata Falls from Highway 150, 12 miles north of the intersection with highway 160. Turn right at the sign and travel three miles on the dirt road to the parking area.
Mosca, CO 81146
Trails and More Trails!
Whether you are looking for a challenging alpine adventure or a casual hike with beautiful Colorado scenery, just download the San Luis Valley Trail Guide on the link provided to get you started on your next hiking journey. This trail guide is very popular with our campers and includes all of our favorite hikes!
Alamosa Wildlife Refuge
Humans aren't the only ones that find the valley a heavenly sanctuary. Every year tens of thousands of migratory birds and other wildlife make their home in and around the valley, and our area's three wildlife refuge centers are a terrific spot for viewing.Between the valley's three wildlife refuges lay more than 100,000 acres of wetlands and nutrient-rich habitat perfect for grazing, roosting, feeding and playing by native and migrating wildlife, including loons, pelicans, herons, egrets, swans, hawks, eagles, falcons, sandpipers, owls, and twice a year in fall and spring, as many as 20,000 sandhill cranes.Our migrating sandhill crane population is so prolific, in fact, the city of Monte Vista established the annual Monte Vista Crane Festival more than two decades ago to celebrate the birds and provide educational and photography opportunities for birders and other wildlife lovers. The festival draws thousands of people to the valley each year in March. These areas are perfect for easy walks.
Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge
The Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge is located just 25 minutes from the campground in the town of Monte Vista, Colorado. The refuge is most popular in the spring and fall as thousands of Sand Hill Cranes visit the refuge as part of their annual migration. But there are many other birds and wildlife to see through the year. So be sure to put this on your list of places to visit while in the area.
San Luis and The Stations of the Cross
The oldest town in Colorado, San Luis is also likely the most spiritual. Populated by the primarily Hispanic families who settled there in 1851, the town remains small and, in some ways, unique. Situated in south central Colorado, not far from the New Mexico border, San Luis boasts the oldest church in Colorado and La Vega, a rare public commons - a place where communal grazing of livestock is allowed. The town is most famous, however, for its Stations of the Cross, a string of bronze statues climbing the mesa adjacent to town. Each station represents a moment during the crucifixion of Christ, and the locale is a Mecca for Christians each Easter. Art aficionados might like to visit the sculptor's studio, located in town at the bottom of the hill.
Worth the Drive Family Bakery
This is just one of the many Amish Businesses in the San Luis Valley. They are well known for their delicious fri-pies, donuts and pies. A trip to tis bakery is definitely worth the drive! Located at: 5115 County Rd 9 S, Monte Vista, CO 81144.
Situated at 7,936 feet, Fort Garland is called the “Gateway to the San Luis Valley” because it's the first town you come to after La Veta Pass on Highway 160. It sits at the eastern border of the San Luis Valley in South Central Colorado. Established in 1858, Fort Garland was built to protect the settlers of the San Luis Valley. After the Utes and Natives were forced into reservations the fort was abandoned in 1883. The Fort Garland museum preserves and showcases the history of the town and San Luis valley. There are historic ruins and buildings from the original fort on display.
UFO Watch Tower
Located on 600 acres of vast open space in the San Luis Valley, former cattle rancher Judy Messoline opened the observation platform in 2000. It is dedicated to the observation of UFOs and all things unexplained from the stars above. She and the thousands of visitors throughout the years continue searching the skies for anything out of this world. Like many places in the San Luis Valley, viewing the stars here at night is pretty amazing. This is a one-of-a-kind attraction located just 27 miles north of Alamosa. Who knows, maybe you will see a UFO on your visit!
TAOS and the Enchanted Circle
From our campground you are only 90 miles north of Taos. Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this charming town is rich in history. Visit the historic Taos plaza for shopping or venture out to the TAOS pueblo , the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States.
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Travel west on US Hwy 64 to reach the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. This is a great stop on a day trip to Taos NM. At 650 feet (200 m) above the Rio Grande, it is the fifth highest bridge in the United States. The bridge is a three-span steel continuous-deck-truss structure with a concrete-filled steel-grid deck. It was called the “bridge to nowhere” while it was being built because the funding did not exist to continue the road on the other side.
Chama New Mexico
Chama New Mexico is located 80 miles south of our campground. Located in the Rocky Mountains, this scenic mountain town has many unique sites and events for the whole family. It is also the turn-around point for the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic railroad. For more information go to VisitChama.com
Cattails Golf Course
Cattails Golf Course, located on the northern edge of Alamosa along the banks of the Rio Grande River, offers the golfer perfect temperatures, clear skies, and a well kept links style course with spectacular mountain range views. This beautiful course is lined with majestic cottonwoods and many natural wetlands filled with cattails. This is the perfect place to get away and enjoy a relaxing round of golf.
Cattails Golf Course amenities include:
18 Holes - par 71 - 6,517 yards
Driving range and putting green
Full service golf shop
Cart and club rentals
6615 N. River Rd
Alamosa, CO 81101
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
Built in 1880, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a proud remnant of the spirit that won the west. It's path through steep passes and deep gorges is the stuff of adventure novels--taking passengers on the ride of lifetime.C&TS offers daily round-trip train excursions by Steam Engine. All train excursions are narrated by passionate volunteers who describe our unique history, scenery and machinery!
Antonito, Colorado - Chama, New Mexico
5234B US 285
Antonito, CO 81120
Alamosa Farmer's Market
Located right in the heart of Alamosa's historic downtown shopping district, you will not want to miss the farmer's market. Stop by to complete your experience of the local flavors and cultures of the San Luis Valley. Fill your basket with local and regional produce, baked goods, crafts, and more.
Main Street & State Ave
Alamosa, CO 81101
Sand Dunes Swimming Pool
The Sand Dunes Swimming Pool staff strives to give our guests a relaxing and therapeutic swimming experience. We focus on providing a family-friendly atmosphere that is open year-round!We have a large pool that sits right around 98 degrees year round and a 25 person hot tub that we keep at 107 degrees. We offer a kids' water slide, volleyball, basketball, and more all right here!Sand Dunes Recreation also offers our on-site restaurant, Mile Deep Grille, with a variety of options for every taste.
1991 County Road 63
Hooper, CO 81136
Splashland Hot Springs
Splashland Hot Springs in Alamosa has a geothermal outdoor swimming pool that has been around since 1955 and is an important part of Alamosa's history. Now remodeled and upgraded with a concession stand, this natural hot spring is a great place to take the family to enjoy a summer afternoon. Splashland is open seasonally, and is located 1 mile north of Alamosa on Highway 17. The water enters the pool at 102°F year-round with average temperatures ranging 88-96°F pool wide. This family-friendly pool has three water slides, a diving board and lap lanes. There are also water aerobics classes, parent-tot classes, swimming lessions and water therapy offered.
5895 Hwy 17
Alamosa, CO 81101
Blanca Vista Park
Blanca Vista Park features two covered picnic areas, trails, and several types of wildlife from deer to waterfowl, fox, and many bird species. The area is centered around a 24.4 acre pond. Take a hike, a jog, or ride your bike along one of the well marked trails.
6455 N River Rd
Alamosa, CO 81101
Town of Saguache
Enjoy a one hour drive north through our beautiful valley to the Town of Saguache. This charming historic town was settled by miners in the mid 1800's. Present-day Saguache has a downtown Welcome Center, a school, a library, a museum, a theater, three parks, four churches, two gas stations, a liquor store, a natural grocery store, a convenience store, two restaurants, a sawmill, and an organic farm.
Smith Reservoir and State Wildlife Area
Twenty-five minutes east and just south of the town of Blanca is Smith Reservoir and State Wildlife Area. This reservoir is most known for birding, fishing and kayaking. After relaxing here for a few hours, check out a small town restaurant in either Blanca or Fort Garland.
Russell Lakes State Wildlife Area & Saguache
Russell Lakes State Wildlife Area is located 9 miles south of Saguache in south-central Colorado. These high elevation wetlands include shallow wet meadows, deeper water wetlands, bullrush, and cattails. High desert shrublands within the site contain greasewood and rabbitbrush communities. Some of the ponds at the site contain fish, which draw in such bird species as Osprey, mergansers, Cormorants, and gulls. This is a great way to spend a morning, then head up to historic downtown Saguache for lunch.
City of Alamosa Trails Near Downtown
A great way to spend a few hours is to head to Alamosa for a walk along the Rio Grande. After your walk, stop by one of the local craft breweries or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants downtown.