Shaped by the power that formed the Rockies and polished by abundant waters flowing down its slopes, the Cuchara Valley is a gem of southern Colorado. The valley begins in alpine meadows at 13,000 feet then descends through thick stands of pine and aspen that add brilliance to the area’s scenery.
Cuchara holds a gentle beauty, a landscape that has absorbed an influx of recent growth without losing the harmony created by wildlife and water, forest and field. These natural features abound in the valley, along with broad vistas and unique geological outcrops that make the region a popular tourist destination, a prime site for vacation properties, and home for residents who appreciate the local beauty, recreation, and climate.
Highway of Legends
The lore of this area is vivid, swirling in the spiritual myths of the American Indians and the history of their clashes with Spanish explorers. Like much of Colorado, where the promises of fortune led, trouble followed and tales of outlaws “settling their differences” are common.
• Start by taking U.S. Hwy. 160 west from Walsenburg and branch off on Colorado Hwy. 12 to La Veta. Along this stretch of two-lane highway, you can view unusual volcanic formations radiating outward from the Spanish Peaks. The highway rises to Cuchara Pass on the shoulder of the Spanish Peaks. The Tarahumare Indians held these summits as sacred and believed that all life on earth originated from the area. Below the pass is the glorious Cuchara Valley, a hidden wonderland even most Coloradoans have failed to notice.
View the videos of Southern Colorado's Scenic Highway of Legends. This is truly one of the most unique and beautiful drives in the state: