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Alamosa, Colorado

About Alamosa, Colorado

Alamosa, Colorado is located at the junction of U.S. Highways 160 and 285, along the Rio Grande River in the heart of the San Luis Valley. The arid San Luis Valley is the highest general cultivated agricultural land in the United States. Potatoes are one of the area’s staple crops. At 7,500 feet in elevation, Alamosa is surrounded by two of Colorado’s most spectacular mountain ranges: the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and San Juan Mountains.

The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad established Alamosa in May of 1878. It quickly became an important rail center. Alamosa is now a popular tourist town with many nearby attractions, including the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado Gators Reptile Park, and Wolf Creek Ski Area. The city gets it name from the Spanish word “Alamosa,” meaning “of cottonwood.” Cottonwood trees line the banks of the Rio Grande River throughout town.

The area’s most famous attraction – Great Sand Dunes National Park – is about a 20-minute drive northeast of town. The dunes are truly one of earth’s best marvels. They are the nation’s highest sand dunes (some reach over 700 feet high), and 14,000’ peaks tower behind the dunes in the background. You can hike, sled, and ski the dunes. You can also picnic, swim in Medano Creek (May and early June are the best times to swim), and camp in one of the large campgrounds (but make your reservations early because they fill quickly!).

Nearby Towns

  • Blanca, CO
  • San Luis, CO
  • Monte Vista, CO
  • Del Norte, CO
  • South Fork, CO

Places to See, Eat, and Stay in Alamosa, Colorado (articles from the blog)

Valley View Hot Springs

Valley View Hot Springs

For a modest entry fee, you can hike around the Orient Land Trust’s property, dip in the Valley View Hot ...
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Colorado Gators Reptile Park

Alligators in the Mountains: A Day at Colorado Gators Reptile Park

“Are ya here for the wrestlin’ class?” the man in the tie-dyed shirt asked. “Um. What?” I stammered. “Starts in ...
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Stations of the Cross Church, San Luis

Things to do Around Alamosa in the San Luis Valley

Are you heading out to Alamosa or the Great Sand Dunes this summer or fall? Here are a few fun ...
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Map of Alamosa, Colorado


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