around your stay at
the River’s Inn in Antonito, Colorado
FYI – distances from the
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad **
Grande Scenic Railroad, Alamosa, CO
SanLuisValley National Wildlife Refuges
San Luis, CO
Alligator Farm - Mosca, CO
Monte Vista, CO
Fort Garland, CO
.5 mile walk
Taos, New Mexico
Los Alamos, NM
Santa Fe, NM
Mesa Verde, CO
Charles Ewing Gallery
.5 mile walk
Little towns and
communities around this Southern part of Colorado invite visitors from all over to
stop and visit.Take a look at this website to learn
about the communities and all they have to offer.
Peruse through the
following descriptions of some of the things to do around the area before,
during, or after your stay at the River’s Inn.
Most of our guests at
the River’s Inn come to our small town to
embark on a special train ride.Our
guests range from full-blown train enthusiasts to those who just want a new
and exciting experience.
and Toltec Scenic Railroad, which is owned by the states of Colorado and New Mexico,
is the best-preserved steam era railroad in North
America.The railroad was
originally constructed in 1880 and was built to a gauge of 3 feet between the
rails, different from the 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches that is a standard now in the
Come the day before
your scheduled train trip, enjoy a nice dinner at a local restaurant on our
main street in Antonito
(or request a home cooked meal at the Inn), come back to a comfortable bed,
and have a good night’s rest.In the
morning, have a scrumptious breakfast before walking (5 minutes) or driving
(2 minutes) to the train station.
Enjoy a beautiful
train trip, have lunch at Osier, and travel back to Antonito on the C
& T Motorcoach.Come back to your room and an inviting bath (if in Jordan Suite) or a
refreshing shower before trying another restaurant on our main street.Upon returning to the Inn
– sit on the front porch and experience the tranquility of a quiet little
Guests can travel 10 minutes west on Highway 17
and be amongst beautiful trees in one of eleven National Forests in Colorado - the Rio GrandeNational Forest.For the outdoor enthusiast, the Rio Grande
National Forest has recreation and adventure opportunities for the heartiest
Activities include having the opportunity to embark
on many non-motorized trails which are open to hikers, cyclists, and
equestrian users. Off-highway vehicle users will find many opportunities for
off-road enjoyment in the Rio Grande National Forest.Camping, fishing, and picnicking are draws for the area
also.The long summer days in the 80's
are very inviting to our guests.
Enjoy a day or two of hiking, fishing, and camping
and when you’re ready to pamper yourself, stay with us at the River’s Inn.Come enjoy
your room and take an inviting bath (if in Jordan Suite) or a refreshing
shower before visiting a restaurant on our main street (or a home cooked meal
at the Inn – by request.)Upon
returning to the Inn – sit on the front
porch and experience the tranquility of a quiet little town.
Take a little side
trip to Conejos, Colorado which is only about 5 minutes
north on Highway 285.This area of
Colorado was settled in the mid-1850s by farmers and ranchers coming mostly
from northern New Mexico.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Church is known to be the Oldest Church in the state of Colorado built in 1858. The
church is recognized at the oldest Catholic Parish in Colorado, although at the time it was
built, Conejos was considered part of New
Mexico territory, and fell under the jurisdiction
of Bishop Lamy of Santa Fe. You can walk around and imagine a
time when early settlers walked into this lovely church.
A short drive north on
Highway 285, guests will come to the small community of Manassas, Colorado.The draw to this area is Manassa’s most famous figure - heavyweight boxing champion Jack “Manassa Mauler” Dempsey, who was born here on June 24,
1895. He won the heavyweight championship in 1919, after knocking out
Jesse Willard, but he lost it to Gene Tunney in 1926.
Visit the Jack
Dempsey Museum that is located in the community
which was dedicated in Manassa in 1966.It is housed in the cabin where Dempsey was
born. The museum displays several artifacts of Dempsey’s career, including
the gloves he wore in the New York
fight and numerous black-and-white photographs.
This farm is home to
many alligators, crocodiles, reptiles (such as rattlesnakes and pythons,) and
there are even ostriches and emus.Visitors can spend many hours at the farm learning about these
prehistoric looking creatures, taking many photos, see many birds that
visit the farm, and even take an alligator handling class.
Upon your visit you
can meet “Morris.”Morris has been
working in movies about 25 years but the farm does not know exactly how old
he is.His movies include Alligator
1 & 2, Happy Gilmore, Interview with a Vampire, Eraser, Blues Brothers
2000, Undercover Blues, and Doctor Doolittle 2.In addition, he appeared in numerous other
films, TV shows, and commercials.
Explore the tallest
dunes in North America! Whether hiking, sliding,
exploring in a dunes wheelchair - or simply playing - the Great Sand Dunes
are a unique wilderness area protected for all to enjoy.
To quote the GreatSandDunesNational Park website,
“Because the dunes and surrounding mountains are designated wilderness, this
is a great place to enjoy unspoiled natural beauty in a variety of ways.Whether you play in Medano
Creek, build a sand castle, slide down, the dunes, go bird watching in the
wetlands, or ascend at 13,000’ peak, you will discover plenty of kinds of
outdoor recreation for all ages.”
Drive east to discover a national monument that mammoths,
giant bison, and short-faced bears witnessed the earthquakes and
firework-like explosions which hurled molten rock thousands of feet into the
air. Approximately 60,000 years ago, the rain of cooling cinders formed Capulin Volcano, a nearly perfectly-shaped cinder cone,
rising more than 1000 feet above the surrounding landscape.
There is a one mile trail around the rim that
provides spectacular views of the entire volcanic field and a 0.2 mile trail
allows visitors to hike to the bottom of the crater itself.In addition, there is a 2-mile paved road
to the top of the volcano and paved trails into the crater and around its rim
provide access to explore the volcano.
San Luis Lake State Park is a 2,369 acre park
and is home to numerous wildlife including waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds,
migratory birds, raptors, amphibians, and mammals. The area is an outstanding wildlife area
most of the year to see and hear these wonderful creatures.
The park is located
just 15 minutes west of the Great
Sand Dunes National Park with a panoramic view of SanLuisLake, the surrounding Sangre de Cristo
Mountain Range and the Dunes.
Four miles of wide,
level gravel trails in the wildlife area provide a pleasant, safe hiking or
mountain biking experience among the low dunes and wetlands. These
hard-surfaced gravel trails are recommended for hikers and bikers of all ages
and abilities, including handicapped visitors. Sandy, primitive trails allow
limited visitor access into the dunes and wetlands.
San Luis has been a
water sports haven in the SanLuisValley
since the 1920s. Water skiing, motor boating, personal watercraft,
fishing, sailing, windsurfing and swimming continue to be popular at San
Take Highway 285 and drive 2
hours to a place where history takes you back to a place where human history extends back for over 10,000 years
when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the mesas
and canyons. By 1150 CE Ancestral Pueblo people began to build more permanent
settlements. Reminders of these past times are still evident in the park
as are the strong ties of the modern Pueblo
people. By 1550 the Ancestral Pueblo people had moved from their homes
here to pueblos along the Rio Grande (Cochiti,
San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, and Santo Domingo).
the mid-1700's Spanish settlers with Spanish land
grants made their homes in FrijolesCanyon.
In 1880 Jose Montoya of Cochiti Pueblo brought Adolph F. A. Bandelier to FrijolesCanyon. Montoya offered to show
Bandelier his people's ancestral homelands.
11,168 acre refuge borders the Rio
and provides a habitat for numerous bird species including Canadian Geese and
the near extinct Whooping
Crane. A hiking trail along the Rio GrandeRiver
is also on site.
are many good viewing opportunities
with observation platforms.What are
some of the “things” that happen at the refuges throughout the year? To name a few:during the months of February and March elk
bulls shed their antlers. (Males re-grow a new set each year in the
spring.)During April and May cows
give birth to calves; and in November through February the number of
waterfowl and cranes are at their peak.
Drive three hours west
and visit Aztec Ruins. Whether you are just passing through or have a couple
hours to spend here, the monument promises a meaningful experience of an
site. Take your time and follow ancient passageways to a distant time.
Explore West Ruin, a center of ancestral Pueblo society that once housed over 500
masonry rooms. Look up and see original timbers holding up the roof. Search for
the fingerprints of ancient workers in the stucco walls. Listen for an echo
of ritual drums in the reconstructed “Great Kiva.”
Stop and stay at the River’s
Inn on your way to visit the home of the
ancestral Puebloans.Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, is only four hours away and
offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who
made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. Today, the
park protects over 4,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff
dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the
Creede Historic Museum is
located in the old Denver & Rio Grande Depot, a one-story wood frame
depot built in 1891-1892 which is located on Main Street in Creede, CO.See museum exhibits that feature
memorabilia from an old mining town such asCreede's first hand-drawn fire wagon, a horse-drawn
hearse, many early pioneer utensils, gambling devices , numerous historical
photographs, early newspapers and other memorabilia of Creede's
past. The museum is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day and there is
no admission fee.
Creede Underground Mining Museum
is located on Forest Service Rd 503 #9 in Creede, Colorado.The community of Creed evolved from a history rich in mining and
scenic surroundings. Silver was discovered here in 1889. Mining
was the area's main industry through the years until 1985, when the Homestake Mining Company closed down the Bulldog Mine.
The museum has never been used for the commercial production of silver, but
it was 'mined' from solid rock and is an authentic example of the methods and
techniques used in the 'boom' days of Creede.
The museum, which is completely underground along with the community center,
includes many displays, including real mining equipment. The museum is
open daily in the Summer from and on weekdays during the Fall through Spring from .Admission is:Adults $5.00 - Children $3.00 -
Garland Museum is located at 29477 Highway 159
in Fort Garland, CO.Fort Garland was established in 1858 in southern Colorado with a garrison of over 100 men which served
to protect the earliest settlers in the SanLuisValley.
During the Civil War, troops from FortGarland marched south
to bolster Union forces against the Texan Confederates, who were attempting
to capture the West. With the defeat of the Texans near Santa Fe at GlorietaPass in 1862, the West
was saved for the Union.You can spend the day and walk the parade
ground of the fort and tour the adobe buildings, which feature a re-creation
of the commandant's quarters during Kit Carson's time.
Rich in military history, FortGarland also highlights
the folk art and culture of the Hispanic community in southern Colorado. The museum
is open Daily April
1st - October 31st and Thursday - Monday November 1st - March
31st.Admission is:Adults $3.00; Seniors $2.50 Age 6-16 $1.50;
Under 6 Free.
The Hazard House Museum is located at 807 Pitkin Avenue in Saguache,
CO.If you’re interested in admiring many fine
pieces of furniture, a Steinway piano, lush oriental rugs, silver flatware,
tea sets, candelabra and serving sets of all kinds, bone China dinnerware and
crystal serving dishes, Fostoria glasses, and fine linen a visit to the
Hazard House Museum is a must. In addition, there is a special Christmas tree
display located by the piano, with original ornaments, and splendid toys,
including Shirley Temple, and Charlie McCarthy dolls. Visit this museum to
see how the affluent lived in the 1920s and 30s.
museum is open Memorial Day through 3rd Weekend of September from daily.Admission: Adults $2.00 -Children under 12
The Luther E.
Bean Museum is housed at 208
Edgemont Blvd in Alamosa, CO. in the oldest
building of Adams State College, Richardson Hall, in what was the college’s
original library built in 1930. The museum features art and artifacts that
celebrate the diverse culture and history of the SanLuisValley and Adams State College.
Tucked away on
campus, on the second floor of historic Richardson Hall, the museum features
a stunning collection of Native American and Hispano Southwest arts,
paintings and bronzes by nationally and regionally known artists, and
European decorative arts. An eclectic collection of Southwest and European art,
artifacts, and local arts and history unfolds to the visitor at Adam State
Art enthusiasts will marvel at the pottery by Maria "Marie"
Martinez, Navajo and Rio Grande
weavings by artists such as SanLuisValley
native Eppie Archuleta, and the santos and retablos on display in this intimate museum.
The museum is open Tuesday – Friday from .Summer hours (May 15-Aug. 15) Tuesday-Friday.Tours are offered and admission is free.
Rio Grande County Museum and Cultural Center is located at 580 Oak Street in
Del Norte, CO.The museum offers visitors a glance into the
cultural and natural history of the area from the Indians and Hispanic
settlers, the mountain men fur trappers and traders, to the later settlers
who came in search of land, freedom, gold, and silver. In addition, there are
interesting learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. You can
view a complete exhibit of Indian rock art here.
Of special interest in the Del Norte area is the Old
Spanish Trail . Between 1830 and 1848 the Trail was a major trade
route running between Santa Fe,
New Mexico and Los Angeles, California.
Traces of the original trail can still be seen in the area.
The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday Summers: Winters: .Admission is free but contributions are welcome.
Saguache County Museum is located on US Highway 285 in Saguache, CO.Visit this museum to step into the past and
learn what you can from earlier generations.Take a tour and view an 1860s kitchen;a school room;the Spanish-Indian Room, filled with
beautiful rugs, Indian finery, Sioux beadwork, Pueblo pottery, and basketry;
Mineral; the "Wesley deCamp Room"; the
jail; and, the
Memorial Room, which was added in the 1970s to honor past residents. The yard
is another area to spend an hour. The blacksmith shop, wagons, buggies,
a whim, potato sorters, Mormon scrappers, an old well and all kinds of
farming equipment are to be seen at your leisure.
The museum is open
from daily -
Memorial Day through the 3rd weekend of September.Admission: Adults $3.00 – 12 and under
Luis Museum And Cultural Center is located at 410 Church Place in San Luis, CO.The building was
originally built by the WPA in the late 1930s and was renovated in 1978.It now has 2,600 square feet of Solar
Connectors.The main section is
The Museum features murals and works of art from its own
collection and on loan from various artists and collectors, many of whom are
local residents. San Luis is referred to by anthropologists as "a
distinct socio-cultural era of exceptional interest". The town was
founded in 1851 and was once a part of four Spanish Land Grants decreed by
the King of Spain. Here you will find the "vega",
one of the two remaining "commons" in the United States,
the oldest water rights in Colorado,
and the oldest family store in the state.
The museum is open
weekdays during the summer from
and winter from .Admission: Adults
$2.00 -- Seniors/Students $1.00.
The San Luis Valley Museum is located at 306 Hunt Avenue in Alamosa,
CO.For many years the museum building served
as the Alamosa City Jail.Visit this
museum and relive the past of the SanLuisValley.The museum tells the story of the people,
the Indians, Hispanics, Military, Japanese, Railroaders, Cowboys, Miners, and
Farmers who explored and settled the SanLuisValley.
The Museum has many displays that feature
artifacts, photographs, antiques and collectibles which portray early ranch
and farm life. It features exhibits of Indian artifacts, Hispanic
settlers, the Japanese-American community, Adams State College, Military
regalia and early railroading.
Museum displays show what an early mercantile or general store was like,
along with a model US Post Office of years past, adjacent to a typical
country grade school classroom designed around a fictitious valley town
called Wayside, Colorado.
The museum is open
June 1st - October 1st and admission is free.
of the West Museum is located at 916 First Avenue in Monte Vista, CO.
The Museum displays early modes of transportation from the horse and buggy
days, the 1880s-1900s railroad, farming, sports, and numerous
photographs.On display are a 100-year
old buggy, D & RG Railroad items, railroad memorabilia, farm tools, a
leather working bench and side-saddle, and a wool baseball uniform, circa
1913. In addition, the history of transportation in
the West from the 1880s through the 1930s comes alive through many pictures
in the museum.
Hours for the
Tuesday – Saturday.Admission is free
but donations are appreciated.
Interesting Places to visit
Stop by Cano’s Castle
for a chat with the artist or to take pictures of this creation that has kept
Cano – name derived from the word, “Chicano” – for over 25 years.He has spent those years building a series
of towers on land that he inherited from his grandmother.
El Castillo, the castle, a fantastic complex
decorated with rows of beer-can ends framing old windows, hubcaps arranged
like architectural sequins, and faced with rough native rock and
slogan-bearing signs. What may seem bizarre at first glance, the homemade shrine
is also oddly charming, very much a part of the small town and its huge
people have been through to view the Castle and some have posted on the web or
you like to get a picture for yourself?
Bishopcastle is located near Beulah, Colorado about 45
miles west of Pueblo. Jim Bishop is building it on a mountainside
overlooking Rt. 165 south of CanonCity. Mr. Bishop has
been working on his castle since 1969. Visitors have stated that it is one
of the state's odder tourist attractions.
Jim Bishop, has been singlehandedly been building the
castle for the last 37+ years.Visitors are welcome to wander aroudn the stone castle that has towers
and turrets that are created out of more than a thousand tons of rock from
the surrounds San Isabel National Forest.
An oddity in its
own right, the UFO Watchtower in Hooper, Colorado is an interesting place to
visit.How did it come to be?The website totes, “The beginning... Have
you ever wondered what a real UFO looks like? Have you ever wondered if there
is life on other planets? Judy Messoline of Hooper,
Colorado, has wondered the same thing. Judy's favorite TV shows were
After watching show after show, she realized she was hearing things like, "GREAT SAND DUNES"&"SAN
LUIS VALLEY"on many episodes of these programs. With this in
mind, Judy had an idea! She has created the first (that I am aware of) UFO WatchTower®.”