Southeast Colorado Trails

Carrizo Canyon

Carrizo Canyon provides a large amount of resources in a small area. Tours to Carrizo Canyon are offered by Heritage Journey Tours and include guiding to and around the site, area history and heritage, and interpretation at the site. The canyon has water year round and a two mile hiking trail that encircles the area. The canyon also provides camping spots, restrooms, and picnic areas. Although the canyon is not deep, it is a beautiful place to watch wildlife and provides excellent birdwatching in the spring and fall. The canyon also boasts pecked style animal petroglyphs if you care to crawl around and look for them.

County Rd M
Pritchett, CO 81064
(719) 643-5414

www.santafetrailscenicandhistoricbyway.org

Hours of Operation
Open year.

Directions
From Springfield go south on Hwy 287 to County Rd M (about 18 miles). On County Rd M go west about 20 miles to the Forest Service sign on the south side of the road indicating to turn into Carrizo Canyon. The campground is 2 miles down the road.

Visitor Services
Parking
Picnic Area
Visitor Information
Pet Area

Travel Tips
Make sure to fill with fuel before leaving town. Expect long distances, dirt or gravel roads and remote locations. Bring water as there is no drinking water available at the site. Summer time temps can range in the upper 90’s to 100’s, spring and fall provide milder options. Watch for snakes. For more information on Carrizo Canyon or if you want to explore the canyon on your own stop by the Forest Service Office immediately south of Springfield, CO on the east side of the road or call 719-523-6591. There you will find brochures, directions and a small gift shop.

Entrance Fees
Tours from Heritage Journey range from $25/pp to $150/pp. It is free to explore the canyon on your own.





Red Shin Hiking Trail

The Red Shin Hiking Trail begins at the stilling basin below the dam and winds through the park to the Santa Fe Historic Site on the North shore of the reservoir. The trail is approximately 4.5 miles and provides excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing!

​The Legend of Red Shin
According to local legend, a Cheyenne warrior named Red Shin once lived in the Arkansas Valley sometime around 1833. Compelled by a quarrel with another warrior over an Indian maiden, Red Shin armed himself with two flintlock muskets, a tomahawk, bow and arrows, and butcher knives. He then took refuge atop a tall rock formation located to the north of present-day Lake Hasty Campground. Other warriors joined thedispute and quickly attacked Red Shin from the valley below. Shooting arrows at his attackers with great accuracy, Red Shin convinced the attacking warriors to give up their futile assault or their lives would soon be lost. Ever since, the Dakota Sandstone formation has been called Red Shin Standing Ground.

John Martin Reservoir State Park
30703 County Road 24
Hasty, CO 81044
(719) 829-1801
More Info






Madonna of the Trails

Dedicated on September 24, 1928, this sculpture by August Leimbach is one from a national series of twelve monuments erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution to commemorate the Old National Trails and the settlers who traversed them. In particular it celebrates the spirit of pioneer women across the United States, from Maryland to California. Located on the Santa Fe Trail, Lamar is one of the handful of towns in the West honored to receive one of the sculptures. The sculpture stands at the corner of Main and Beech and is visible as you approach the Welcome Center.


109 East Beech Street
Lamar, CO 81052
(719) 336-3483
More Info





Hours of Operation
Outdoor location.

Directions
The Madonna of the Trail sculpture is located at the corner of Main and East Beech Streets near the Lamar Depot/Colorado Welcome Center.

Visitor Services
Parking
Picnic Area
Visitor Information
ADA Compliant

Travel Tips
Check out the nearby Lamar Depot/Colorado Welcome Center to pick up information on activities and attractions in the region or relax in the shade of the adjacent park.





Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Drive 20 miles northeast of Eads to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. Here National Park Service guides will direct you to an overlook where you can view the place where 675 U.S. volunteers, led by Colonel John Chivington, launched a dawn attack on a village of Cheyennes and Arapahos who were camped under the protection of the American Flag. Over 160 Indian men, women and children were killed. Listen to one of the three 45-minute presentations given each day at the overlook (a 12 minute walk from the parking lot), or simply ask questions of the NPS guides.




55411 County Road W
Chivington, CO 81036
(719) 438-5916
National Park Service-Sand Creek Massacre
SandCreek.com

Hours of Operation
Open daily April 1 to December 1 from 9am to 4pm.

Directions
The Sand Creek Massacre NHS is located approximately 25 miles northeast of Eads, CO. Follow Colorado State Highway 96 to it’s junction with either County Roads 54 or 59. Follow County Road 54 or 59 to their intersection with County Road W. The entrance is along County Road W one mile east of 54 or several miles west of 59. Both County Roads 54 and 59 have signs to the site.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Visitor Information
Picnic Area

Designations
National Historic Landmark
National Register Individual Listing

Travel Tips
The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is located in an isolated area. When visiting, please bring water and appropriate outdoor clothing. Please stay on the walking trail at all times. Pets must be on a leash. There is no camping at the national historic site, but camping is available nearby.

Entrance Fees
Free




Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Follow the mountain route of the Santa Fe Trail, America’s first great trans-Mississippi route from Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was an important route for commerce and cultural exchanges between 1821-1880. The longest segment of the Santa Fe Trail on public land in the state of Colorado occurs on the Comanche National Grassland. Three interpretive sites allow visitors to walk along the historic trail, view trail ruts and experience the changing horizon from the plains to mountains. This transition marked a major milestone on travelers journeys.









Approximately 15 miles south of La Junta, Otero and Las Animas Counties
218 Anderson
1420 East Third St
La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-2181
More Info

Hours of Operation
The Timpas Unit office is open Monday through Friday from 8am-12pm and 1pm-4:30pm. All sites open daily throughout the year.

Directions
Timpas Unit office located at 1420 East Third St, La Junta, CO 81050. Information on all sites with maps are located in La Junta, CO. From La Junta, Colorado drive southwest on Highway 350 for 13 miles. Turn right (north) at Highway 71 for 1/2 mile, then turn left (west) to the parking lot.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Gift Shop
Visitor Information
Picnic Area
Pet Area
Designations
National Register Individual Listing
State Register of Historic Places

Travel Tips

Most visitors prefer to visit the area in the spring when wild flowers are blooming and late August, September, and October when temperatures in the area tend to be more moderate. Therefore, anytime before September and October would be probably be the best. Santa Fe National Historic Trail: Timpas Picnic Area – ADA compliant vault toilet, picnic shelter and nature trail; Sierra Vista: ADA compliant trail to overlook site; Iron Springs: Not ADA.

Entrance Fees

No admittance fee, but donations are always welcome.




Vogel and Picket Wire Canyons

You can hike, bike or ride a horse to view the largest dinosaur track site in North America. On the trail to Picket Wire Canyon, pass walls resplendent with rock art and explore the Dolores Mission, the Old Rourke Ranch and remote cemeteries. Just off Hwy 109, on your way to Picket Wire Canyon, is the turn off for easier hiking at Vogel Canyon where you can follow the trails to a historic stage coach station near the Purgatoire River. In Vogel you can hike any one of the gentle two-mile loops and find abundant rock art.
National Forest Service Office
1420 E 3rd Street
La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-2181

http://www.fs.usda.gov

Hours of Operation
Open year round daily.

Directions
From La Junta, Colorado drive south on Highway 109 for 13 miles; turn right (west) on County Road 802 (David Canyon Road). For Vogel Canyon continue on CR 802 for 1.5 miles. Turn left (south) on Forest Service Road 505A for 1.5 miles to the Vogel Canyon parking lot. For Picket Wire go 8 miles on CR 802. Turn left (south) on County Road 25 and travel for 6 miles. Turn left at Picket Wire Corrals onto Forest Service Road 500A. Travel along Forest Service Road 500A for 3 miles, following the signs to Withers Canyon Trailhead. Park at Withers Canyon Trailhead parking loop.

Visitor Services
Parking
Picnic Area
Pet Area

Designations
National Register District
State Register of Historic Places

Travel Tips
Most visitors prefer to visit the area in the spring when wild flowers are blooming and late August, September, and October when temperatures in the area tend to be more moderate. The auto tour is the only motorized access into the canyons. Other ways to visit include hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. Because of the rugged terrain and long distances to various sites, visitors need to plan carefully for hot weather conditions by carrying ample water and leaving very early

Entrance Fees
None for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding. Tours of Picket Wire Canyon are offered through the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program of the USDA Forest Service. They cost $15 per adult and $7.50 per child. Due to rough roads, visitors will need their own four-wheel drive high clearance vehicle.