Length: 129 Miles Driv­ing time: 3 Hours

West of 105 Magazine - - Outdoors -

While the San Juan Skyway is con­sid­ered by some to be the most beau­ti­ful drive in the coun­try, Los Caminos Antiguos may be the most his­toric. Strad­dling the bor­der with New Mex­ico, this area is the cen­ter of His­panic cul­ture in Colorado and of­fers the chance to fol­low in the foot­steps, so to speak, of the Span­ish ex­plor­ers and early set­tlers.

The area is also home to sev­eral no­table places, in­clud­ing the tallest sand dunes in North Amer­ica at Great Sand Dunes Na­tional Park and Pre­serve; San Luis, which was es­tab­lished in 1851 and there­fore the old­est sur­viv­ing com­mu­nity in Colorado; Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Cone­jos, the old­est parish in the state; and Fort Gar­land, one of the first mil­i­tary posts in Colorado.

Also nearby is Manassa, the birth­place of for­mer world heavy­weight box­ing cham­pion boxer Jack Dempsey, and Za­p­ata Falls near Great Sand Dunes Na­tional Park, which is worth a visit (read more about the Great Sand Dunes Na­tional Park on page 53).

Photo (top left) San­gre de Cristo Na­tional Her­itage Area ; (top right): Rob McGovern / Pe­riod Comms; Denise Cham­bers / Miles

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