The Highway of Legends Scenic Byway (Colorado 12) boasts plenty of opportunity for adventure. On this scenic highway you can enjoy beautiful fields of wildflowers, aspen trees, wildlife, hiking, biking, jeep trails, horseback riding, ATV/dirtbike riding, fishing and more!
Within 4-30 minutes of Picketwire lodges you will find 4 beautiful mountain lakes, Blue Lake, Bear Lake, Monument Lake, and North Lake. So if you are planning on hunting or fishing, you can get your license and lures right here!
Stonewall, another town on the highway, is near a rock wall that rises 250 feet above town which is part of the Dakota Sandstone formation. In the 1880s, Stonewall was the site of a stand-off between settlers and the government over the Maxwell Land Grand. Today, this is a peaceful, pristine area where the spring waters are said to be enchanted.
A legend here tells of two Indian chiefs who, in search of water for their thirsty tribes, met and embraced in peace, crying for the lack of water. A lake formed at their feet and a volcano erupted, enclosing the two chiefs in rock in the center of the lake. Today both this lake and nearby North Lake offer fishing and other year round outdoor activities.
The Scenic Highway of Legends (Highway 12) was designated as a Colorado State Byway in 1987 and a National Byway in 1988. Like its name, the highway passes through numerous towns which played a part in forming Colorado's fascinating historical legacy. Monument Lake is nestled among the pines and high altitude lakes.
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: