Land of the Blue Sky People
The San Luis Valley is located in south central Colorado. It embodies the beginnings of the rich history of Colorado through its Native American roots, Mexican, Spanish and European settlers, water, farming and mining. The Valley is home to many of Colorado's first and oldest: the oldest town, Veteran's Home and oldest still-standing military fort.
One can also walk in the footsteps of such prominent figures such as: Chief Ouray, Chipeta, the Buffalo Soldiers, Alferd Packer, Bob Ford, Jack Dempsey, Kit Carson, John Fremont, Zebulon Pike, Dario Gallegos, Eppie Archuleta; Lafayette Head, Colorado's first Lieutenant governor; and the cultures of the Utes, Spanish, Japanese and Germans and Hispanics.
Drive, run, hike, or bicycle through the land of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve; Old Spanish Trail; Los Caminos Antiquos, Silver Thread, and Highway of Legends (by La Veta) Scenic Byways; and the Spanish Land Grants.
Ride through the Valley's rich history on the - Denver and Rio Grande and Cumbres Toltec Scenic Railroads.
Dig into industries of the mining for gold, silver, ranching, and farming.
Each museum tells a portion of the fascinating story of -- ancient peoples, Native Americans, Spanish Conquistadors, the Westward Expansion, the rush for precious metals, war and intrigue, farming and ranching, and modern day heroes.
Come out and step into Colorado history!!
First and Oldest - The oldest town - San Luis; first and oldest water rights - People's Ditch; oldest continuously operated business - R&R Market; oldest church building - Mission of San Acacio; oldest parish - Our Lady of Guadalupe; first military fort and first weather station - Fort Massachusetts; oldest still-standing fort - Fort Garland; Colorado's first Lieutenant Governor - Lafayette Head; first and oldest Veterans Home - Homelake Veteran's Home; first four-year institute in Colorado federally designated as a Hispanic Serving Institute - Adams State University; first national monument - Wheeler Geologic Area; Oldest Pro Rodeo - Ski-Hi Stampede; path of the oldest migratory bird - Sandhill Crane Festival; oldest potato-growing area; and the oldest hot-lead printing press - the Saguache Crescent. Come out and step into Colorado history.