- Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway exists within the San Luis Valley of south-central Colorado. Traveling from Alamosa the byway leads north on State Highway 17 to Mosca. Approximately one mile north of Mosca the byway turns sharply east, onto 6N Lane, leaving State Highway 17. This road passes San Luis Lakes State Park and intersects with State Highway 150 south of Great Sand Dunes National Monument.
The scenic byway leads south from this intersection skirting the western base of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. Highway 150 ends at U.S. Highway 160; the byway follows 160 eastward to Fort Garland. At Fort Garland the scenic byway follows State Highway 159 south to San Luis. This community is said to be the oldest in Colorado and is home to the San Luis Valley Cultural Museum.
From San Luis the byway turns sharply westward following State Highway 142. This leg of the 129-mile scenic and historic byway leads past Sego Spring State Wildlife Area and the Jack Dempsey Museum before intersecting with U.S. Highway 285. At this intersection the byway heads south. It ends at Antonito and the beginning of the Sumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.
Recreation - This byway offers visitors to the San Luis Valley a tour of various scenic and historic sites. Recreation opportunities accessible along this route include viewing scenery, hiking, boating, fishing and wildlife viewing.
Climate - The San Luis Valley is a high basin bordered on the east and west by the Sangre De Cristo and the San Juan Mountains, respectively. During the winter months the winds blow fiercely between the mountain ranges sweeping the valley. Daytime temperatures range from 55 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures depend on precipitation and cloud cover. A cloudless winter sky can mean brisk temperatures, although the sun may feel warm. When clouds blanket the sky they serve as an insulator and keep warm air close to the ground. Night temperatures during the winter can reach negative numbers. It is important to dress in layers to protect yourself from the cold.
Summer weather can be hot. Highs in the upper 80s and 90s bake the semiarid land in the valley. Thunderstorms are the norm for afternoons in July and August. If you're in the high country be prepared for precipitation.
This scenic byway is located in the south central region of the state on the western slope of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.