Description - In 1878 the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad made Alamosa its southern hub.
The railroad company brought structures into the area on railroad cars to create
a town. Since this time Alamosa has been a center for shipping. It is the largest
community (population 9,500) in the San Luis Valley. Adams State College is
located in Alamosa and helps to support the local economy.
Winter at the Great Sand Dunes and Herard Peak
- Alamosa is a central place from which to see the sights of the San Luis Valley.
Thirty-five miles northeast of Alamosa lie the Great Sand Dunes National
Monument. South of Alamosa, on U.S. Highway 285, is Antonito, where you
can catch the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. West of Alamosa, on U.S.
Highway 160, explorers and revelers can find Wolf Creek Ski Area, South Fork
River, Wolf Creek Pass, and of course, the Rio Grande River. Follow Highway
149 west of U.S. 285 and you'll be on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway. You
can make the long trek to the Wheeler Geologic Area, which is surrounded by
the La Garita Wilderness Area. The Alamosa Chamber of Commerce can
provide visitors with many other interesting activities in the region. It is
located in Cole Park on the eastern end of Alamosa.
Recreation - Alamosa is the center from which almost any outdoor activity imaginable is
possible, including summer skiing on the dunes in the Great Sand Dunes
National Monument. The mighty Rio Grande River provides a number of exciting
opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. For those who want to be on top of
the world and are willing to do the work, Blanca Peak is over 14,000 feet.
Camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, scenic drives, horseback riding, all of these -
and more - are available around the Alamosa area.
Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find around Alamosa.
Elevations range from 7,500 feet to over 14,000 feet and in general, the
climate at low elevations is cool and arid while the high country is cold and
sometimes humid. Average precipitation varies from under 8 inches at the
8,000 foot level to over 50 inches in some alpine areas. Snowfall varies
significantly, North Cochetopa Pass commonly receives two feet of snow in a
year while Wolf Creek receives six to eight feet.
Summer is short and frost
may occur anytime in high elevations. Annual temperature extremes range
from 90 degrees in summer to 30 degrees below zero in winter. Rapid
weather changes, with temperature changes of 40 degrees in periods as short
as four to six hours, occur frequently.
Alamosa is in the heart of the San Luis Valley, the highest valley in Colorado.
The valley is easy to reach by car or airline. Highways 285, 160 and State Road
17 intersect in Alamosa. Commercial airlines serve Alamosa from Denver with
several flights daily. The Rio Grande River also leads southeast through the
center of town on its way to New Mexico.