There are legends upon legends along the Highway of Legends, 82 miles of roadway through rugged Colorado terrain between Walsenburg and Trinidad traveling past Spanish Peaks that rise to nearly 14,000 feet.
Some say a man named George Simpson saved Trinidad from the marauding Utes by distracting them with taunts. Others say there is a lost vein of gold so rich that a single nugget could support a prospector for a year. Another legend surrounds Juan Humana and his conquistadors who disappeared here in 1594 never to be seen again. Even God gets involved in an ancient legend when the devil came out of hell to survey the world, choosing Cuchara Valley as his doorway. He climbed the Devil’s Stairs, sat on the twin mountains and plotted how to take over the area until God recognized the beauty of the valley and declared it his own. It is thought that even Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday traveled along the route and Tom Tobin made a name for himself capturing a couple of serial killers and delivering them to the commander of Fort Garland.
The region became a little less like the Wild West in 1876 when coal was discovered and immigrants from all over the world turned Southern Colorado into a melting pot.
Today, nearly 400 rock formations known as “dikes” dot the route as they extend from the earth like spokes on a wheel.