Are you looking for something to do while you are in the area? Here are our recommendations!
Bishop’s Castle is a fun trip that is not too far from Cuchara. It is a huge castle that is being built by one man. It has spires and dragons and moats and mind numbing catwalks. It is free to visit, though there is a donation box and a gift shop. You can spend an hour or so wandering around or just look at it from the Hwy. Check out the websites below to get more information. We have included driving directions to Bishop’s Castle and then another route to get back to Cuchara.
Directions: Travel from Cuchara, through LaVeta and then on to Walsenburg. In Walsenburg, take I-25 north towards Pueblo. Take exit 74 @ Hwy 165 (Colorado City/Rye). Follow hwy 165 for about 23 miles. Bishop’s Castle will be on left. Address: 12705 State Hwy 165, Rye, CO.
If you want to travel a different way back to Cuchara, you can continue on Hwy 165 until you reach Hwy 96. Take Hwy 96 to Westcliff. Westcliff is a neat little town with restaurants and shops. Take Hwy 69 south towards Gardner. Continue through Gardner and head back into Walsenburg. There is a short cut towards LaVeta from Hwy 69 about 10 mlles from Gardner (east of Gardner). To find the short cut, look for the spot where Hwy 69 crosses the Huerfano river, Yellowstone road turns off of Hwy 69 to the right. Yellowstone road is a dirt road that cuts over to Hwy 160 near LaVeta.
Driving directions: Travel to LaVeta and then on to Hwy 160 west towards LaVeta Pass and Fort Garland. In the town of Ft Garland, the historic fort is just a block south from Hwy 160 on Hwy 159.
After visiting the fort, continue on Hwy 160 west towards Alamosa. After passing through the small town of Blanca, you will travel about 15 miles to reach Hwy 150 where you will turn right. There are signs leading you to the Great Sand Dunes National Park from Hwy 160. On Hwy 150 be looking for a sign for Zapata Falls. It will be on the right as you get closer to the Dunes.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
The Great Sand Dunes National Park is a relatively new National Park that is only about 1 1/2 hours drive from Cuchara. There a a couple of points of interests near the Dunes that you can include in this day trip away from Cuchara to make a fabulous, full day. Just out side the park you can find Zapata Falls and on the way to the Dunes you can stop at Fort Garland to check out the historic fort.
Zapata Falls is a must see destination! Zapata Falls is a refreshing water fall that is 3 miles off of Hwy 150. My family always goes to Zapata Falls after a visit to the Dunes as it is a great way to cool down after a hot time on the sand. Zapata Falls produces a refreshing cool breeze and in order to actually see the falls back in a grotto you must walk in the creek. Ahh!