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San-Luis-Valley is the world's largest alpine valley, located in southern Colorado atop the Rio Grande Rift in the San Juan Mountains. It covers approximately 8,000 square miles, is 122 miles long and 74 miles wide. The average altitude is 7,500 feet. Attractions in the San Luis Valley include the Great Sand Dunes National Park, several national wildlife refuges, the spectacular fishing waters of the Rio Grande River and the Penitente Canyon, and many natural hot springs. The San Luis Valley is a broad, generally flat valley, with no clear boundaries. It includes the San Luis Hills of southern Colorado and the Taos Plateau of northern new Mexico. The valley is bounded on the east by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and on the west by the San Juan Mountains. Some of the towns located in San Luis Valley are Alamosa, Monte Vista, Del Norte, Fort Garland, San Luis, Crestone, Hooper, Mosca and San Acacio. One of the most famous features of the valley is the Great Sand Dunes, which is a National Park and Preserve. Several archeological sites are located within the Great Sand Dunes. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a historic, narrow-gauge railroad that runs between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico in the valley. Steam locomotives take tourists on a six-hour trip between the two towns, climbing over the 10,000-foot elevation Cumbres Pass. The Cumbres & Toltec is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Surrounding areas: Monarch, Colorado (17.1 mi), Buena Vista, Colorado (22.4 mi), Hartsel, Colorado (35.4 mi), Elevenmile Canyon Reservoir, Colorado (37.6 mi), Westcliffe, Colorado (40.0 mi)

San Luis Valley Vacation Rentals

San Luis Valley Hotels and Resorts

Hotels & Motels
Comfort Inn315 E Rainbow-us Hwy 50Salida, CO (719) 539-5000
Econo Lodge1310 E Hwy 50Salida, CO (719) 539-2895
Holiday Inn Express7400 W US Hwy 50Salida, CO (719) 539-8500
Rainbow Inn105 E Hwy 50Salida, CO (719) 539-4444
Salida Super 8525 W Rainbow BlvdSalida, CO (719) 539-6689
Woodland Motel And Residence Inn903 W 1STSalida, CO (719) 539-4980
Lazy J Resort & Rafting Company Inc16373 Hwy 50Coaldale, CO17.5 mi.(800) 678-4274
Best Western Vista Inn733 Hwy 24 NBuena Vista, CO22.4 mi.(719) 395-8009
Super 8 Motel530 N U S Hwy 24Buena Vista, CO22.4 mi.(719) 395-8888

San Luis Valley Weather & Climate

Central Colorado has a more complex climate than most states in the United States. Even places a few miles apart can experience entirely different weather depending on the topography of the area. The valleys are classified as a semi-arid, continental climate, which becomes a mountain or alpine climate at higher elevations. Humid microclimates may also exist in some places. Abundant sunshine and low humidity is typical in all areas. Summers are mild to warm, and thunderstorms can cause a sudden drop in temperature. Winters are cold and snowy, especially in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains. Solar radiation penetrates the thin atmosphere high in the mountains, which results in very pleasant temperatures during the winter. This is why skiers are often pictured in very light clothing, even though they're surrounded by snow.

     Month       High Temp   Low Temp   Rainfall   Ocean Temp 
January 41°F 11°F 0.14 in. -
February 45°F 14°F 0.22 in. -
March 50°F 21°F 0.61 in. -
April 57°F 27°F 0.71 in. -
May 67°F 35°F 1.04 in. -
June 78°F 43°F 0.80 in. -
July 83°F 48°F 1.26 in. -
August 80°F 47°F 1.55 in. -
September 74°F 39°F 0.86 in. -
October 63°F 28°F 0.85 in. -
November 49°F 20°F 0.33 in. -
December 41°F 12°F 0.28 in. -

San Luis Valley Map & Transportation

Main viewing image.
Click each thumbnail image to enlarge.
The closest airports in the area are Harriet Alexander Field (0V2) located about 2 miles west of San Luis Valley in Salida, Colorado, the Central Colorado Regional airport (7V1) located approximately 20 miles northwest of San Luis Valley in Buena Vista, Colorado, the Silver West airport (C08) located roughly 49 miles southeast of San Luis Valley in Westcliffe, Colorado, the Gunnison Crested Butte Regional airport (GUC) located around 50 miles west of San Luis Valley in Gunnison, Colorado, the Leach airport (1V8) located about 51 miles south of San Luis Valley in Center, Colorado, Aspen Pitkin County Sardy Field (ASE) located approximately 66 miles northwest of San Luis Valley in Aspen, Colorado, and finally the City Of Colorado Springs Municipal airport (COS) located roughly 72 miles east of San Luis Valley in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

San Luis Valley Attractions

Amusement and Theme Parks
Santa's WorkshopCascadeCO60.8 mi.
Water Parks
Hyland Hills Water WorldFederal HeightsCO105.6 mi.
Golf Courses
Collegiate Peaks Golf CourseBuena VistaCO22.3 mi.
Ski Areas
Ski CooperLeadvilleCO51.9 mi.
Crested ButteCrested ButteCO58.1 mi.
AspenAspenCO63.2 mi.
Aspen HighlandsAspenCO63.2 mi.
SnowmassAspenCO63.2 mi.
TiehackAspenCO63.2 mi.
Breckenridge Ski ResortBreckenridgeCO65.5 mi.
Beaver CreekVailCO79.0 mi.
VailVailCO79.0 mi.
LovelandGeorgetownCO82.5 mi.
Winter ParkWinter ParkCO94.6 mi.
Sunlight Mountain ResortGlenwood SpringsCO99.9 mi.
TellurideTellurideCO106.7 mi.
Monarch Art GalleryVictorCO48.0 mi.(Art)
Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource CenterWoodland ParkCO59.9 mi.(History)
Zoos and Aquariums
Cheyenne Mountain Zoological ParkColorado SpringsCO66.8 mi.
Pueblo ZooPuebloCO77.7 mi.
Denver Zoological GardensDenverCO99.4 mi.

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