LaVoz
In English
En Español
In English
En Español
 
  Around the City
  Arts & Entertainment
  Automundo
  Business
  Classifieds
  Commentary
  Community
  Education
  El Mundo
  Environment
  From the Publisher
  Health
  Immigration
  La Vida Latina
  La Voz Special Editions
  La Voz NAHP Awards
  Letter to the Editor
  Mis Recuerdos
  My Money
  Nuestra Gente
  Of Special Interest
  Politics
  Pueblo/Southern Colorado
  Que Pasa
  Sports
  Student of the Week
  Technology
  Vecinos
  Where Are They Now?
  Archives
  Home
 
 
Spanish Peaks replete with heritage and beauty
 
Photo courtesy: Colorado Parks and Recreation
 

By Joshua Pilkington
News@lavozcolorado.com
 
03/07/2018

Southern Colorado contains a wealth of natural attractions that draw visitors from around the globe. One of those attractions is the Spanish Peaks. The pair of prominent mountains located in southwestern Huerfano County was an important landmark on the Santa Fe Trail for trappers, traders and the Ute, Comanche and Apache Indians that utilized it. Since 1976 has been designated as a National Natural Landmark. That designation comes form the peaks being one of the best-known examples of igneous dikes.

Huajatolla

The Ute, Comanche, Apache and other Indian tribes in the area knew the Spanish Peaks as Huajatolla, meaning “breasts of Earth.” They respected the peaks in religious awe and used them as landmarks in travel as they could see the peaks as far as 100 miles distant when traveling from the east.

Animas River

According to the Spanish Peaks Country website, “the first Europeans to enter the Spanish Peaks area were Spanish militia in the company of a group of priests sent to look for gold wherever they could find it. Supposedly they found a rich vein somewhere on the Peaks and enslaved some local Indians to dig it out for them. When the Spaniards left they killed all the Indians and headed south over Cuchara Pass.

“They went down to Purgatoire River and headed west, hoping to cross the Sangre de Cristo’s. Somewhere along the banks of the river they were ambushed by hostile Indians and were wiped out. That’s how the river got its name, Rio de las Animas Perdidas en Purgatorio.”

Hiking

As with most of Colorado’s mountainous areas, the Spanish Peaks provide ample amounts of hiking and outdoor recreation. Along the hiking trails of the Spanish Peaks, outdoor enthusiasts can take in a scenery consisting of miles of aspen, Ponderosa and bristlecone pine trees as well as blue and Engelmann spruce tree, and a myriad of firs.

“A lot of mountains and hiking trails west of Denver get a lot of coverage related to foliage and changing colors in the fall, but the Spanish Peaks region is probably one of the season’s best kept secrets,” said David Birch, an outdoor enthusiast from Woodland Park who considers the Spanish Peaks and Sangre de Cristo range among Colorado’s best kept secrets. “The whole area just lights up with colors that almost appear like an artistic rendering of what fall should be. As a photographer, I use those hikes (on the Spanish Peaks) to flesh out my portfolio with some amazing shots.

Fishing

No Colorado landmark would be complete without ample opportunities to go lake side and try to catch some cold and warm water fish. With its high mountain lakes, streams, rivers and reservoirs, the Spanish Peaks and surrounding areas offer a variety of fishing hot spots.

“It’s a great place to bring the kids,” Birch said of Lake Isabel, one of several popular lake in Spanish Peaks country. “It has a decent amount of trout and even if you aren’t lucky enough to nab one, there are still paddle boats to rent and fun spots for camping.”

Other fishing hot spots include the high-elevation lakes like Blue Lake and Bear Lake.

Festivals

Celebrating the Spanish Peaks in all their glory is a common occurrence. With cool summer temperatures and amazing fall colors, the area provides comfort and scenery for festival goers, performers and promoters alike. Festivals also serve as a means of celebrating the area’s heritage.

Crossroads in the Clouds, for example, celebrates the three cultures that defined the Spanish Peaks: the Utes, the Spanish and the Anglos. The Huajatolla Heritage Festival also celebrates the culture and heritage of the area with native dancers, drummers and musicians as well as learning sessions that allow attendees to explore their roots, learn miniature Navajo weaving and hear the history of Hispano veterans in Southern Colorado.

For more information on the Spanish Peaks visit
www.spanishpeakscountry.com.

 

 

 

 

 
Click on our advertising links for:
SERVICE DIRECTORY
CLASSIFIEDS
La Voz
'You Tube Videos'
An EXCLUSIVE La Voz Bilingue interview
with President Barack Obama
Pulsa aquí para más episodios

Follow La Voz on:

Tweeter FaceBook Tweeter
POLL QUESTION

 

© 2018 La Voz Bilingüe. All Rights Reserved.

Advertising | Media Kit | Contact Us | Disclaimer

12021 Pennsylvania St., #201, Thornton, CO 80241, Tel: 303-936-8556, Fax: 720-889-2455

 
Site Powered By: Multimedia X