La Veta Pass

4/5 (4 reviews)
La Veta, Colorado (Costilla County)
Last Updated: 03/21/2021

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  • 7 waypoints
  • 23 photos
  • 1 trail concerns
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Highlight: La Veta Pass
From 1877 to 1899, The 'Railroad Above The Clouds' was the highest narrow-gauge train route in the United States. For over 100 years, the trail was a main connection across the Sangre De Cristo Mountains until in 1964 when the state of Colorado opened US-160 and the traffic over La Veta Pass disappeared overnight. Sometime around 1920, the tracks were pulled up and the road was paved to take travelers up over 9500' and through the town of Uptop. The town was once a logging and railroad stop until the highway was moved when it fell into disrepair in the last quarter of a century, Many of the old buildings, including the iconic church, are available to be toured. The town was purchased by new owners early in the 2000s, was named a historic monument and given the name "Uptop". The town is now a destination for music acts and other events. In 2018 the area was impacted by the Spring Creek Fire. This fire was the 3rd largest in the state's history​ and destroyed over 100,000 acres of forest. The human-caused fire took over two months to contain and the damage is visible, right up to the side of the trail in places. Don't miss out on this scenic gem just off the highway in southern Colorado. This trail is steeped in history and well worth a short detour.
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