Colorado’s Scenic Highway of Legends

Colorado has 25 scenic & historic byways, drives highlighted for their special beauty and history. One of these is Colorado 12, the Scenic Highway of Legends, in Southern Colorado near Trinidad. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Byways website, the highway gets its nickname due to the several Spanish and Indian legends regarding the area. According to local lore, a Spanish conquistador, Juan Humana, and his party disappeared in the area in 1594; a rich vein of gold was discovered but lost; and a Trinidad man stopped a band of “marauding Utes” from attacking the town by “distracting them with taunts.” Aside from its history, the Scenic Highway of Legends is also designated a byway due to its exceptional scenery of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Wildlife viewing is also possible along the route. You can find more information in a publication available from our library, Colorado 12, Scenic Highway of Legends: A Guide to the Historic Beauty of Southern Colorado, State Highway 12, Trinidad-Walsenburg.