[Downtown Walsenburg, CO. Photo: Ken Lund] Walsenburg is a historic Front Range town with plenty to offer the recreation seeker. It’s the northern most town on the Highway of Legends, a national scenic byway.
There’s a good-sized downtown, with a lot of historic buildings. Walsenburg is the Huerfano County seat and its most populated city, with 3,068 people in 2010. The elvation is 6,171 feet.
Welcome to the heart of the Spanish Peaks County! Walsenburg’s small town charm attracts multitudes of visitors and tourists every year. It’s a town that’s rich in history and natural wonders. This is an ideal Colorado escape for travelers who would like to take a nature driven adventure.
Fred Walsen settled nearby in 1870 and soon opened a mercantile. The town grew and Walsen assisted in the incorporation of the town, so they honored him by calling it Walsenburg.
Coal mining began in the region in 1876 and lasted more than 100 years. An estimated 500 million tons of coal was mined before operations ceased. Walsenburg also had an infamous past mentioned in the Woody Guthrie song Ludlow Massacre.
These incidents involved a political bout between the miners and the armed camped guards at the Fuel & Iron company. It was recorded as one of the deadliest encounters in the town’s history. This 1914 event was known as the “Ten Days War”, and left an estimated 21 dead.
However, as Colorado’s urbanization progressed over the past century, the town has grown from its gruesome past to to warm, welcoming tourism spot in the state.
Highway of Legends – This national scenic byway features 82 stunning miles of grand scenery, with two mountain passes and lots to do and see. There are gripping folk tales in town that give you a peek at what life was like in the Old West. You can listen to these tales at the Huerfano Tourism Board’s Highway of Legends Audio Tour. Download the TravelStorys app on the App Store or the Google Play Store.
Lathrop State Park – Lathrop is Colorado’s first state park, situated two miles west of downtown. It offers more than 1,600 acres and two big lakes.
Walsenburg Wild Waters – This exciting seasonal water park is fun for everyone in the family. They have 12-foot deep diving wells, a green slide, a seal slide, and many more family-friendly activities.
Hotels and Lodging:
- La Plaza Inn – Located in downtown, this historic hotel makes a great basecamp for exploring the nearby Spanish Peaks Country.
The other exciting highlight of the town is its local restaurants. Find your favorite American franchises as well as generational recipes that bring you that memorable taste you can only get in Walsenburg.
Serendipity – This is a favorite dessert and cafe boutique restaurant. They offer local brew coffee, freshly baked pastries, and tea. They also have a heartwarming breakfast menu. Visit them at
George’s Drive Inn – Enjoy a full meal at this town favorite diner. They have a breakfast and lunch menu. If you love spicy foods, order the popular Chili Burger.
Things To Do near Walsenburg, CO
- Aguilar (18mi)
- Colorado City (25mi)
- Cuchara (27mi)
- La Junta (73mi)
- La Veta (16mi)
- Ludlow (24mi)
- Pueblo (48mi)
- Trinidad (37mi)
Visit the official town website.