15 Best Things to Do in Stonewall, CO

Stonewall Colard
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Stonewall, also called the "Stonewall Gap," is a small mountain community in southern Colorado at an elevation of 7,830 feet.

Located in Las Animas County near a significant break in the Dakota Ridge, this unincorporated town is home to less than a hundred people.

During the Maxwell Land Grand dispute in the 1880s, Stonewall was ground zero for a confrontation between settlers and the federal government.

Stonewall Ridge, which rises to a height of 8,400 feet, was fractured by the Middle Fork of the Purgatoire River.

Stonewall, resting at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is a year-round outdoor destination for fishing, hiking, and hunting.

The mountains are beautiful year-round, but some of the best times to experience them are when the spring snow melts, and you can go hiking.

Visit again in the fall when the leaves change, and then go cross-country skiing in winter.

Read on to discover the best things to do in Stonewall, Colorado.

Take Photos with the Dakota Wall

Daytime view of the Dakota Wall
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Stonewall's Dakota Wall, often known as the "Backbone of the Rockies," is made of sandstone despite its appearance as granite.

The Dakota Wall runs parallel to the Rocky Mountain Front from east to west.

The Dakota formation split and went vertical during the Laramide Orogeny 65 million years ago.

Close details of the Dakota Wall
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The major mountain-building forces responsible for the creation of Front Rangia (part of the Ancient Rocky Mountains) pushed higher along this line.

After millions of years of weathering and erosion, the Ancient Rockies flattened down, yet the Dakota Wall survived in places.

You may still see remnants of this ancient wall along the west side of the Sangres Mountains in the San Luis Valley.

Relax with the Purgatoire River

Located in southeastern Colorado, the Purgatoire River stretches for 196 miles.

Through Stonewall Gap flows the Purgatoire River.

On the western side of the river lies the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, a U.S. Army installation.

Although it's not the most accessible river, experienced fishermen may discover productive spots along the river's flow, notably between Stonewall and Weston.

You may catch rainbow trout, brown trout, and cutthroat trout in the Purgatoire River.

Cruise the Highway of Legends Scenic Byway

The Highway of Legends Scenic Byway, also known as Colorado State Byway 12, began in 1987 and was certified as a National Byway in 1988.

As its name suggests, the route takes travelers through several historic communities throughout Colorado.

There are many exciting possibilities along Colorado 12, often known as the Highway of Legends Scenic Byway.

Several outdoor activities are available along this magnificent route, including but not limited to biking, hiking, fishing, jeep trails, off-road vehicle (ORV) riding, horseback riding, and dirt bike riding.

The spiritual myths of the American Indians and their conflicts with Spanish explorers come to life in Highway of Legends' colorful mythology.

Wherever the gold rush in Colorado led, violence found its way there, and stories of outlaws "settling their differences" were prevalent.

Other Things to Do Nearby

In less than 40 minutes, you may experience more of the area, from outdoor recreation to quick shopping to learning local history and culture.

Explore Southern Colorado with these other things to do near Stonewall:

Grab Your Fishing and Hunting Needs from Stonewall Shopping Bag

Exterior of Stonewall Shopping Bag
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Stonewall Shopping Bag in Weston, Colorado, is just a stone's throw away from Stonewall.

In addition to food, alcohol, and fishing gear, the shop also sells souvenirs and novelty items.

You may also get your Colorado hunting and fishing permits here.

On your way to great fishing at Monument Lake and North Lake, stop by this home-style family restaurant for a bite.

Every day, its offers breakfast, lunch, and supper.

An RV park is also available year-round, with convenient highway access and full hookups.

Go Fishing at Middle Fork Resort

Middle Fork Resort in Weston is a gorgeous hunting, fishing, and vacation destination set along a stream supplied with trout and a lake stocked exclusively for its guests.

The eight mountain cabin rentals at Middle Fork Resort appear out of the land, blending in with the area's natural beauty to create an unforgettable retreat for families and couples seeking a refreshing mountain escape.

It also offers a welcome respite for anglers and hunters looking to escape crowds in an otherwise spectacular mountain setting.

At Middle Fork Resort, you can't help but feel a sense of plenty.

Middle Fork Resort cabin rentals are as beautiful as those in Vail, Steamboat, or Aspen but without the crowds and expensive rates that come with overbooked resorts.

This area, just two minutes from Stonewall, is teeming with animals and offers excellent fishing.

Colorado cabin rentals at Middle Fork Resort provide everything you need for a low price, whether planning a family reunion, fishing trip, or romantic retreat for two.

Stay at Stonewall Lodge & RV Park

Welcome sign of Stonewall Lodge & RV Park
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StoneWall Lodge & RV Park is in Weston, three minutes from Stonewall.

StoneWall Lodge, located at an altitude of 8,000 feet, is unlike any other lodging option in the area because of its unique combination of contemporary conveniences and natural beauty.

The location of StoneWall Lodge & RV Park makes it ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and hunting throughout the year.

Its custom-built outside pavilion features a full kitchen, barbeque grills, and seating for 50 people in all weather.

This fire pit is perfect for evening get-togethers, s'mores, and roasting marshmallows.

Family-friendly amenities include a playground built to professional standards and viewing platforms to observe local deer, elk, and other animals.

Check Out the Historic House on a Bridge

Several people in Las Animas County have drawn or photographed the House on the Bridge in Weston, just eight minutes from Stonewall.

The adobe bridge house underwent construction in two phases beginning in 1941.

The path's original route was higher near Vigil, but it was relocated (Highway 12).

Construction of the bridge started in 1918.

It's a crossing over the Purgatoire River's North Fork.

While it's unfortunate that the House on the Bridge has become abandoned, derelict, and forgotten, it's still worth checking a unique structure that witnessed the area's history.

Go Boating at Monument Lake Resort

Monument Lake Resort, ten minutes from Stonewall, is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend getaway or a fun family vacation.

In addition to being a popular fishing spot for locals, this lake also has significant cultural and historical significance.

Monument Lake Resort Colorado is a fantastic vacation for enjoying the hidden natural beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, whether you're interested in hiking, camping, eating, or simply relaxing.

The resort at Monument Lake has lodges, private cabins, RV and tent campsites, a bathhouse, a full-service, recently refurbished restaurant/bar with lounge, and more.

Tourists and outdoor enthusiasts alike flock to this picturesque getaway.

Spot Birds at North Lake State Wildlife Area

Sunset at North Lake State Wildlife Area
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The North Lake State Wildlife Area in Weston is a popular wilderness area just 14 minutes from Stonewall.

If you're a birdwatcher in southern Colorado, you owe it to yourself to check out North Fork Road in the SWA.

In this remote area of the Rocky Mountains, guests may see owls and dippers.

Visitors may leave their cars and enjoy the isolated alpine scenery at any of the numerous well-marked parking locations across the North Lake State Wildlife Area.

The North Lake SWA requires all visitors over eighteen to have a valid Colorado hunting, fishing, or public land license.

North Lake Reservoir, built in 1907 to provide water to Trinidad, and the Purgatoire River's north branch form the area's geographic center.

Experience Native American Culture at Indigenous Roots LLC

Native American heritage comes to life at Indigenous Roots LLC in Weston, 14 minutes from Stonewall.

Pam Goodwind, a teacher and huká (adopted) cousin of the Rosebud Sioux, has seen firsthand the importance of teaching about Native American culture in classrooms and communities.

Her love of teaching and familiarity with Native American culture inspired Pam to establish Indigenous Roots LLC.

The facility recognizes the need for more cross-cultural understanding in society and the need to care for Mother Earth.

You can join the four-day program for the complete immersion experience.

Live in a tipi close to Santa Fe Road.

Classes incorporate student participation and explore Native American perspectives on history, geography, ecology, and anthropology.

Go Hunting at Bosque del Oso State Wildlife Area

Autumn trees at Bosque del Oso State Wildlife Area
William Cushman / Shutterstock.com

The Bosque Del Oso State Wildlife Area in Weston, 25 minutes from Stonewall, is a stunning and peaceful recreational attraction west of Weston, Colorado, covering 30,000 acres in Las Animas County.

A valid state fishing or hunting license is necessary for anybody over eighteen entering or staying in the Bosque del Oso SWA.

The land can be used for free the rest of the time, both during the day and at night.

When Bosque del Oso (which translates to "Forest of the Bear" or "Bear Forest") opened in 1998, it became the biggest authorized hunting property in Colorado.

Private property exists along the edges of the SWA, but that doesn't stop it from providing stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Raton Pass.

Visitors should prepare for encounters with wild animals and challenging driving conditions.

In some spots, especially after precipitation, the gravel and dirt roads inside Bosque del Oso SWA may be rather bumpy.

Grab a Quick Bite at Ringo's Super Trading Post

Ringo's Super Trading Post in Trinidad, Colorado, has served customers since the 1940s.

It's a lovely pit stop on scenic Highway 12.

Entering the building is like traveling back in time.

It is also an excellent resource for acquiring all necessary items.

Ringo's Super Trading Post offers Cherry Slush Puppies, a library, a butcher and grocer, a deli, a petrol station, a liquor shop, and a location to purchase fishing and hunting licenses.

If you are hungry on the way out, don't worry; you can pick up some freshly made hot meals.

This place is 20 minutes from Stonewall, Colorado.

Admire the Views from Farley Wildflower Overlook

In Aguilar, Colorado, 25 minutes from Stonewall, you'll find the pull-off at Farley Wildflower Overlook along Cordova Pass Road.

When wildflowers are in bloom, the view of the meadow from the Overlook is nothing short of breathtaking.

The Overlook has a massive wall of Dakota Sandstone below, the vistas of West Spanish Peak, and three big informational boards.

Cuchara Mountain Resort is visible to the left and over the cliff using binoculars.

Trinchera Peak, concealed behind the hill rising directly across the State Highway, may be seen rising in the west, along with the upper ridge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Farley Wildflower Viewpoint may be reached by taking State Route 12 to its highest point at Cucharas Pass.

Take the gravel road to the east, with a signpost to Aguilar.

About half a mile down this road is the Farley Wildflower Overlook.

Go Off-Roading at Trinidad Lake State Park

Daytime view of Trinidad Lake State Park
The original uploader was Nationalparks at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Located close to the historic town of Trinidad, 30 minutes from Stonewall, this stunning 2,700-acre Trinidad Lake State Park features a lake as its focal point.

The Culebra Range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains forms the backdrop to the park.

Off-road biking is common all year long.

Camping is available all year, and water activities are most popular in the summer.

Paved and dirt roads exist, with more than nine miles of biking routes.

The waters of Trinidad Lake State Park
Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Motorboats, jet skis, and water skis are permitted on the lake from March through December.

One boat launch ramp and many docks are available.

There are 73 updated campsites spread out across two campgrounds at Trinidad Lake State Park.

The park is a fantastic home base for visiting southern Colorado because of its proximity to I-25 and the Mountains.

Play a Friendly Game at Twisted Cedars Disc Golf Course

The 27-hole championship course at Twisted Cedars Disc Golf Course in Trinidad, Colorado, 34 minutes from Stonewall, caters to players of all skill levels.

Feel at ease with the pressure-treated wrapped paver tee pads.

You can adjust the course length by moving 27 pins with flags on all 27 baskets and solar lights to illuminate them for any glow rounds played during summer.

The disc golf course has forested and open holes with moderate elevation differences.

The Twisted Cedars Disc Golf Course is also one of the few disc golf courses that provide cart rentals.

Final Thoughts

Stonewall, Colorado, is the perfect destination to escape the stresses of modern life and commune with nature through activities like fishing, hiking, and driving through beautiful scenery.

In addition to its unique land formation, it is a year-round vacation spot.

Plan your adventure with our list of the best things to do in Stonewall, Colorado.

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