Category: I-285 West: SW from Den

COMPASSIONATE DHARMA CLOUD MONASTERY- I-285 S at Settlers Dr

A quick drive west on I-285 S from the Denver suburbs will take you right to the Compassionate Dharma Cloud Buddhist Monastery.  And a stop at this beautiful facility is even more rewarding than being able to pronounce their name! Take a left off… Continue Reading “COMPASSIONATE DHARMA CLOUD MONASTERY- I-285 S at Settlers Dr”

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FRONT STREET: Fairplay

Visiting the whole town of Fairplay is far from a ’20 min’ stop along I-285, but having a picnic along the river and enjoying Front Street certainly is not! As you enter the town of Fairplay, take a right turn onto Main street.  Look… Continue Reading “FRONT STREET: Fairplay”

COMO ROUNDHOUSE: I-285 S at Boreas Pass Rd

Just minutes off of I-285 S at Boreas Pass Rd, you will find the not-really-there-anymore Como Roundhouse. Once a repair shop for the Denver-South Park-Pacific narrow gauge Railroad, this 6 bay stone Roundhouse served the town of Como Colorado from 1881 to 1938. There’s not much… Continue Reading “COMO ROUNDHOUSE: I-285 S at Boreas Pass Rd”

COLLEGIATE PEAKS SCENIC OVERLOOK: Exit: CO 302

Just before Johnson Village on I-285 S, you’ll find the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Overlook.  Its a great ’20 min’ stop with the best view of the Collegiate Peaks in the state.  Take a right onto Rd 304.  There is a $1 day use fee,… Continue Reading “COLLEGIATE PEAKS SCENIC OVERLOOK: Exit: CO 302”

ST ELMO: Near Nathrop

The St Elmo Ghost Town is not actually a ’20 min’ stop, but it was so much fun to poke around in, I decided to include it anyway! You’ll need about 1 1/2-2 hrs for this excursion. From I-285 S you’ll take the Chalk… Continue Reading “ST ELMO: Near Nathrop”

CHRISTMAS 1806 PICNIC GROUND: Poncha Springs

Just before you arrive in Poncha Springs along I-285 S, you will find the Christmas 1806 Picnic Ground.  It’s a ‘don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it’ spot, but a significant one nonetheless. It was pouring rain when we arrived at the Christmas 1806 Picnic Ground, so we decided to… Continue Reading “CHRISTMAS 1806 PICNIC GROUND: Poncha Springs”

ROBERTSON’S FLOUR MILL: Saguache

I-285 travels right through the town of Saguache.  While your there, take a quick ’20 min detour’ to see Robertson’s Flour Mill.  It is the only U.S. water powered grist mill still left standing! (If you have the time, you might want to take… Continue Reading “ROBERTSON’S FLOUR MILL: Saguache”

HIGH VALLEY MENNONITE CHURCH: Center

Just under 1 1/2 miles off of I-285 you will find the High Valley Mennonite Church. I must admit that I was excited to see this stop off of I-285.  I come from a Mennonite background, and most of the churches I knew are… Continue Reading “HIGH VALLEY MENNONITE CHURCH: Center”

UFO WATCHTOWER: Hwy 17 at Hooper

Welcome to “The Bermuda Triangle of the West.” The San Luis Valley boasts more UFO sightings than anywhere else in the country, and the area’s UFO Watchtower records sightings nearing the hundreds.  As a result, it receives anywhere from 2,000- 5,000 visitors each year. To get… Continue Reading “UFO WATCHTOWER: Hwy 17 at Hooper”

COLORADO GATORS REPTILE PARK: Exit 112

Maybe not a ’20 min’ stop off of I-285, but the Colorado Gator and Reptile Park is more than worth the effort if you have an hour or so and an extra $20 per person (discount tickets are sold at the UFO Watchtower)! Traveling… Continue Reading “COLORADO GATORS REPTILE PARK: Exit 112”

MONTE VISTA WILDLIFE REFUGE: Co-15

A quick detour from I-285 S in the town of Monte Vista leads you into the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. As you enter the town of Monte Vista along I-285, stay on the Hiwy and watch as it turns into Broadway, Gunbarrel and… Continue Reading “MONTE VISTA WILDLIFE REFUGE: Co-15”

CANO’S CASTLE: Antonito

Although it’s far from being a ‘little-known site’, no trip through Antonito is complete without a stop at Cano’s Castle. Born Dominic (Donald) Espinosa, the Castle’s architect & builder now goes by ‘Cano’ which is the Native American term for ‘reborn’.  Just like his… Continue Reading “CANO’S CASTLE: Antonito”

OLDEST CHURCH IN CO: Antonito

Built in 1863, Our Lady of Guadalupe is the oldest and first permanent church in Colorado. Heading south on I-285, this site is a quick one to see.  Look to the west at 8th street in Antonito and you can’t miss it. Turn west… Continue Reading “OLDEST CHURCH IN CO: Antonito”

ROADSIDE CHAPEL: South 285

Goodbye…goodbye…parting is such sweet sorrow Heading out of Antonito on S-285, it is about time to exit the beautiful and ‘Colorful’ state of Colorado.  Before you cross the border into New Mexico however, there is a roadside chapel worth dropping in on.  Maybe you… Continue Reading “ROADSIDE CHAPEL: South 285”