Conejos, Co., or “Rabbit” in Spanish, lies just above the New Mexico border and continues to reflect the culture of Old Mexico. From the riverbank, this town rises above flowing waters from the Conejos River, the largest tributary of the Rio Grande. The river originates deep in the South San Juan Wilderness Area, west of Conejos. Once a flourishing mining town, today Conejos is a sportsman's wonderland.
The lower valley was actually settled beginning in 1854 with the arrival of major LaFayette Head and Selendonio Valdez. This first successful colony was at Servilleta, five miles east of the present town of Conejos. Conejos became a town of considerable importance with a courthouse, a general store, the governor's palace and a flour mill. The Roman Catholic Church built Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, finishing it in 1866. It is known to be the oldest church in the state.
Surrounding river tributaries offer outstanding fly-fishing opportunities while nearby, La Jara Reservoir is ideal for an overnight elk hunting trip or a leisurely picnic. Popular areas for summer hiking and winter cross-country skiing are found at the forested Cumbres and La Manga passes just to the west. Roomy guest ranches and comfortable fishing lodges await after a day spent hiking, hunting or fishing near this river town.
While in the area, visit the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway, the highest and longest narrow gauge railroad in the country. One of the last such railroads still in operation, the locomotive runs from Antonito, Colorado to Chama, New Mexico, crisscrossing the border eleven times.
Region: Colorado South Central Regional Information
Proximity to other towns: Located 28 miles from Alamosa, 1.5 miles from Antonito
Elevation: 7903 feet
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