South central Colorado displays pointed peaks, deep canyons and dazzling wildflowers. Pristine lakes, hillsides covered in aspens and pines and snow-capped mountains stretch across the horizon. The Sangre de Cristo mountain range soars high as a backdrop for the San Luis Valley. Nestled in the valley, farmers raise crops in the rich soil. It's worth visiting for the white-water rafting, hiking in the backcountry and exploring historic gold-mining towns.
The average winter temperature is a high of 43 and a low of 14. The average summer temperature is a high of 78 and a low of 46.
LARGEST CITY: Canon City. Population of 16,000.
FUN FACT: The tallest sand dunes in America are in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve outside of Alamosa. This 46,000-acre landscape of 8,000-foot sand peaks was created by ocean waters and wind more than one million years ago.