Drive Trip: Penitente Canyon

Penitente Canyon…just 1.25 hours south of Salida, but it’s a whole different world!

The desert sun and winds can be harsh in the San Luis Valley…maybe that’s why it attracted those penitent religious types a hundred plus years ago. The recreation area known as Penitente Canyon boasts more than 300 rock climbing routes, plus miles and miles of sweet mountain biking trails. Check out this badass climber girl reaching her goal! The next picture is The Virgin of Guadalupe, purported to have been painted there by members of the religious fraternity, Los Hermanos Penitente (the Penitent Brotherhood), in the mid-1900’s. Other pictographs on the canyon walls predate those of the Christian zealots, dating back to the mid-1800’s. The area is near the town of Del Norte…and not a whole lot else. Go check it out! (Bring sunblock and plenty of water!)

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