Iron Spring is 11 miles west of Timpas, Colorado, on US Highway 350, and then 1 mile south on a gravel road.
Iron Springs was an important water stop for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail and several different routes to the spring were used. Between 1861 and 1871 Iron Spring was used as a stage coach station. An important water supply on the trail, it was the scene of several Indian attacks. Trail ruts are visible near the spring west of the parking lot and a few ruins remain nearby.
From La Junta, Colorado drive southwest on Highway 350 for 27 miles.
Turn left (south) at County Road 9 for 1 mile and then turn right (west)
to the parking lot.
From Trinidad, Colorado drive northeast on Highway 350 for 42 miles. Turn left (south) at County Road 9 for 1 mile and then turn right (west) to the parking lot.
Timpas Creek was the first source of water for Santa Fe Trail travelers after leaving the Arkansas River heading southwest. Between 1869 and 1871 the Metcalf Ranch, previously located here, served as a stage coach station.
Timpas, Colorado is sixteen miles southwest of La Junta, Colorado on U. S. Highway 350. From Trinidad, drive northeast for 53 miles on Hwy 350. A 1/2 mile loop nature trail will take you to Timpas Creek and back. Visit the watchable wildlife trail to learn how and what wildlife to look for in the nutritious prairie grasses.
Stone markers indicate where the Santa Fe National Historic Trail passes through the area. Hikers and horse back riders can follow a 3 mile section of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail to Sierra Vista Overlook from Timpas.
For pioneers traveling south along the Santa Fe Trail, the changing horizon from plains to mountains was a major milestone on their journey. The distant Spanish Peaks comes into view along this section of the trail and today the view of the Rocky Mountains and surrounding prairie is like what the early travelers saw during the trail era.