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Water at the Blue Earth
Rattlesnake Hill
Saguache County is full of interesting historic sites. One of the most interesting sites is located three miles east of the town of Saguache. Today most maps refer to the site as "Rattlesnake Hill." Juan Bautista de Anza camped there with a band of Tabeguache Ute who were occupying the site on August 24, 1779. Stone artifact from 12,000 BP have been found at the site. John W. Gunnison camped there in 1953 and the CCC Camp # 3888 occupied the site from about 1935-1941. (CCC3888 made up of stones placed in order can be seen on the side of the hill, above the road) The Capt. J.N. Macomb map from the 1860 survey calls the spring Ojo de Los Caballaos others refer to it as Hunt Spring. Charles W. McClanahan and his emigrant party of 1853 probably also camped at this site.
On December 4, 2002 President George W. Bush signed the Old Spanish Trail bill making it a National Historic Trail. Saguache County has more miles of the Old Spanish Trail than any other county in the United States. There are a number of places where the trail could be interpreted. Rattlesnake Hill is one of these. Colorado State Highway 17 and AA Road another. A mile west of Crestone on T road is another. US Highway 285 V-5 road another. 41 G road and 38 road are two more. The top of North Cochetopa Pass another. There is already a sign at the northwest corner of Mears Park in Saguache, which makes a total of eight sites related to the Old Spanish Trail. The North Branch of the Old Spanish Trail passed through the San Luis Valley. There is a west and east fork of the OST. The East Fork follows the west side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the West Fork follows the east side of the San Juan Mountains which the Spanish called the Sierra de Los Grullas or the "Mountains of the Cranes."


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