The picnic site is located near the shores of Timpas Creek, significant because it was the first source of water for Santa Fe Trail travelers after leaving the Arkansas River. Between 1869 and 1871 the Metcalfe Ranch, previously located here, served as a stage coach station for weary travelers.
A 1/2 mile-loop nature trail will take you to Timpas Creek and back to the picnic area. Stone markers indicate where the Santa Fe National Historic Trail passes through the area. Hikers and horseback riders can follow a three mile section of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail to Sierra Vista Overlook. Start your hike at the nature trail and walk northwest to the stone trail post or if you are on horseback, start your ride at the stock tank, following the fence northwest to the gate. From there turn northeast and go through the gate following the stone trail posts to Sierra Vista.
Directions from La Junta: Drive southwest along Highway 350 for 16 miles. Turn right (northwest) at County Road 16.5, cross the railroad tracks, and turn right (northeast) into the parking lot.
Directions from Trinidad: Drive northeast 53 miles along Highway 350. Turn left (northwest) on to County Road 16.5, cross the railroad tracks, and turn right (northeast) into the parking lot.