End of US highway 350

View a map showing this route.

Additional research and/or photo credits: Matt Salek; me

Approx. time period East terminus West terminus
1926-1995 La Junta, CO Trinidad, CO
1995-present La Junta, CO (near Trinidad, CO)

US 350 was an original 1926 route. Its west end has always been at or near Trinidad CO; you can view maps and photos from there on this page.

I find it a bit remarkable that US 350 has survived all this time, considering that it's only about 80 miles long, and it's always been an intra-state highway. That's not to imply it's an unimportant route, though: its entire length parallels a segment of the Mountain Branch of the historic Santa Fe Trail. The town of La Junta is located on a southernmost bend of the Arkansas River, so it marked the spot where southeastbound travellers left the river and began following Timpas Creek upstream towards Trinidad, Raton Pass, and ultimately Santa Fe. It was for the same reason later on, when the rail lines were built, that La Junta was the site of a split in branches of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. And still later, when many of the highways across the Plains were built along the same corridors as the railroads, La Junta became the highway hub of southeastern Colorado: this is where US 350 splits off from its parent route, US 50. The exact location of this junction has changed several times over the years; you can read more about these historic endpoints here. The remainder of this page will focus on the current endpoint in La Junta, which was established in 2012... or more accurately, re-established in the same location where it ended for a brief time during the 1930s.

Heading west on US 50, there are several references to US 350:

me, May 2013

That's been around for awhile (see the historic page for an earlier version of that sign). But others were new in 2012:

me, May 2013

That's posted just before the left-turn lane to Barnes Avenue, which had carried US 350 traffic for the previous 50 years. This next one's in the median...

me, May 2013

...quickly followed by this one on the right shoulder:

me, May 2013

A left turn there puts you on Grant Avenue, which also carried US 350 traffic for a year or two during the 1930s. By contrast, eastbound US 50 has perhaps not quite enough junction signs for US 350 - this is the last one:

me, May 2013

You can see the right-turn lane on the far side of the underpass; I think there should be one more sign there. But assuming you make that right turn on Grant, you're quickly greeted with the first westbound confirming marker:

me, May 2013

At the upcoming intersection (4th Street) CDoT even installed some special street sign blades:

me, May 2013

The photo below was taken heading the opposite direction (north on Grant):

me, May 2013

That shows the final two blocks of US 350... as well as a sign, but I'm not sure who it's intended for, since US 350 comes from the left. Ahead, there is no "End 350" assembly, but its terminus at US 50 is signed thus:

me, May 2013

And so US 350's endpoint has returned to a place it no doubt remembers from the early 1930s.