Native American History

Baca County Library & Museum

A portion of the library and museum building is dedicated to exhibits of historical and Native American artifacts, local photographs, and objects of curiosity. Information on Baca County, local genealogical records, and early newspapers are readily available. Curiosities include a two-headed calf, a dwarf calf, and mammoth bones.






1260 Main Street Springfield, CO 81073
(719) 523-6962
www.springfieldcolorado.com/museum

Hours of Operation
Open Monday through Friday 10am to 4:30pm. Closed for lunch from 11:30am – 12:30.

Directions
The library/museum is located in the Baca County Resource Center, directly on US Hwy 287 (Main Street) in Springfield just north of 13th Street.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms

Entrance Fees
No admission fee. Donations accepted





Bent's Old Fort


Explore the history of Rocky Ford and life in the Arkansas Valley at the Rocky Ford Historical Museum. Housed in a Carnegie Public Library built in 1908, the collection includes objects documenting the Arkansas Valley Fair, Watermelon Day, the sugar industry and the everyday life of the people of the Arkansas Valley. Exhibits also focus on the geology, anthropology, and archaeology of the region. Highlights include an early Watermelon Day porcelain set from the Swink family, animals molded from beeswax, woolly mammoth skull, early fire truck and firefighting equipment, and memorabilia from prominent local families.

35110 Highway 194 East
La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 383-5010

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Hours of Operation
Open 9 am to 4 pm from September through May. Open 8 am to 5:30 pm from June through August. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.

Directions
Located on Colorado Highway 194, 8 miles east of La Junta or 15 miles west of Las Animas, Colorado. From La Junta (US Highway 50), take Highway 109 north for 1 mile to Highway 194. Travel east six miles to the fort. From Las Animas (US Highway 50), travel west on Highway 194 for thirteen miles.

Visitor Services
Parking
Picnic Area
Gift Shop
Visitor Information
ADA Compliant

Designations
National Historic Landmark
National Register Individual Listing

Travel Tips
Fort is accessed via a 1/4 mile paved path from the visitor parking lot. Shuttle service is available for those unable to make the walk. First level of the fort is accessible. Second level is not. Guided tours are offered each day or a self-guiding booklet is available any time. Twenty minute orientation film is shown at the fort. Spanish language brochure is available.

Entrance Fees
13 years and older: $3.00 6 – 12 years: $2.00 5 years and under: Free Interagency Annual, Senior and Access passholders are admitted free.





Kiowa County Historical Museum

Kiowa County Museum offers opportunity to muse over the prehistory and settlement of early Kiowa County and the High Plains. The area’s past from Indians, Ranches, Homesteaders, Farmers, Businesses; how people lived, worked, played and interacted with depression, tragedy, poverty and failure as well as success and happiness is displayed. Memoirs of world events such as wars, railroads and inventions are seen from a local view.




1313 Maine Street
Eads, CO 81036
(719) 438-5847


Hours of Operation
Summer hours(Memorial Day through September): 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Special appointments can be made after regular hours or during winter months.

Directions
Travel U.S. 287 or Colorado 96 to Eads. Turn north onto Main Street, over the railroad crossing. The museum in on the right side between 13th and 14th Streets.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Picnic Area

Travel Tips
Check road conditions during winter months prior to traveling.

Entrance Fees

No admittance fee.




Koshare Indian Museum

Modeled after the Great Kiva at Aztec, New Mexico, the Koshare Indian Museum is one of Colorado’s great repositories of Southwest art and Native American artifacts. Antiquities, pottery and textiles represent the great prehistoric cultures of the Southwest from Cheyenne and Comanche to Ancient Pueblo and Hohokam to modern Pueblo and Navajo. Art works by the Taos Society of artists, Frederick Remington and Honduran sculptor and painter Ernesto Zepeda are also featured. The museum is home to the popular Koshare Dancers, and besides the galleries and displays, features a unique gift shop with limited edition prints and Pueblo pottery
115 W. 18th Street
La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-4411
http:///www.koshare.org

Hours of Operation
Summer Hours (June thru August): Open 7 days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM. During show dates (Koshare Indian Dancer performances), open until 9 PM. Fall Hours (September thru November): Open Noon to 5:00 PM five days a week. Closed Tuesday and Thursday. December: Open 7 days a week, Noon to 5:00 PM Winter (January – May): Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 5 PM.

Directions
From Denver & Colorado Springs: Take I-25 SOUTH until you get to Pueblo. About three miles into Pueblo, take the Hwy 50 EAST exit (Exit 100A). Follow Hwy 50 East for 60 miles until you get to La Junta. You will travel through the towns of Fowler, Manzanola, Rocky Ford, and Swink. Once you get to La Junta, turn right at Colorado Ave (third stoplight). Follow Colorado up to 18th Street. Take a right on 18th street, the Koshare Kiva is located on the campus of Otero Junior College (OJC). Coming East from Kansas: Take Hwy 50 West. In Lamar, CO, you will need to turn right in order to stay on Hwy 50 West. Stay on Hwy 50 West until you get to La Junta (about 60 miles from Lamar). In La Junta, Turn Left at Colorado Ave. (First traffic light). Follow Colorado up to 18th street. Take a right on 18th street, the Koshare Kiva is located on the campus of Otero Junior College (OJC).

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Visitor Information
Gift Shop
ADA Accessibility

Designations
State Register of Historic Places

Entrance Fees
Museum Admission: $5 for Adults and $3 for students and senior citizens Show Prices: $10 for Adults and $5 for students (3 years and up) NO DISCOUNTS for Seniors





Picture Canyon

Picture Canyon is a premiere heritage site that is not only renown for its unique petroglyphs but also for the abundant wildlife and birds that flock to the region every spring and fall. Picture Canyon is a part of the Comanche National Grasslands in the Carizzo Unit. Located 15 miles southwest of Campo the canyon borders the Oklahoma state line. Inside the canyon are over 12 miles of hiking trails, restroom and picnic facilities and the opportunity to ride, bike, or hike. Highlights inside the Picture and North Canyon areas are Ogam-like petroglyphs, homesteads, Crack Cave equinox site, Arch Rock, as well as several springs and seeps. Tours to Picture Canyon are offered by Heritage Journey Tours and include guiding to and around the site, area history and heritage, and interpretation at the site.
Forrest Service Road
Campo, CO 81029
(719) 643-5414
More Info

Hours of Operation
Year round.

Directions
From Springfield go south on Hwy 287 to County Rd M (about 18 miles). Go west on County Rd M for 8 miles to County Rd 18. Go south on County Rd 18 for 9 miles. Turn off at the Picture Canyon sign and go 2 miles to the campground area.


Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Visitor Information
Picnic Area
Pet Area

Entrance Fees
Free





Vogel and Picket Wire Canyons

You can hike, bike or ride a horse to view the largest dinosaur track site in North America. On the trail to Picket Wire Canyon, pass walls resplendent with rock art and explore the Dolores Mission, the Old Rourke Ranch and remote cemeteries. Just off Hwy 109, on your way to Picket Wire Canyon, is the turn off for easier hiking at Vogel Canyon where you can follow the trails to a historic stage coach station near the Purgatoire River. In Vogel you can hike any one of the gentle two-mile loops and find abundant rock art.
National Forest Service Office
1420 E 3rd Street
La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-2181

http://www.fs.usda.gov

Hours of Operation
Open year round daily.

Directions
From La Junta, Colorado drive south on Highway 109 for 13 miles; turn right (west) on County Road 802 (David Canyon Road). For Vogel Canyon continue on CR 802 for 1.5 miles. Turn left (south) on Forest Service Road 505A for 1.5 miles to the Vogel Canyon parking lot. For Picket Wire go 8 miles on CR 802. Turn left (south) on County Road 25 and travel for 6 miles. Turn left at Picket Wire Corrals onto Forest Service Road 500A. Travel along Forest Service Road 500A for 3 miles, following the signs to Withers Canyon Trailhead. Park at Withers Canyon Trailhead parking loop.

Visitor Services
Parking
Picnic Area
Pet Area

Designations
National Register District
State Register of Historic Places

Travel Tips
Most visitors prefer to visit the area in the spring when wild flowers are blooming and late August, September, and October when temperatures in the area tend to be more moderate. The auto tour is the only motorized access into the canyons. Other ways to visit include hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. Because of the rugged terrain and long distances to various sites, visitors need to plan carefully for hot weather conditions by carrying ample water and leaving very early

Entrance Fees
None for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding. Tours of Picket Wire Canyon are offered through the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program of the USDA Forest Service. They cost $15 per adult and $7.50 per child. Due to rough roads, visitors will need their own four-wheel drive high clearance vehicle.





Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Drive 20 miles northeast of Eads to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. Here National Park Service guides will direct you to an overlook where you can view the place where 675 U.S. volunteers, led by Colonel John Chivington, launched a dawn attack on a village of Cheyennes and Arapahos who were camped under the protection of the American Flag. Over 160 Indian men, women and children were killed. Listen to one of the three 45-minute presentations given each day at the overlook (a 12 minute walk from the parking lot), or simply ask questions of the NPS guides.




55411 County Road W
Chivington, CO 81036
(719) 438-5916
National Park Service-Sand Creek Massacre
SandCreek.com

Hours of Operation
Open daily April 1 to December 1 from 9am to 4pm.

Directions
The Sand Creek Massacre NHS is located approximately 25 miles northeast of Eads, CO. Follow Colorado State Highway 96 to it’s junction with either County Roads 54 or 59. Follow County Road 54 or 59 to their intersection with County Road W. The entrance is along County Road W one mile east of 54 or several miles west of 59. Both County Roads 54 and 59 have signs to the site.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Visitor Information
Picnic Area

Designations
National Historic Landmark
National Register Individual Listing

Travel Tips
The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is located in an isolated area. When visiting, please bring water and appropriate outdoor clothing. Please stay on the walking trail at all times. Pets must be on a leash. There is no camping at the national historic site, but camping is available nearby.

Entrance Fees
Free




Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Follow the mountain route of the Santa Fe Trail, America’s first great trans-Mississippi route from Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was an important route for commerce and cultural exchanges between 1821-1880. The longest segment of the Santa Fe Trail on public land in the state of Colorado occurs on the Comanche National Grassland. Three interpretive sites allow visitors to walk along the historic trail, view trail ruts and experience the changing horizon from the plains to mountains. This transition marked a major milestone on travelers journeys.









Approximately 15 miles south of La Junta, Otero and Las Animas Counties
218 Anderson
1420 East Third St
La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-2181 More Info

Hours of Operation
The Timpas Unit office is open Monday through Friday from 8am-12pm and 1pm-4:30pm. All sites open daily throughout the year.

Directions
Timpas Unit office located at 1420 East Third St, La Junta, CO 81050. Information on all sites with maps are located in La Junta, CO. From La Junta, Colorado drive southwest on Highway 350 for 13 miles. Turn right (north) at Highway 71 for 1/2 mile, then turn left (west) to the parking lot.

Visitor Services
Parking
Restrooms
Gift Shop
Visitor Information
Picnic Area
Pet Area
Designations
National Register Individual Listing
State Register of Historic Places

Travel Tips

Most visitors prefer to visit the area in the spring when wild flowers are blooming and late August, September, and October when temperatures in the area tend to be more moderate. Therefore, anytime before September and October would be probably be the best. Santa Fe National Historic Trail: Timpas Picnic Area – ADA compliant vault toilet, picnic shelter and nature trail; Sierra Vista: ADA compliant trail to overlook site; Iron Springs: Not ADA.

Entrance Fees

No admittance fee, but donations are always welcome.




Red Shin Hiking Trail

The Red Shin Hiking Trail begins at the stilling basin below the dam and winds through the park to the Santa Fe Historic Site on the North shore of the reservoir. The trail is approximately 4.5 miles and provides excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing!

​The Legend of Red Shin
According to local legend, a Cheyenne warrior named Red Shin once lived in the Arkansas Valley sometime around 1833. Compelled by a quarrel with another warrior over an Indian maiden, Red Shin armed himself with two flintlock muskets, a tomahawk, bow and arrows, and butcher knives. He then took refuge atop a tall rock formation located to the north of present-day Lake Hasty Campground. Other warriors joined thedispute and quickly attacked Red Shin from the valley below. Shooting arrows at his attackers with great accuracy, Red Shin convinced the attacking warriors to give up their futile assault or their lives would soon be lost. Ever since, the Dakota Sandstone formation has been called Red Shin Standing Ground.

John Martin Reservoir State Park
30703 County Road 24
Hasty, CO 81044
(719) 829-1801
More Info