Things to Do

Southeast Colorado Attractions

Explore Southeast Colorado! If you’re looking to get away from it all and spend a few days exploring wide open spaces then Southeast Colorado is your destination. With excellent lakes for fishing and water sports, great restaurants, antique stores, historic sites, miles of unspoiled hiking, hundreds of bird species and a variety of wildlife, Southeast Colorado offers a unique getaway opportunity.

Communities in this area, include La Junta, Rocky Ford, Fowler, Lamar, and Ordway who hold events throughout the year with carnivals, rodeos, games and cultural celebrations, so be sure to investigate this website to help you plan your visit.

If you enjoy scenic drives, and nature watching, you will be delighted with the unspoiled views and miles of prairie, hill and canyon country. If a faster pace is more your style you won’t be disappointed. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy thousands of acre feet of water for boating, fishing and water skiing. There are several excellent golf courses and miles of hiking and biking trails. If you enjoy the old west, historic sites and museums, there are many locations for you to visit as you travel through Southeast Colorado.

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Southeast Colorado is home Hundreds of species of birds, several wildlife areas and prairie as far as you can see make this area a bird watcher's paradise.

You can view more than 400 of 625 regularly breeding North American bird species in Southeastern Colorado. Many of these sites are listed as "hot spots" and several tour groups frequently visit this area. Migratory songbirds can easily be found in the spring and fall and several rare species call the grasslands home.

The Comanche National Grasslands near La Junta is a perfect birding paradise. The area is home to over 200 species, including the Curve-billed Thrasher, Cassin's Kingbird, Black-throated Sparrows, Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Golden Eagles and the Canyon Wren to name a few. For easy access to the grasslands enter through Vogel Canyon.

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site near La Junta has recorded over 135 species of birds. Lake Henry and Lake Meredith, near Ordway, are popular for Grebes, Waders, migratory songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl and Gulls. John Martin Reservoir and State Park and Lake Hasty near Las Animas are two more great places for birding. Warblers, Buntings, Grosbeaks and Vireos are just a few of the 373 species that have been spotted there.

Bent's Bird Sanctuary, located behind the Bent's Fort Inn near Las Animas is an ideal setting for birding. There are five trails and feeding stations, taking you along the waterways and under the shade trees.

The sanctuary is open to the public and bird feed is available for purchase at the front desk of the hotel.

Other great viewing areas include Ryan's Ponds, two miles east of Rocky Ford on Highway 266, Cheraw Lake, just south of the town of Cheraw, Holbrook Reservoir, five miles north of Swink, and anywhere along the Arkansas River.

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Boating and Fishing

There are several large lakes and numerous small lakes in Southeast Colorado that will make you want to "stay and play". If you love the sun then bring your boat or jet ski and your gear and spend time on one out our many lakes. There are many no-fee lakes and reservoirs like Meredith and Henry near Ordway and nominal fee recreation areas like John Martin Reservoir and Lake Hasty near Las Animas where you can drop your line or ski and enjoy what Southeast Colorado has to offer. Crowding is not an issue so feel free to have fun camping, boating, fishing or whatever you outdoor activity is.

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Hunting in Southeast Colorado is as good as it gets. The climate creates a perfect environment for every hunting season. The area lakes are stops on the migration paths of waterfowl, and antelope and deer inhabit the area. Small game hunters won’t be can find their mark with the abundance of doves, quail, pheasant and rabbits. Public hunting is allowed near Lakes Henry and Meredith. Check with the Colorado Division Wildlife for season dates and licensing information.

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Explore Picketwire (Purgatoire) Canyonlands on the Comanche National Grasslands south of La Junta. These primitive canyons contain the largest known set of dinosaur tracks in North America, Native American rock art, early Hispanic settlements and and more. A variety of wildlife inhabits the area, including deer, antelope, coyote, snakes, lizards and birds.

150 millions years ago, this area was part of a large, shallow lake and was teaming with Brontosaurs and Allosaurs. As these massive beasts walked along the muddy edge of this lake they left their footprints in the mud, which were eventually buried and turned to stone. Today, over 1,300 of these footprints, extending on a 1/4 mile plain, are exposed at the Picketwire Canyonlands dinosaur track site. Forty percent of the tracks were left by the Brontosaurs, a massive, four-footed plant eater. Parallel trackways indicate that several Explore younger Brontosaurus were traveling in a group heading west along the shoreline, which is the first evidence of social behavior among younger brontosaurs from the Morrison Formation. The remaining sixty percent of the tracks were left by the Allosaurus, a two footed, ferocious, meat eating scavenger who might have hunted in packs and left three toed footprints behind.

Native American Rock Art presents itself in Picketwire Canyon. Very little is known of the prehistoric Native Americans of this area, but archaeologists suspect they were nomadic hunter-gatherers whose visits were short as they followed migrating game. Some of the rock art in this area may be 375 to 4500 years old.

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Much More

Besides birding, boating, camping, fishing, and hunting there are many more activities that await you in Southeast Colorado.

There are many local special events like rodeos and fairs that happen every year, historic sites, tons of hiking trails, Commanche National Grasslands, Golf Courses, Movie Theatres, Museums, lots of places to eat and stay, and more.

Please feel free to browse through our website and discover Southeast Colorado!