100 Years in 100 Miles
Updated: May 29, 2019
Visit Three Historic Sites
- Bent's Old Fort
- Camp Amache
- Sand Creek Massacre
Stay in Three Friendly Towns
- La Junta, Colorado
- Lamar, Colorado
- Eads, Colorado
Wandering from room to room or listening to any one of the volunteers working at Bent's Old Fort describe life in the 1840s provides an authentic glimpse into the reality of that era in time. A tour at Camp Amache allows a new depth of understanding of the price paid by Japanese Americans during World War II. Walking up the hill on the sacred land at Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site while an interpretive guide tells the story of that horrendous massacre provides a perspective—unheard anywhere else—on how history was forever changed on that day. Even the small towns you'll drive through on your tour of the region remind us of those days gone by.
Get ready to travel through 100 years of history in 100 miles on this Heritage Sites trip. And along the way there are so many things to see and do.
You can extend your trip by visiting other sites along the way that are connected to the main heritage sites.Travel along the Sante Fe Trail, visit the home of Kit Carson at Boggsville, or visit some of the best museums in the state.
Day 1: Bent's Old Fort
Visit Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
Castle of the Plains: Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site features a reconstructed 1840s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail where traders, trappers, travelers, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade. Today, living historians recreate the sights, sounds, and smells of the past with guided tours, demonstrations and special events.
Check out the Special Programs/Events at Bent's Old Fort:
Frontier Skills Day – March
Trails & Rails – May 11 – September 1, 2019
Living History Encampment – June 7 & 8
Old Fashioned 4th – July 4, 2019
Kids' Quarters – July 13, 2019
Military Encampment – August 24, 2019
Hispanic Heritage Day – September 15, 2019
Native American Heritage Day – October 20, 2019
Traditional Holiday Celebration – December 6 & 7, 2019
Serving a variety of specialty coffees, teas and beverages. Made to order salads and sandwiches to eat in or carry out. Hand packed ice cream available year-round. Catering available. Located in the La Junta Business District Downtown.
Koshare Museum & Dancers
From live performances to painting parties, guided tours, food samplings, and engaging hands-on events, events at the Koshare Museum bring to life a world full of inspiration, artistic expression, and educational exploration.
The Railyard Bar & Grill
The Railyard stands proudly across the street from La Junta Railroad Station on the Junction of Highway 50 and Colorado, the busiest street in the area. The Railyard's interior showcases numerous railroad signs as well as an authentic railroad crossing signal and other rail-related memorabilia. It is sparkling clean from the cheerfully lit ceiling down to the original beautiful hard wood floors. The selection of spirits features many high-end liquors you won't find anywhere within 60 miles, and they of course carry plenty of excellent Colorado beers as well as national brands.
The Picketwire Theater
A historical community theater group formed over 50 years ago. The Picketwire Theater is a historical school renovated into a stunning theater including a large stage, comfortable auditorium seating, and an architectural stunning balcony. Visit the theater and schedule your plans around four yearly performances.
The historic Rourke Opera House was originally built in 1912 as a playhouse, later renamed Rourke Theatre it had 768 seats. It was purchased in 1939 by the Fox Intermountain Theaters Inc. chain and converted to a movie theater renamed Fox Theater with 800 seats. The movie house remained open until the mid-1980's, when it closed for renovations which included the sad, but inevitable, twinning of the theater with seating for 159 and 96.
It is now owned and operated by a private family and provides first-run movies daily.
11 East 3rd Street
La Junta, CO 81050
Hampton Inn La Junta
An 11-minute walk from the Arkansas River, this modern hotel is also a 2.6-mile drive from the Koshare Indian Museum and a 9.5-mile drive from Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site.
Day 2: Camp Amache
You know you've walked into a local gem when everyone stares at you as you enter. This place is golden! It's your typical breakfast diner with a simple menu. Choose from booths, tables or even the classic breakfast bar to sit. Plenty of street parking outside. The week day morning is filled with locals enjoying their daily gossip and a cup of joe. Staff is friendly, warm, and quick to fill up your mug.
Visit Camp Amache, Granada War Relocation Center
After a hearty breakfast get on the road and take Highway 50 to the east just over an hour to the quaint little town of Granada. The Amache Preservation Society (APS) maintains the physical site of Amache and is instrumental in its preservation. The society was established by Mr. John Hopper, a social studies teacher and now Principal of Granada High School and consists of volunteer students from that school. With the help of many other organizations, the APS has renovated the cemetery, established an Amache Museum and research center, restored key Amache landmarks, including the water tower, a guard tower, and barrack.
Go into town and check out the Granada Amache Museum maintained and operated by the Granada Preservation Society. The museum is located in downtown Granada at 105 East Goff Avenue. It is usually open five days a week in the summer. During the school year, it is open on demand Mon-Sat. Contact the Granada School at (719) 734-5492 to schedule a visit.
Shorty's Mexican Food Café has been a staple in Granada for more than 30 years. People come from the entire area to eat their authentic Mexican food.
After you take in Camp Amache and the local cuisine travel 20 minutes back to the west on Highway 50 to Lamar, Colorado.
A Round of Golf at Spreading Antlers Golf Course
Spreading Antlers located in Lamar, Colorado is Southeast Colorado's premier course that offers something for everyone. It is a 9-hole course with beautiful fairways and challenging greens. It is truly Southeast Colorado's hidden secret. Come out and play a round and we know that you'll feel the same way.
Thai Spicy Basil
Authentic Thai food restaurant with unique atmosphere. Located beside the Lamar Train Depot and Southeast Colorado Visitor Center.
Buzzard's Roost Bar & Grill
This place doesn't disappoint. Cheap drinks, an unexpectedly cool section of craft beers, and some of the best food around. Try the calzones, pizza, wings and the meatball sub. All great. John the bartender (hanging out on his night off) is one friendly dude. When you're in Lamar this is the place to be for great food, live music, and a lot of fun.
Spacious Loft located in the center of Downtown Lamar. 4 bedrooms, large living area, office, 1.5 baths, huge walk-in shower, steeping tub with jets and many other amenities await you. Shopping, restaurants & bars are all right outside the door of this hidden gem. Great for large groups, entertaining or just relaxing.
Brew Unto Others
"At Brew Unto Others our customers have come to expect a friendly smile & an awesome cup of coffee! We're here to provide a place for our customers to come and just relax; Do some work or do nothing—we don't care, we just want you to feel at home. Ask a local what their favorite is and they'll most likely tell you to try one of our homemade cinnamon rolls! Also, on the menu are Fresh Salads, Panini Sandwiches on our Homemade Bread or a delicious Chicken Wrap for lunch! Come on in & sit for a while."
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Traveling to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is an easy drive north 30 miles on Highway 287. At the junction, follow the Sand Creek Massacre signs to the east down Highway 96 to the ghost town of Chivington. Turn back north onto the dirt road at the sign at the end of town and follow the road into the park.
The Sand Creek Massacre: 8 Hours that changed the Great Plains forever. The Sand Creek Massacre: profound, symbolic, spiritual, controversial, a site unlike any other in America. As 675 cavalrymen came around a prairie bend, the camps of Chiefs Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Left Hand lay in the valley before them. Chaotic, horrific, tumultuous, and bloody, the events of November 29, 1864 changed the course of history.
After your visit find your way back to Highway 96 at Chivington and head back west for 15 minutes to Eads, Colorado.
Hometown Gas & Grill – Eads, Colorado
When you go in it is divided very well as far as the separate sections and types of service. All of the food is good, and the chicken strips are fat and juicy. They have all convenience store items on one side as well as cafe items on the far side. They have retro candy like candy cigarettes, novelty candy, chips, drinks and almost everything needed for travel in comfort. A nice collection of Keto grade snacks located in the front. Gas prices are usually a bit lower than the local average. Nice, clean bathrooms.
Jackson's Pond Wildlife Area – South of Eads
8-acre pond included in the 300-acre Kiowa Creek Natural Area at Eads. Picnic shelter, tables and public restroom. Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Channel Catfish and seasonally (spring and fall) stocked Rainbow Trout. Some Smallmouth Bass and Yellow Perch have been stocked to improve fishing opportunities. This pond is a mecca for wildlife and bird watching opportunities. Kayaks and canoes allowed on the water. Within walking distance of the Cobblestone Inn & Suites or most any spot in town.
Trading Post Restaurant – Kit Carson, Colorado
An authentic western-themed restaurant with a collection of hearty, home-style food. The restaurant is located in Kit Carson, 15 minutes north of Eads, and is an easy drive up Highway 287. The décor is rustic and rugged, but the food is plentiful and filling.
Review: "Amazing Skillet breakfast—with green chili! Best I've ever had. My husband had the 'Hungry' breakfast with two of everything: eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes! And really great service! A little hometown spot."
Crow-Luther Cultural Events Center
A historical theater in downtown Eads running current movies 3-4 times per week. Often times there are other events going on in the auditorium including Sand Creek presentations, talent shows, concerts, and music festivals. The Plains Theater will be the launching site for the Sand Creek National Historic Site tours in the near future. There is also a fun little ice cream shoppe called The Maine Scoop open Thursday – Sunday from 2 PM to 10 PM.
Cobblestone Inn & Suites
In a rest area off Highway 287, this low-key hotel backed by open countryside is 2 miles from the Kiowa County Fairgrounds and 21 miles from the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. The understated rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, plus microwaves, minifridges and coffeemakers. A hot breakfast buffet is included. Other amenities consist of a bar, a gym, a 24-hour convenience store and guest laundry facilities. Pets are welcome for a fee.