Mesa Verde National Park. Red Rocks Park. Pikes Peak. What do these three iconic Colorado locations have in common? They are all historic gems that represent an important part of Colorado’s history. You learned all about these locations during your high school history class, but did you know about these 13 equally important hidden historic gems located in Colorado? They include:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Lowry Pueblo (Pleasant View)
Mesa Verde isn't the only Ancestral Puebloan archaeological site in Colorado. The impressive Lowry Pueblo is a 40-room, multiple kiva dwelling estimated to have been built around 1060 AD and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. Speaking of the Ancestral Puebloan...
2. Hovenweep National Monument (Montezuma County)
...a landmark we share with our neighbors to the west is Hovenweep; six groups of Ancestral Puebloan villages that were occupied between 6000 BC to approximately 200 AD. The well-kept villages became a National Monument in 1923.
3. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (Cortez)
When you visit Hovenweep National Monument, make it a point to also visit the surrounding Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, which houses another 6,000 well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archeological sites.
4. Buffalo Bill’s Grave (Golden)
Located in beautiful Golden is the museum and grave site of legendary showman Buffalo Bill Cody. Be careful when you visit his fascinating gallery and resting place: legend has it that souvenirs at the Buffalo Bill Museum fall off the shelves without any coaxing and that a man resembling Cody has been seen wandering around the gift shop.
5. NIST-F1 Cesium Fountain Clock (Boulder)
Housed inside the Boulder National Institute of Standards and Technology is that of the NIST-F1 Cesium Fountain Clock; a super accurate atomic clock that is expected to neither gain nor lose a second in the next 100 million years.
6. Ludlow Massacre Monument (Trinidad)
A dark stain on Colorado's history is when 19 men, women, and children were brutally killed by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company during a lengthy coal mine strike in 1914. Today, the site of the Ludlow Massacre is marked with this hauntingly beautiful monument.
7. Lindenmeier Site (Wellington)
Located in Larimer County, the Lindenmeier Site is said to contain the most Folsom cultures (with a radiocarbon date of 10,600 to 10,720 B.P.) ever found. In addition to the artifacts from the Paleo-Indian culture, researchers have also discovered a stunning collection of Archaic and Late pre-historic period pieces.
8. Castlewood Canyon Dam (Franktown)
All that remains from the old Castlewood Canyon Dam, which burst in 1933 and in turn flooded most of Denver, are these dismal and unmoved stones.
9. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (Florissant)
If beautifully preserved fossils of million-year-old insects and plants are your thing, the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is your place.
10. Shenandoah-Dives Mill (Silverton)
Built in 1929 to recover silver, gold, copper, zinc, and lead from the minerals mined nearby, the Mill is the only fully intact and still functional mill of its kind in the entire state.
11. Vindicator Valley Trail (Victor)
Are you ready to take a hike through history? The memorable Vindicator Valley Trail offers just that with its windy trail that passes a number of abandoned mines.
12. Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel No. 6 (Burlington)
Also known as the Elitch Gardens and/or Kit Carson County Carousel, this 1905 Philadelphia Toboggan Company masterpiece features gorgeous, hand-carved animals and original 1909 Wurlitzer 155 "Monster" military band organ.
13. Doc Holliday's Grave (Glenwood Springs)
The notorious lawman lived an intriguing life, so it only makes sense that his time posthumous would be the same; since being buried at the (now) Linwood Cemetery in Glenwood Springs, the exact whereabouts of his body have been lost and his tombstone has been changed due to errors in the original.