Colorado Nature September 02, 2018
by Annie Few People Know That Colorado Is Home To One Of The Last Remaining Short Grass Prairies In The World
Since the Kiowa and Arapahoe first came to Colorado, the shortgrass prairie has been an important part of Colorado’s landscape, home to such magnificent animals as the American bison and important crops like maize and soybeans. Sadly, these landscapes are now endangered, which makes us Coloradans all the more lucky to live in such close proximity to one of the last remaining prairies in the world:
Located in southeast Colorado is the jaw-dropping Comanche National Grassland; a 443,081-acre shortgrass prairie that has played a vital role in our state's history.
Home to countless deer, antelope, birds, and foxes...
...peaceful trails and hiking opportunities...
...and tranquil views for as far as the eye can see, Comanche is truly a Colorado gem that offers something for everyone.
In addition to the landscape itself, the Grassland boasts a rich history, dating back all the way to a time when dinosaurs walked the earth.
Picketwire Canyon has more than 100 dinosaur track-ways and 1,500 individual footprints, making it the largest dinosaur track site in America! Picketwire is located in La Junta and is open to the public.
After the dinosaurs went extinct, Comanche National Grassland continued to be an important part of Colorado life, as it was later home to ancient American Indians (as evidenced by petroglyphs on rocks and cliffs that are estimated to be 8,000+ years old), the Apishipa people (c. 1000 A.D.), and even the iconic Apache and Comanche tribes.
By the mid-1800s, the Comanche National Grassland was once again reborn, this time along the Santa Fe Trail; an important transportation route that connected Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Today, the area welcomes thousands of visitors each year and invites you to come to check it out, too!
To learn more about this endangered part of America, visit the U.S. Forest Service's
Discover even more things to do within the Comanche National Grassland in our previous article:
This One Small Colorado Town Has More Outdoor Attractions Than Any Other Place In The State.
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