Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum

Staff writer The Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum was developed by the tribe to examine the history and culture of the Southern Utes through a collection of more than 1,500 artifacts and multimedia and traditional exhibits. The 52,000-square-foot building also contains arts and crafts classrooms and community rooms. The $38 million facility opened in 2011 in Ignacio, which is on the Southern Ute Reservation 24 miles southeast of Durango…

December 15, 2011
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Mesa Verde National Park

Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park
December 15, 2011

Staff writer Mesa Verde National Park offers visitors a look at the cliff dwellings left by the Anasazi or Ancient Pueblo People who made the area their home for 700 years, from 600 to 1300, before leaving for reasons still not fully understood. The park is in Colorado’s southwestern corner, 56 miles west of Durango and 30 miles east of Cortez. Mesa Verde was created in 1906 to protect the…

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Durango history

December 15, 2011

By John Leach The Durango area was home to the Anasazi, or “ancient ones,” from the Pueblo Indian culture, who had lived in cliff dwellings in today’s Mesa Verde National Park east of Durango before they mysteriously left the area in the 1200s. The Anasazi began living in the area 1,400 years ago, eventually building their stone dwellings in canyon alcoves. The Spanish Dominguez-Escalante expedition passed through the Durango area…

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Durango

Durango
December 15, 2011

Durango is the gateway to the San Juan Mountains and Mesa Verde National Park and is noted for its ski area and the historic railroad that still operates today.

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Museum of the Mountain West

Staff writer The Museum of the Mountain West houses a collection of more than 500,000 artifacts from 1850 to 1940, as well as a handful of historic buildings that have been saved from demolition and relocated to the property. The main museum building houses rooms loaded with artifacts, including a saloon, two doctors’ offices, two dentists’ office, a grocery store, a drug store, a millinery, and a dry goods store….

November 2, 2011
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Ute Indian Museum

Ute Indian Museum in Montrose
November 2, 2011

Staff writer The Ute Indian Museum features one of the world’s most extensive collections of artifacts from the Utes, including moccasins and other clothing, headdresses and other ceremonial gear, cradleboards, flutes, water jars, and blankets. The Utes were a tribe of hunter-gatherers who roamed the Western Slope starting around 1000 A.D. but gradually gave way to white settlers in a series of treaties in the 1800s. Exhibits cover the history…

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Montrose

Montrose
November 2, 2011

By John Leach Montrose is a city of 19,132 that serves as a regional transportation center for the San Juan Mountains to the south and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and the Curecanti National Recreational Area to the east. The town was incorporated in 1882 and named after the Sir Walter Scott novel “A Legend of Montrose.” The arrival of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in…

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Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride Ski Resort
November 2, 2011

The Telluride Ski Resort offers more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain that are relatively uncrowded. The base is in Telluride at 8,725 feet, and lifts run as high as 12,570 feet, though ambitious skiers can hike two hours to the top of Palmyra Peak at 13,150 feet.

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Historic Telluride walking tour

New Sheridan Hotel in Telluride
November 2, 2011

By John Leach Most of Telluride was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1961 because of Telluride’s role as a frontier town and precious metals mining district and its “19th century western mining ‘boom town’” architecture. The district covers several residential neighborhoods, a commercial street, a warehouse area, and a bordello district. There are 305 historic buildings, including 160 single-family homes, 16 business/retail establishments, three hotels, six saloons, four…

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
November 2, 2011

Staff writer Gaze into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison on a chilly Colorado night and you’ll understand how this 53-mile-long canyon got its name. The roar of rushing water emerges and an occasional flash of moonlight on a wave crest, but the walls and bottom of the canyon are sunk in chill-inducing darkness. Even on a bright summer day, the canyon presents a dizzying course in the geology and…

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