There is fun for all ages in Southeast Colorado. Whether you enjoy historic sites and museums or strenuous outdoor activities, you will have a great time exploring the area attractions. Many of the sites listed here hold special events during the year, so please check the Events Calendar to make the most of your visit.
Step back in time to the Old West and plan to spend a few hours at Bentís Old Fort National Historic Site near La Junta. On the easy 1/4 mile walk from the parking lot to the gates of the fort you will be following the original Santa Fe Trail. Step through the massive doors and be transported back to the 1840s...more>>
Hundreds of species of birds, several wildlife areas and prairie as far as the eye can see, make this area a bird watcher's paradise. There are many diverse habitats in this part of the state which attract a wide variety of birds. Many of the sites listed are noted as "hot spots" and several birdwatching tour groups frequently visit this area. Migratory songbirds can easily be found in the spring and fall and several rare species are right at home on the grasslands...more>>
Pioneer life of the Old West comes alive at the Boggsville Historic Site near Las Animas. The Purgatoire river valley serves as a beautiful setting for this historic homestead site. Stand in the wagon tracks of the Santa Fe Trail and follow the paths of Kit Carson, Clay Allison, Chief Black Kettle and Wild Bill Hickock as you tour the area. The reconstructed homes of Thomas O. Boggs, John W. Prowers and Kit Carson display period furnishings and give you a sense of life in the 1860s...more>>
Over 400,000 acres of range land provide excellent opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, biking, sightseeing and bird watching. This massive expanse is home to over 40 species of mammals and 275 species of birds. Self-guided hikes may be taken every day of the year. To enhance your experience on the Grasslands, explore Vogel Canyon and Picketwire Canyon.
With three fairs and several one-day celebrations, you will enhance your trip if you visit during one of these events. Whether you want to eat some World Famous Rocky Ford watermelon at the Arkansas Valley Fair, have the best barbecue this side of the Mississippi at Crowley County Days, watch the Ranch Rodeo at the Bent County Fair, or shop at the dozens of booths at Early Settler's Day in La Junta, you will have an unforgettable time. To make the most of your visit, explore the Events Calendar for more information.
There are 4 uniquely challenging 9-hole courses in this area, and for under $20 you can play 18 holes at any of these courses. Tournaments are held during the summer and many are open to the public, so check out the Events Calendar for more information.
The Bent County Municipal Golf Course in Las Animas is open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, year-round and weather permitting. There is a pro shop on site and cart rentals are available. Located on the north edge of town off Hwy 50. Phone: 719.456.2511
The La Junta Golf Club, located north of town off Hwy 109, is open daily from 7:30 a.m. until dark. There is a pro shop and restaurant on site. Phone: 719.384.7133
The Rocky Ford Golf Course, located on Play Hill Drive at the end of Main Street, is open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the cooler months and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer. There is a pro shop on site as well as a restaurant serving American fare at affordable prices. Phone: 719.254.7528
Cottonwood Links in Fowler is a well maintained course near the river bottom on the west edge of town with a pro shop, cart rentals and refreshments onsite. Phone: 719.263.4500
Easy walks down country lanes, tramping along with the pioneers on the Santa Fe Trail, excursions into canyons to observe Native American rock art, and wildlife viewing in wetlands are some of the many opportunities for hikers and bikers in this area. For the best hiking and biking, try Vogel Canyon, Picketwire Canyon and the Red Shin Trail at John Martin Reservoir State Park.
Sportsmen will find that hunting in Southeast Colorado is just what they have been looking for. The mild year-round climate creates a pleasant 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 wonít be disappointed with the abundance of doves, quail, pheasant and rabbits. Public hunting is allowed near Lakes Henry and Meredith and also in the John Martin Reservoir area. Check with the Colorado Division Wildlife for season dates and licensing information
If you love history, then there is a lot to love in this area! Six museums, with collections ranging from Native American artifacts to train memorabilia and a little of everything in between. Native Americans have called the Colorado Plains home for thousands of years. Western Pioneers visited and settled Southeast Colorado, including the Bent Brothers on the Santa Fe Trail, Kit Carson, Clay Allison, Bat Masterson, Wild Bill Hickock, and many other famous and notorious Western characters. The Burlington Northern, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, and Kansas Pacific Railroads have played major roles in this area...more>>
For an unforgettable experience, explore Picketwire (Purgatoire) Canyonlands on the Comanche National Grasslands south of La Junta. These primitive canyons are home to the largest known set of dinosaur tracks in North America, Native American rock art, early Hispanic settlements and a historic ranch. A variety of wildlife inhabits the area, including deer.. more>>
Sk8-Way Park, a Tony Hawk design skate and BMX park, is a 15,000 square foot concrete monster for skateboarders, roller-bladers and BMX bike enthusiasts. Rails, jumps, 9 foot bowls and an awesome street section bring hot-doggers from all over the valley for some friendly competition. Located at the south end of La Junta City Park, Sk8-Way is open from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. and admission is free...more>>
The towns of Fowler, Ordway, La Junta and Rocky Ford each have special celebrations with parades, food and craft booths, dances and much more. Each event offers a variety of entertainment and fun for the whole family. Be sure to check the calendar from late spring to early fall for information on racing at the La Junta Raceway. From March through October you can enjoy free or low cost races featuring motorcycle, Porche Club, Miata Club and many more groups. For more information please see the Events Calendar.
Cool off and enjoy the summer sun at any of the public pools in the area. Spend the morning taking in a local attraction and refresh yourself in the afternoon at Fowler, Las Animas, Rocky Ford or La Junta.
Movies are always more enjoyable on the big screen and you can catch the latest blockbusters in Rocky Ford at the Grand Theater at 405 South Main and in La Junta at the Fox Theater at 11 East 3rd Street. The Grand Theater shows movies only on the weekends and the Fox Theater shows them nightly. For more information, please call the Grand Theater at 719.254.6006 or the Fox Theater at 719.384.2263.
Visit La Junta when the Picketwire Theater players are performing and you are sure to have a great time. Local thespians bring large plays to the small stage several times during the year. Stop by the box office at 802 San Juan Ave. and get your tickets to join in the fun. Phone 719.384.8320 for show times and advance ticket purchases or visit picketwireplayers.org.
Vogel Canyon is a beautiful sandstone canyon spattered with pinon pine and shortgrass prairie. It was carved out by a tributary of the Purgatoire River and has three permanent springs located at the bottom of the canyon. This area offers some of the best hiking near La Junta with four short trails of easy to moderate difficulty. The sandstone walls of the canyon feature Native American rock art dating from the 1200s to the 1700s...more >>
There are several large lakes and numerous small lakes in the area that are a water lovers paradise. If fun in the sun is what you are after, then bring your boat or jet ski and your gear and spend a few days. 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 to your hearts content. Crowding is not an issue so feel free to spread out and relax.
Nature lovers will delight in the variety of wildlife in southeastern Colorado. Mammals such as Antelope, deer, fox, coyote, prairie dogs, raccoons, and badgers are plentiful. The canyons in the southern section are home to mountain lions and bighorn sheep. Lizards, snakes, tarantulas, as well as other reptiles and amphibians are also bountiful. For the bird watchers, there are over 300 species of birds frequenting the area. For some great viewing, try Vogel Canyon, Picketwire Canyon, John Martin Reservoir State Park and the lakes around Ordway. Your camera and binoculars will thank you for bringing them along!