Southeast Colorado is well known for its agricultural production. It is also an area rich with history, explored by Spanish conquistadores in the 1540s, traveled by settlers via the Santa Fe Trail, and home to Kit Carson, George Bent and other legendary figures. Though much of the region is farmland, some of the towns and cities in the area include Eads, Fowler, Granada, Holly, La Junta, Lamar, Las Animas, Manzanola, Ordway, Pueblo, Rocky Ford, Springfield, Trinidad, and Walsenburg.
There are many things to do in the area, particularly if you’re interested in history. One of the most popular attractions in the region is Bent’s Old Fort, near La Junta. This re-creation of the historic Santa Fe Trail fort is a fun place to teach kids about history. There are also some very interesting museums and sites in Pueblo (such as the El Pueblo Museum and the Steelworks Museum) and Trinidad (including the Baca House, Bloom House, and Pioneer Museum.) You can also visit the sites of two of Colorado’s more shameful moments in history: Amache, a Japanese internment camp during WWII, and the Sand Creek Massacre site.
For those interested in outdoor pursuits, there are four State Parks in the region: Lake Pueblo, Lathrop, Trinidad Lake, and John Martin Reservoir. Each of these four parks centers on a large lake, great for fishing, boating, and other water sports.
For more ideas on what to do when you’re vising Southeast Colorado, see the Attractions webpage on Colorado.com, the state’s official tourism website. While you’re in the area, be sure to travel along one of the region’s byways, the Highway of Legends and the Santa Fe Trail, both rich with history.
For more information on the area, we have a number of publications in our library that might interest you, including:
- Bent’s Fort on the Arkansas
- Bent’s Old Fort
- El Pueblo History Museum: A Capsule History and Guide
- The Southeast Colorado Heritage Tourism Strategy
- Historic Resources of the Santa Fe Trail, 1821-1880
- Colorado Southern Frontier Historic Context
- Trinidad History Museum: A Capsule History and Guide
- Southeast Trails Guide
- Colorado 12: Scenic Highway of Legends
Also be sure to search our web catalog for more publications on the area. If you’re interested in geological information, search by county name. You are also welcome to contact us for additional help finding information on any place in Colorado.