Hosted By

Santa Fe Trail Association

Bent’s Old Fort NHS

Otero Junior College

City of La Junta

Koshare Indian Museum

The 2021 Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial Symposium

Bent’s Fort Chapter Event

La Junta, Colorado

September 23-26, 2021

The Santa Fe Trail Lives On:

200 Years of Commerce & Cultural Connections

Area Historical Attractions   Other Events Along the Trail Sponsors  Schedule  Speakers
Bents Fort Chapter Home
As you are arriving or departing from the La Junta area, there are numerous historical attractions within easy driving distance. Several of these sites will be visited by Symposium Tours, but if you are unable to participate in a tour you may wish to visit these sites on your own.

Camp Amache- A WWII Relocation Camp for Japanese American civilians.  When constructed the camp was enclosed in barb wire with watch towers armed with machine guns. At it’s peak  more than 7,000 citizens were interned here.  Located about 1 mile east of Granada and south of US 50.

Sand Creek Massacre NHS-On November 29, 1864, 675 members of the 1st and 3rd Regiments of the Colorado (U.S.) Volunteers under the command of the Col. John Chivington attacked a peaceful encampment of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians along Big Sandy Creek, killing more than 200.  Located 8 miles north of the town of Chivington.  

The Purgatoire River Dinosaur Track Site is one of the largest dinosaur tracksites in North America. It is located on public land of the Comanche National Grassland, along the Purgatoire (“Picketwire”) River south of La Junta. Since 2001, the area has also yielded discoveries of dinosaur bones. The tracksite is far from paved roads, but accessible to the public by hiking on foot, by mountain bike, or by horseback.

Otero Museum-The museum's primary historical coverage ranges from approximately 1875 through the end of World War II. The museum has exhibits illustrating transportation, military, postal, agricultural, business, schools, and many other aspects of life from pioneer times through the entrance of the nation onto the world stage. The museum is located on 3rd and Anderson in La Junta.  

Boggsville-This historic homestead site was founded in 1862 by Thomas Boggs, and was the first non-military Anglo-American settlement in the area.  Located about 2 miles south of Las Animas off of Hwy 101.  Limited camping and RV sites.  

Koshare  Indian Museum, Kiva and Trading Post- Houses a world-class collection of ancient and contemporary Native American art and artifacts including baskets, pottery, weapons, jewelry, sculpture, textiles and clothing. The Museum Gift Shop features works by modern artists. Located on the north side of the  Otero Jr. College in La Junta.

Santa Fe Trail Site-Iron Springs Historic Area-Water was an important resource and commodity along the Santa Fe Trail. Because of this, the Iron Springs area was a crucial water stop for travelers along the route. The Iron Springs area was also used as a stagecoach stop. Visitors can still see trail ruts in some areas, just west of the parking lot. Iron Spring is 11 miles west of Timpas, Colorado, on US-350, then one mile south on a gravel road.

El Pueblo History Museum-Showcases the city's history and the region's many cultural and ethnic groups. The Museum includes a re-created 1840s adobe trading post and plaza, and the archaeological excavation site of the original 1842 El Pueblo trading post.  Located in central Pueblo.

Bent’s New Fort- After abandoning his old fort near present day La Junta in 1849, William Bent moved east and built a new trading post on a bluff overlooking the Arkansas River in 1853. This was later occupied by the Army in 1860. To reach the site, take U.S. 50 to County Road 35, approximately 10 miles west of Lamar or 25 miles east of Las Animas. Turn south on County Road 35 for one mile to County Road JJ (dead end). Turn east (left) and drive ¼ mile, turning south (right) onto County Road 35.25 for ¼ mile to the Bent's New Fort parking area.

Area Historical Attractions