Top 10 Things To Do In Bent County, Colorado

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Nestled in the heart of southeastern Colorado, Bent County may be small in size, but it's abundant in charm and history. From fascinating historical sites to breathtaking natural landscapes, this hidden gem offers a wealth of attractions for visitors to explore. Whether you're a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique adventure, here are the top 10 tourist attractions in Bent County that promise an unforgettable experience.

  1. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site: Step back in time at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, a meticulously reconstructed trading post that once served as a vital hub along the Santa Fe Trail. Located near La Junta, this historic site offers guided tours, living history demonstrations, and interactive exhibits that transport visitors to the early 19th century. Explore the fort's adobe walls, meet costumed interpreters, and learn about the diverse cultures that converged at this bustling frontier outpost.

  2. John Martin Reservoir State Park: Escape to nature at John Martin Reservoir State Park, a sprawling outdoor playground that offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors of all ages. Boasting over 3,000 acres of water and shoreline, this scenic park is perfect for boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing. With stunning views of the reservoir and the surrounding plains, John Martin Reservoir State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

  3. Koshare Indian Museum: Discover the rich cultural heritage of the Native American tribes of the Southwest at the Koshare Indian Museum in La Junta. This unique museum features an impressive collection of Native American artifacts, artwork, and ceremonial items, as well as exhibits on Puebloan culture and history. Visitors can explore the museum's fascinating exhibits, attend cultural events, and learn about the traditions and customs of indigenous peoples.

  4. Vogel Canyon: Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of Vogel Canyon, a hidden gem located within the Comanche National Grassland. This scenic canyon offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and photography amidst dramatic sandstone cliffs and rolling prairies. Visitors can explore the canyon's tranquil trails, discover ancient petroglyphs, and soak in the natural beauty of Colorado's southeastern plains.

  5. Picketwire Canyonlands: Embark on a journey through time at the Picketwire Canyonlands, home to one of the largest collections of dinosaur tracks in North America. Located within the Comanche National Grassland, this archaeological treasure offers guided tours to explore ancient dinosaur tracks, historic homesteads, and Native American rock art sites. Visitors can hike, bike, or ride horseback through this scenic landscape and witness the remnants of prehistoric life.

  6. Bent County Historical Society Museum: Delve into the history and heritage of Bent County at the Bent County Historical Society Museum in Las Animas. Housed in a historic building dating back to 1886, this museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that document the region's colorful past. Visitors can learn about Bent County's pioneer days, railroad history, and cultural heritage through interactive displays and educational programs.

  7. Lake Cheraw State Wildlife Area: Escape to the tranquil shores of Lake Cheraw State Wildlife Area, a scenic oasis located just outside of La Junta. This picturesque lake offers opportunities for fishing, boating, picnicking, and wildlife viewing amidst peaceful natural surroundings. Visitors can cast a line for bass, catfish, and trout, or simply relax and enjoy the serenity of this hidden gem.

  8. Camp Amache: Explore a poignant chapter in American history at Camp Amache, a World War II Japanese American internment camp located near Granada. This historic site offers guided tours and interpretive exhibits that tell the story of the thousands of Japanese Americans who were forcibly relocated and incarcerated during the war. Visitors can learn about the camp's residents, daily life in the internment camp, and efforts to preserve this important piece of history.

  9. Melon Vine Food Market: Indulge in the flavors of the region at the Melon Vine Food Market in Rocky Ford. Known as the "Melon Capital of the World," Rocky Ford is famous for its sweet and juicy cantaloupes and watermelons. Visitors can sample a variety of locally grown produce, homemade jams and jellies, and other delicious treats at this charming market.

  10. Rocky Ford Museum: Discover the agricultural heritage of Rocky Ford at the Rocky Ford Museum. Housed in a historic building dating back to 1913, this museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that celebrate the town's farming legacy. Visitors can learn about the history of melon farming, irrigation technology, and the impact of agriculture on the local economy.

From historic forts to scenic canyons, Bent County offers a wealth of attractions that showcase the beauty, history, and culture of southeastern Colorado. Whether you're exploring ancient dinosaur tracks, learning about the region's pioneer days, or savoring locally grown produce, the top 10 tourist attractions in Bent County promise an unforgettable journey through this hidden gem of Colorado. Plan your visit today and discover the magic of Bent County.

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