Step back in time and visit those who came before in Pagosa Country.
Pagosa Springs History Museum
You are invited to explore unique displays depicting the history of the Pagosa Springs area. The displays depict life in the area from the 1890s to the early 1900s. Step back in time and visit a dentist’s office, a barber shop, a general store and a country schoolroom. The museum is proud to present portions of Fred Harmon's famous "Red Ryder and Lil Beaver" art collection. Other displays include a blacksmith shop, a typical early 1900 kitchen, and logging and ranching equipment. Local quiltmakers are also featured, as well as much more. There is something to interest everyone!
The museum open in Summer, generally May through September.
Out of Town
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Pueblo people describe this site as part of their migration journey. Today you can follow their ancient passageways to a distant time. Explore a 900-year old ancestral Pueblo Great House of over 400 masonry rooms. Look up and see original timbers holding up the roof. Search for the fingerprints of ancient workers in the mortar. Listen for an echo of ritual drums in the reconstructed Great Kiva.
Cortez Cultural Center
Cortez Cultural Center is “home to the creative spirit, cultural heritage, and natural wonder of the Four Corners.” A gallery featuring local artists is on the main floor. Native American dance performances are held nightly throughout the summer, and are free and open to the public. The Center also hosts evening art classes throughout the year, and a local lecture series on topics central to the Center’s mission.
The Cortez Cultural Center is the steward of Hawkins Preserve, one of Cortez, Colorado’s outdoor hidden gems that is free and open to the public from sun-up to sun-down, year-round.
Chimney Rock National Monument
This undiscovered gem is an intimate, off-the-beaten-path archaeological site located at the southern edge of the San Juan Mountains in Southwestern Colorado. You’ll walk in the footsteps of the fascinating and enigmatic Ancestral Puebloans of the Chaco Canyon, following primitive pathways that haven’t changed for 1,000 years. Archaeological structures and artifacts, abundant wildlife, and its setting in the breathtaking San Juan National Forest make Chimney Rock a must-see.
Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum
The Southern Ute Museum strives to ensure the survival of Southern Ute people through meaningful education, cultural, historic, and current event exhibits, and to provide a unique museum experience for indigenous and non-indigenous visitors.
Experience the unique history of the Ute people through their eyes defining stages of Ute History. Also take part in a guided tour gaining unique insights into the exhibits and enjoy presentations provided by Southern Ute tribal member tour guides.
Salmon Ruins brings the ancient world into a modern perspective, where visitors have a unique opportunity to walk through an excavated archaeological site, see some of the artifacts on display, visit a surviving New Mexico frontier homestead, and explore full-scale reconstructions of the habitations used by Native Americans in New Mexico going back to the end of the Ice Age. All of these experiences are in one location, accessed from US Highway 64, just 2 miles west of Bloomfield, New Mexico, approx. 2 hours from Pagosa Springs.
Mesa Verde National Park
This National Park provides a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. With over 4000 archeological sites, Mesa Verde is a wonderful cultural site, located a beautiful 2-hour drive away.
Tour of the Ancients
Take a Tour of the Ancients — from cliff dwellings suspended from red rock canyon walls to 1,000 year old Great Houses perched upon high mesa tops 7,000 feet above sea level- the four corners of the southwest is rich with cultural heritage. Discover the sacred land of the ancient Puebloan civilization in some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes. Explore petroglyphs, rock wall art, ancient homes, great kivas, ceremonial buildings and much more. Each site on the tour has something spectacular to offer as you walk their primitive pathways back in time.