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Six Great Museums on the Western Slope | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog

Six Great Museums on the Western Slope | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog



Experience History First-Hand at These Western Colorado Museums

One of the things we love about Western Colorado is the number of ways to experience the history here. We’ve shared some great historical spots on the Western Slope —a short list only scratched the surface. So, we compiled six more fascinating museums and other historical areas in the region that we encourage you to visit.

1. Glenwood Springs Historical Society

Glenwood Springs is home to natural wonders like hot springs, towering mountains, caves, and valleys carved by rivers. Each setting holds a distinct story from the distant past. From tales of the indigenous Ute tribe to the settling of the Wild West, this museum has it all.

2. Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum

This museum occupies one of the oldest buildings in Crested Butte. Starting out as a blacksmith shop in 1883, it later became known as the Crested Butte Hardware Store, aka Tony’s Conoco. It has served as a local gathering spot for decades.

Today, visitors can learn about the local culture of Crested Butte, as well as the history of skiing, coal mining, and mountain biking through its exhibits.

3. The Gunnison Pioneer Museum

This museum aims to preserve the history of Gunnison County’s pioneers.

The 14-acre property in Gunnison has an impressive number of attractions and exhibits, like the town’s old post office, railroad depot, school, pole barn, and more. It’s an ideal place to explore the past and get a taste for what life used to be like for Gunnison County’s early settlers.

4. Montrose County Historical Museum

Like many small towns along the Western Slope, Montrose has a strong history of pioneering and railroads. This museum displays and preserves the historic and cultural legacy of Montrose.

The museum is housed in the original 1912 Denver and Rio Grande Depot in downtown Montrose. In the late 1800s, the narrow gauge railroad passed through the depot, making it a great spot to learn about this period in history.

5. The Museums of Western Colorado

This multidisciplinary museum is home to three separate sites in the Grand Valley:

  • Cross Orchards Historic Site is located in Grand Junction and spans 12 acres. It includes historic buildings, railroad cars and vintage equipment, and agricultural artifacts.
  • Dinosaur Journey Museum is a hands-on museum located in Fruita. Visitors can see actual fossils, skeleton casts, and animatronic dinosaurs.
  • Museum of the West is located in Grand Junction’s downtown area. Experience the real Wild West by “flying” a 1958 Cessna, learning about Ute and Fremont Rock Art, taking a seat in a tiny one-room schoolhouse, and more.

6. Anasazi Heritage Center

The Anasazi Heritage Center is located in the far southwestern corner of Colorado in Dolores. The museum itself is located in the visitor center of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and is well worth the visit if you are in the area.

This comprehensive archaeological museum celebrates the Native American pueblo and hunter-gatherer cultures. You can learn about two 12th-century archaeological sites, different groups of native peoples who call these lands home, and much more.