Westward Expansion
Things to See & Do in Colorado
Colorado Railroad Museum
The Colorado Railroad Museum is recognized as one of the best privately supported rail museums in the United States. This "can't miss" site for railfans features over 70 historic narrow and standard gauge locomotives and cars exhibited on 15 acres at the foot of North Table Mountain, near Golden, Colorado.
McAllister House Museum
Tour one of the oldest homes in Colorado Springs with knowledgeable guides and staff who recreate the atmosphere of the early history of the family and city, making the house and its occupants live again. Restored to its original Victorian elegance by the National Society of Colonial Dames.
Museum of Northwest Colorado
Take a look at Colorado's frontier history at the Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig. Also houses the Cowboy and Gunfighter Museum.
University of Denver Museum of Anthropology
Explore the DU Museum of Anthropology, located on the campus of the University of Denver. The Museum houses 165,000 archaeological and ethnographic objects and site collections and records from over 1,800 Colorado archaeological sites and from hundreds of other sites in twelve western states.
Santa Fe National Historic Trail
Between 1821 and 1880, the Santa Fe Trail was primarily a commercial highway connecting Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1821 until 1846, it was an international commercial highway used by Mexican and American traders. In 1846, the Mexican-American War began. The Army of the West followed the Santa Fe Trail to invade New Mexico. When the Treaty of Guadalupe ended the war in 1848, the Santa Fe Trail became a national road connecting the United States to the new southwest territories. Commercial freighting along the trail continued, including considerable military freight hauling to supply the southwestern forts. The trail was also used by stagecoach lines, thousands of gold seekers heading to the California and Colorado gold fields, adventurers, fur trappers, and emigrants. In 1880 the railroad reached Santa Fe and the trail faded into history.
Four Mile Historic Park
On the banks of Cherry Creek, just four miles from downtown Denver, Four Mile Historic Park is a 12 acre oasis featuring Denver’s oldest standing structure, pioneer exhibits, special events for all ages, and guided tours that transport visitors to Colorado’s frontier past. Four Mile House was once a wayside inn and stage stop.
Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum
Come learn about the life and times of William F. Cody, also known as "Buffalo Bill." Located on Lookout Mountain overlooking Golden, explore exhibits featuring Sitting Bull's bow and arrows, Buffalo Bill's show outfits, and more. Also visit the grave of Buffalo Bill.
Phoenix Gold Mine
The Phoenix mine is operated by the oldest continuous gold mining family in Colorado, Al and Dave Mosch. It is a working gold mine where miners actually do the work. Take a guided tour of the mine and then do some actual panning for gold in the stream. There is also an area to picnic. This tour has a fee associated with it. Panning is included in the cost of the tour and you may keep any gold that you find in the stream while panning.
Western Museum of Mining & Industry
Nestled along the Front Range in scenic Colorado Springs you will find the Western Museum of Mining and Industry (WMMI). Among the museum's attractions, you will find mining artifacts, a 12,000 volume research library available by appointment, a museum store and historic machinery that actually works. WMMI, is a nonprofit educational museum dedicated to preserving the West's mining heritage.
Hotel de Paris Museum
Tour an elegant restored hotel from Georgetown's affluent mining days.
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
The mission of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is to collect, preserve, research and interpret the history and culture of the Pikes Peak Region. The Museum is housed in the beautifully restored 1903 El Paso County Courthouse.
Old Spanish National Historic Trail
Santa Fe emerged as the hub of the overland continental trade network linking Mexico and United States markets—a network that included not only the Old Spanish Trail, but also the Santa Fe Trail and El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. After the United States took control of the Southwest in 1848 other routes to California emerged, and use of the Old Spanish Trail sharply declined. Because of its rich history and national significance, the Old Spanish Trail has been designated as a national historic trail.
ProRodeo Hall of Fame Museum
The Hall is located in Colorado Springs adjacent to the National Headquarters of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and is the only heritage center in the world devoted exclusively to professional rodeo. Visitors to the Hall are greeted by "The Champ," a larger-than-life bronze statue of the legendary Casey Tibbs aboard the famed saddle bronc "Necktie."
Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
The spirited history of the Pikes Peak Region comes to life at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site. Discover the American Indian Area, visit the 1860s Galloway Homestead, the 1880s Chambers Farm and the 1907 Orchard House. Knowledgeable interpreters present the true-to-life history of the people of the Pikes Peak Region.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Explore the fascinating architecture of the ancient Anasazi and browse through two museums featuring cultural displays all overlooking the historic town of Manitou Springs. Be sure to include Manitou Cliff Dwellings during your visit to the Pikes Peak Region. The magic and mystery of the Native American culture is sure to delight visitors of all ages. Inside the Pueblo you'll tour the Anasazi Museum where dioramas depict daily life. There are also exhibits of tools, pottery, and weapons offering a glimpse of the mysterious people who left a remarkable architectural legacy on mesa tops and in cliff walls like the one at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. When you visit, there will be no need to hurry as you follow the self-guided tour and explore each room of these carefully preserved structures. As you do, imagine what it was like to live over seven hundred years ago in a structure like this. You can even have your picture taken in front of a building that’s a lot older than your Grandfather!
Bent's Old Fort
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site features a reconstructed 1840s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail where traders, trappers, travelers, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade. Today, living historians recreate the sights, sounds, and smells of the past with guided tours, demonstrations and special events.
Meeker Home
The 1870 home of Greeley's founding family, Nathan Meeker and his family. It is built of adobe bricks in keeping with the ecology of the region. It is filled with many Meeker family belongings and furnishings of the 19th century and is open for touring from May through September.
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
More than 30 years ago, Crow Canyon was founded on the idea that members of the public could play an important role in archaeology. Each year, they welcome people of all ages to their campus near Mesa Verde in southwest Colorado. Their volunteers support their mission of archaeological research, education programs, and partnership with American Indians.
Argo Gold Mine and Mill
In 1893 construction of the Argo Tunnel Began. It would be 17 years before it would reach Central City , over 4.5 miles away. The tunnel would provide water drainage, ventilation and economical transportation of the gold bearing ore from the many mines it would intersect along the way. The Argo Mill was constructed to process the gold bearing ore from these mines. When completed, the Argo would be the largest mill of its type in the world. The mill processed over 100 million dollars of gold ore at the old time prices of $18.00 to $35.00 per ounce and stands today as a memorial to the hard rock miners of the day when gold was king! The Argo Mill, Mine and Museum tour is educational and fun.
Miners Museum
In the "school room" of the museum, Lafayette's educational heritage has been well preserved. Pictures, trophies and memorabilia are available for viewing. A small bedroom also contains vintage clothing and accessories from the turn of the century. The museum is open to the public all year long.
Old West Books

Phone: 719-260-6030
Email: info@oldwestbooks.com

Old West Books has been in business since 1997 and specializes in books on the American West, Custer, military, Civil War, Indian Wars, cowboys, cattle industry, fur trade, Lewis and Clark, travel and exploration. They stock a mix of rare out-of-print books and new titles. Books are shown by appointment only. Books may also be bought via the Internet, catalogs, and book shows. 

Ouray County Museum
Explore the history of Ouray County with special and permanent exhibits, including a look at the mining history of the area. The museum is located in Ouray.
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is dedicated to engaging and inspiring their audiences to explore the legacies of the peoples and environments of the Cache La Poudre Rivery Valley. The Main Gallery highlights the early history of Fort Collins from paleolithic Indians that lived 10,800 years ago, to the fort era, and the agricultural boom of the sugar beet industry. Also features special exhibits including a ferret cam, music and sound lab, and tot spot.
Fort Uncompahgre Living History Museum
Fort Uncompahgre was first established as a fur trading post around 1826, by Antione Robidoux near the present sight of Delta , Colorado. Fort Uncompahgre today recreates the sights, sounds, the feelings and the experience of visiting the original post, offering guided tours by interpreters clothed in period attire.
Montrose County Historical Museum
The Museum focuses on early-day pioneer life, with a walk-through of a Homesteader's Cabin, equipped with furnishings and memorabilia. Also offers one of the most extensive collections of Farm Machinery in the state, including horse-drawn reapers, planters, plows, and a hay baler. The "County Store" exhibits wares, household objects, and tools. The Children's Corner contains dolls, toys, and baby furniture. The Museum's Library contains a complete set of Montrose newspapers from 1896-1940, a photo collection of the Montrose area, historical publications, and oral histories.
Forney Transportation Museum
The Forney Transportation Museum in Denver is a one-of-a-kind collection of over 500 exhibits relating to historical transportation. It began with antique cars, but soon expanded to include vehicles of all kinds. The museum houses "Big Boy," the world's largest steam locomotive, railcars, cabooses, coaches, a diner, antique cars, buggies, carriages, wagons, fire engines, aircraft, Denver's only cable car, trolleys, steam tractor, models, motorcycles, bicycles, costumes, music boxes, and more.
Grand County Museum Complex
Housed in the old Hot Sulphur Springs School, exhibits include a display detailing the beginning of the ski industry in Colorado, 8,500 year old artifacts of Windy Gap, and a Pioneer Woman exhibit.
Fort Sedgwick Historical Society
The Fort Sedgwick Historical Society features collections in two museums: The Depot Museum, housing relics documenting the early pioneer life, and the newer Fort Sedgwick Museum which contains the interpretative displays, Book Corner, Austin Research Room, and society offices. The Fort Sedgwick Museum is open year-round. The Depot Museum is open during the summer season. Both are located in Julesburg.
Fort Morgan Museum
Come explore Ft. Morgan, the boyhood home of Glenn Miller. Exhibits include the Old Hillrose Soda Fountain, farming exhibits, Native American exhibits, and more, all focused on the history of the Ft. Morgan area.
Pony Express National Historic Trail
The Pony Express National Historic Trail was used by young men on fast paced horses to carry the nation's mail across the country, from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, in the unprecedented time of only ten days. Organized by private entrepreneurs, the horse-and-rider relay system became the nation's most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph. Though only in operation for 18 months, between April 1860 and October 1861, the trail proved the feasibility of a central overland transportation route, and played a vital role in aligning California with the Union in the years just before the Civil War. Most of the original trail has been obliterated either by time or human activities. Along many segments, the trail's actual route and exact length are matters of conjecture. However, approximately 120 historic sites may eventually be available to the public, including 50 existing Pony Express stations or station ruins.
Astor House Museum
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Astor House Museum in Golden has been restored to its original glory as a late Victorian western hotel/boarding house. It offers a look into the life of Ida Goetze, boarding house residents, Golden founders and pioneers, as well as Victorian material culture. The Astor House was built in 1867 and stayed in continuous operation as a boarding and rooming house until 1971. It rented rooms and served hot meals to lawmakers, laborers, miners, students and families, some of whom stayed for weeks or even months. Although it may not appear grandiose by modern standards, the Astor House was considered quite fancy in 1867. The first stone building in Golden, it helped to establish a sense of prosperity and permanency in a growing city.
Overland Trail Museum
The Overland Trail Museum in Sterling commemorates the historic westward migration of gold seekers and early pioneers. The “village” behind the main structure has several buildings from pre-1915: a one-room schoolhouse, church, store, blacksmith shop, farm machinery, and the granary barn, which has branding irons, saddles, and other farm and ranch equipment.
California National Historic Trail
The California Trail carried over 250,000 gold-seekers and farmers to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840's and 1850's, the greatest mass migration in American history. Today, more than 1,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen in the vast undeveloped lands between Casper Wyoming and the West Coast, reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American travelers and settlers. More than 240 historic sites along the trail will eventually be available for public use and interpretation. The trail passes through the states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and California.
State Capitol Building
The Colorado State Capitol is available for tours. Visit the historical Capitol Building, Attic, and take a legislative tour. You can visit the House and Senate Galleries and meet a lawmaker. The Colorado State Capitol welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year. Tours allow you to enjoy the beauty of the building while learning about the work of the General Assembly and Colorado's unique heritage. Tours are free of charge. Note that student group tours during the legislative session running January through May are extremely popular and space is limited. It is recommended that reservation requests are made early.
Ghost Town Wild West Museum
As a true preservation of Colorado’s western past, Ghost Town Museum is a fun and historic look back at kind of old west town that used to dot this region during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Located in Colorado Springs.
Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center
Explore Colorado Springs' paradise in one magical stop. Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. Imagine dramatic views, 300' towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. This world-class Visitor & Nature Center and museum is the most visited attraction in the region with all new interactive exhibits. Learn how the amazing red rocks got there with the NEW Geo-Trekker movie experience, shown every 20 minutes. Delight in one of Colorado's most photographed views while eating in our glass-enclosed café or from our terrace overlooking Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods. Admission into the Park and Visitor Center is free.
Fort Vasquez Museum
Fort Vasquez Museum, 35 miles northeast of downtown Denver on U.S. Highway 85, features displays that interpret the fur-trade era. Annual educational events offered by the museum include the Kids' Fur Trade Rendezvous in September and May, and the Rendezvous Workshop Series in October and April. Visit the site of an 1835 fur-trading fort, and follow the paths of founders Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette.
Cañon City Municipal Museum and Rudd House
Tour the Anson and Harriet Rudd Cabin, built in 1860, preserved as part of the Cañon City Municipal Museum, and numerous displays of artifacts from Cañon City’s history. The two galleries contain game trophies, fossils, minerals, weaponry, tools, household objects and American Indian artifacts from the 1860s to the 1950s.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain region’s leading resource for informal science education. A variety of exhibitions, programs, and activities help Museum visitors experience the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth, and the universe. Includes an IMAX theater and a planetarium.
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