Points of Interest
One important feature on the Santa Fe Trail is the restored Bent's Old Fort. The fort was a fur trading post on the Santa Fe Trail and dates from the 1830s. Besides providing a look at daily life at a trading post, various special events give an insight into activities at the fort.
Winter Quarters-Daily winter activities including the Mountain Man Rendezvous, a fur traders' roundup. Independence Day-Fourth of July celebration reflecting the 1830s and demonstration of the Native American role in the fort's activities. Kid's Quarters-Annual event that teaches kids what life was like in the 1840s. Founders Day-Celebration of the founding of the National Park Service. Traditional Holiday Celebration-Holiday celebration of the 1830s including a look at traditional Mexican Christmas celebrations of that era.
Another landmark on the Santa Fe Trail is Boggsville. This settlement was built by Thomas Boggs and is known as the last home of Kit Carson.
The Koshare Indian Museum houses an extensive collection of Indian painting and artifacts. The late J.F. "Buck" Burshears started the Koshare Dancers and museum collection in 1933.
To learn the history of La Junta and Otero County the Otero Museum complex houses artifacts of Otero County. Included is the Wickham house which was the first house in La Junta. The Sciumbato Store displays the museum's collection of railroad memorabilia. The Boyd Coach House contains old stagecoaches used throughout the region.
Picnic sites, hiking, bike and horseback trails are available at the Comanche National Grassland. In the Vogel Canyon area, one trail is wheelchair accessible. In addition, two other trails have been rated moderately difficult. The Mesa Trail is two and one-third miles long and goes past old stagecoach stops and remains of old homesteads. The Prairie Trail is three miles long and provides a look at the old stagecoach routes of the Barlow and Sanderson lines. Also, found at the grassland is 22 miles of the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail.
The grasslands are also home to the Dinosaur Tracks located in the Picket Wire Canyonlands. These tracks are part of the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation. Read Tracking the Past.
The Picketwire Theater for Performing Arts is home to the Picketwire Players. Currently, the theater stages four plays each year featuring various local performers.
The Otero Junior College Dance Program puts on various performances through the year showcasing the students from preschool age through junior college.
The Arkansas Valley Community Concert Series sponsors several concert performances throughout the year. A group of traveling artists perform samplings of several different musical formats each year.
The local Fine Arts League sponsors a National Art Show that showcases local artists. They hold this juried competition each May at the Otero Museum and it is open to all local artists.
The Otero Junior College puts on its Spring Festival competition that features local students work. The categories include everything from writing, painting, photography to ceramics.
The Koshare Indian Kiva is home to the world renowned Koshare Indian Dancers. The local Boy Scouts Troop 232 performs authentic ceremonial dances of the Plains Indians. Each summer, the Koshares have a limited number of public performances before their annual national tour. In the winter, the Winter Ceremonial Dance has become part of the local holiday tradition.
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