Southeast Colorado Tourist Sites Reopening for Visitors



Canyons & Plains, the Southeast Colorado heritage tourism organization, is announcing that many of the major tourist sites in our area are reopening for visitation with the approach of Memorial Day weekend. From visiting Bent’s Old Fort to camping at John Martin Reservoir State Park, opportunities to recreate in southeast Colorado abound.

As Colorado’s Safer-at-Home orders remain in place, visitors are asked to continue to practice social distancing, not assemble in groups greater than 10, and wear appropriate personal protective equipment as necessary when exploring the area.

Below is a list of some of the sites that will be open to visitors (please consult each area’s website for specific information on visitation):

Bent’s Old Fort

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site – Currently the park’s parking lot, restrooms and hiking trails are open to the public. Access into the reconstructed fur trading post will begin on Friday, May 22 with some restrictions. No guided tours are available at this time. The site is open from 9 am to 4 pm daily.

Boggsville Historic Site – The 39-acre National Register Historic District is currently open to visitors Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm.

Comanche National Grassland – Parking areas, trails and trailheads are open. Dispersed camping (in areas with no facilities) is allowed, along with hiking. Developed sites, including restrooms remain closed. Fire restrictions are in place (no open fires allowed). Reopening of developed facilities will begin on May 31. Guided Picketwire Canyon auto tours for May and June have been cancelled. Fall tours (Sept. and Oct.) are still planned to take place.

Photo Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

John Martin Reservoir State Park – Fishing and boating are available. Campground is now open by reservation only. Make reservations at As camping becomes available, playgrounds, picnic areas, showers, swim beaches, group areas, and yurts and cabins at Colorado’s state parks remain closed until further notice. Colorado Parks and Wildlife visitor centers, service centers and offices are also continuing to restrict access to the public. Restrictions and closures remain subject to change.

Photo Courtesy of the NPS

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site – The site of the 1864 Massacre is open to the public Thursday through Monday from 9 am to 4 pm. The park is closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Based on national and local guidance for the Covid-19 outbreak, the Sand Creek Visitor Center and Park Store are closed. All trails and Monument Hill are open during regular park hours.

State Wildlife Areas – Two Buttes, Queens and other state wildlife areas in the region are open for boating, fishing, camping, and other recreational activities as regulations allow. Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds anglers, hunters, and all other outdoor recreationists that it is your responsibility to research and understand the specific guidance, ordinances and restrictions in place for any planned local recreation – know before you go.

Lodging and commercial camping is available throughout southeast Colorado area and many restaurants offer take-out, delivery, or drive-through service. It is best to call ahead for reservations to make sure rooms or campsites are available. Under the Colorado Safer-at-Home orders, area museums remain closed at this time. Please consult and follow local guidelines regarding Covid-19 during your visit.

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