Craig Day Trips
Cultural Heritage in Craig
The Ute Indians were the last Native American tribe inhabiting the Yampa Valley before settlers moved into the area in the 1800s. Tribes had carved their existence on rock walls. Later, cattle and sheep men etched their legacy in the vast territory through range wars and gunfights as the land was opened to ranching, agriculture, and hunting. By 1881 early homesteaders arrived and a post office was established by cattle king Ora Haley. Businessman W.H. Tucker, prompted by talk of a railroad being built through the area, traveled from Glenwood Springs in 1887. Seeking to profit from the rumor, he secured land and established the town of Craig in 1889.The railroad wasn’t built until 24 years later, but its arrival opened the area to national cattle and sheep markets. Today, it solely transports coal.
Take the Tour
1. Museum of Northwest Colorado /State Armory
First built as a State Armory in 1922, the museum is now at the heart of the community. Here military reserves trained and citizens gathered for dances, plays, and sports events. Today, it offers nearly 1,000 cowboy and gunfighter artifacts as well as “Moffat Road” exhibits and performances.
Location: 341 E. Victory Way
Completely restored and available for viewing and tours, the “Marcia Car” was railroad entrepreneur David Moffat’s private business car for railroad travel, which he named after his daughter.
3. Fortification Rocks
The rocks are a unique geological feature when viewed from the north or south. They are part of the volcanic field from the Elkhead Mountains range. In the 1870s the mountains were visited by members of the John Wesley Powell and Ferdinand Hayden expeditions.
In 1921 a group of businessmen and civic leaders came together to form the Victory Highway Association. The vision was to develop a road that would span the country from sea to sea, providing a lasting tribute to fallen WW I warriors. The route is no longer marked, but from Craig it runs west through Maybell, Lay, and Dinosaur then into Utah.
5.Wyman Living History Ranch and Museum
Locals Lou Wyman & family have gathered a unique collection from throughout the West, which gives guests an experience spanning one hundred years of American life, ingenuity, and advancement.
6.First National Bank Building/Home Bank
During a period of local economic optimism following the arrival of the railroad in 1913, this two-story brick building was constructed in 1917. It remains as Craig’s most important example of early 20th century commercial architecture.