Colorado’s Network of Ancient Routes Studied

GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO—The Daily Sentinel reports that Carl Conner and Richard Ott of the Dominguez Archaeological Research Group have been recording Ute habitation sites in Colorado, and are now looking for the trails and routes that connected them through the Ute Trails Project. “We wanted to take more of a landscape approach rather than just a site-by-site look,” Conner said. One of the trails under investigation was mentioned by Father Francisco Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, who wrote of his 1776 travels on a “very wide and well-beaten trail” to the Uncompahgre River Valley with Ute guides and Father Francisco Atanasio Dominguez. Conner and Ott have found that other trails, such as one that may have been used by Utes traveling on horseback between Wyoming and the Piceance Basin in Colorado, had water holes approximately every 25 miles. Many of the ancient footpaths became horseback trails and then wagon roads, and many of the trails through mountain passes are…

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