Pueblo began in 1842 as “Fort Pueblo”, an Indian trading post at the intersection of two early nineteenth-century trading routes – the Santa Fe Trail and the Cherokee Trail. With the Pikes Peak Gold Rush of 1859 and the subsequent arrival of the railroad, Pueblo grew to become an important town along the Colorado Front Range in the late nineteenth century. The establishment of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company during this period, supported by nearby coal mines, solidified Pueblo’s position as an industrial center in Colorado. In the twentieth century, the economic strength of the town was set back by two key events – the Great Flood of 1921 and the decline of the U.S. steel industry in the 1980s.
Pueblo is today enjoying a period of renewal. The recently-developed Historic Arkansas Riverwalk, which follows the Arkansas River as it intersects the downtown and crosses the Union Avenue Historic District, is an area of pleasant walkways, flower gardens, and outdoor sculptures. Visitors can take boat rides down the river and enjoy outdoor concerts at the Riverwalk. There are a number of other interesting attractions, such as the Rosemount House Museum, the El Pueblo History Museum, the Weisbrod Aircraft Museum, the Pueblo Zoo, and the award-winning Buell Children’s Museum. The Pueblo Performing Arts Guild and the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center support a variety of performing and visual art events throughout the year. Pueblo also hosts the largest annual event in Colorado — the Colorado State Fair and Parade.
- Location: South Central Colorado on I-25, 115 miles south of Denver
- Geologic Setting: East of the Wet Mountain Range of the Rocky Mountains and on the Great Plains; the Arkansas River runs through downtown
- Elevation: 4,662 feet
- Climate: The average high temperature in July is 92 degrees (F), dropping into the 50s at night. The average high temperature in January is 46 degrees, dropping into the teens at night.
- Population: Approximately 102,000; Pueblo West: 17,000
- Economy: Retail, medical services, and education
- Buell Children’s Museum
- El Pueblo History Museum
- Greenway and Nature Center
- Historic Arkansas Riverwalk
- Lake Pueblo State Park
- Pueblo Zoo
- Rosemount House Museum
- Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center
- Union Avenue Historic District
- Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
- Jun: Bluegrass on the River
- Jul: National Little Britches Rodeo Finals
- Aug-Sep: Colorado State Fair and Parade
- Sep: Chile and Frijole Festival
The Greater Pueblo Chamber: (800)233-3446, http://www.pueblochamber.org/
Destination Pueblo Association: http://www.frontierpathways.org/Destination