Abandoned farm equipment, including an old pickup truck, at a site on the Pawnee National Grassland.

Keota and the Pawnee National Grassland

Find the Wonder

Explore the history of Keota and the Pawnee National Grassland on Colorado's northeastern Plains through the History Colorado Center and the Office of Archaeology & Preservation!

Three re-enactors pose in different parts of the Destination Colorado exhibit at the History Colorado Center

History comes alive at Destination Colorado.

History Colorado

A visit to the History Colorado Center's Destination Colorado exhibit walks you back in time to 1918! 

The High Plains community’s residents greet you at the depot on life-sized media screens and show you their town, sharing triumphs and challenges.

While you’re here, why not...

  • Enroll in the town’s high school and get your yearbook picture taken.

  • Shop from a Montgomery Ward catalog and select goods from a general store.

  • Take a virtual joy ride down a bumpy country road in a Model T Ford

  • Get cultured on outhouse culture … in an outhouse!

Or simply explore smells hidden in an authentic stove, milk a model cow, collect wooden chicken eggs in the barn, and climb into the barn’s hayloft and slide down.

The guides from the depot meet you at each of the locations and provide the story of the people—the quintessential Coloradans—who built this town.

Three survey volunteers with former assistant State Archaeologist Keving Black (right) on the 2014 PAAC Summer Survey in the Pawnee National Grasslands

PAAC volunteers and staff discuss strategy on the summer survey.

Photo by Kate Buckman.

In the summers of 2013 and 2014 the Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation’s Program for Avocational Archaeological Certification program (often known simply as PAAC) partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to survey state-owned lands ahead of oil and gas expansion on the Pawnee National Grassland.  The goal of the project was to expand our understanding of both prehistoric and historic settlement in the area while providing PAAC volunteers with valuable field work experience.

See the progress report from Pawnee Buttes

Each year the Office of the State Archaeologist of Colorado (OSAC) sponsors an archaeological inventory ("survey") on a parcel of state property, typically between June and August.  The program also teaches a variety of classes ranging from Historical Archaeology to Principles of Archaeological Excavation at locations across the state.  Contact a local coordinator for more information about classes coming to your area or check out our class schedule.