Press Release

Ute Indian Museum grand opening of new exhibits and renovated site on June 10

MONTROSE, Colo. —After over three years of planning, construction and exhibit design and development, the Ute Indian Museum will be open to the public on Saturday, June 10. The expanded and renovated museum opening celebration sponsored by Alpine Bank will begin at 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with free admission and a buffalo lunch. A pickup and drop-off shuttle will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Target parking lot.

The museum celebrates and honors the Ute Indians—the longest continuous residents of Colorado. In the exhibits, visitors take a journey to iconic places across Colorado to learn the story of Ute life, history and culture. Told in the voices of tribal members, the exhibits include contemporary views of Ute life, including cultural survival, political self-determination, economic opportunity and the celebration of the Bear Dance

With approximately 200 artifacts, the exhibits will feature artifacts that have never been on display including a velvet dress belonging to Chipeta and a painted hide. Objects that highlight contemporary Ute life including a beaded cell phone case, an oil rig drill bit, and a Bear Dance shawl will also be displayed. Many beloved artifacts will be returning to the museum especially belongings of Ute leaders Chief Ignacio, Chief Buckskin Charley, Chief Ouray and Chipeta.

“We are excited to be able to celebrate with the community the opening of the museum and share the living culture and history of the Ute people,” stated museum Director CJ Brafford. “The Montrose community showed incredible support for the project and we are happy to share this beautiful new space, exhibits, programs and events with the three Ute tribes and the Montrose community.”

The museum will also include a new gift shop, patio with stunning views of the San Juan Mountains, beautiful curved walls and vibrant colors that represent Ute tribal identity and expanded rental spaces and will continue to be available to the community as a regional gathering place.

The opening event will include presentations from representatives of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Southern Ute Tribe and the Ute Indian Tribe—Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Director CJ Brafford, Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs Executive Director Ernest House, Jr.,  Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne, Montrose County Commissioner Keith Caddy, City of Montrose Mayor Roy Anderson and Alpine Bank, Assistant Vice President Allison Nadel.

Ute Indian Museum is located at 17253 Chipeta Road, Montrose, CO 81403. Admission is free for kids (18 and under) all summer, $6 for adults and $5 for seniors. The museum will be open daily, Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact 970-249-3098.


History Colorado's mission is to inspire generations to find wonder and meaning in our past and to engage in creating a better Colorado. We serve as the state's memory, preserving the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through our museums, educational programs, historic preservation grants, research library, collections, and outreach to Colorado communities. Find History Colorado on all major social media platforms. Visit or call (303) HISTORY for more information.


Brooke Gladstone
Communications & Media Specialist