President Franklin D. Roosevelt sits behind a podium in front of the Colorado State Capitol building.


Historic Presidential Visits to Colorado

Presidents can be tourists, too, which might explain why presidential visits to our state happen on the regular. Here, we offer readers a photo essay of some of the most famous stops. 

From historic events to whistle stop tours and even tragedies, US presidents have frequently stopped in the Centennial State. For Presidents’ Day, we dug up photos of some of these visits from our nation’s Commander in Chief.

President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt

In Office: 1901-1909

A crowd of people are gathered outside the front steps of the Colorado State Capitol building.

President Theodore Roosevelt stands on the outdoor balcony of the Colorado State Capitol, waiting to address the gathering crowd on May 4, 1903.

History Colorado. 89.451.1692
Theodore Roosevelt stands at the backplate of a caboose, looking down at people on the train platform below. He is wearing a duster. Behind him stand men in suits.

President Theodore Roosevelt visited Colorado on a tour in 1905. This image captures him on the caboose of his train engaging with the locals. President Roosevelt loved the West and specifically Colorado: He visited Colorado more than twenty times during his life.

History Colorado. 98.173.3

President William Howard Taft

In Office: 1909-1913

A group of men walk across a dusty landscape wearing coats and hats. President William Howard Taft is one of their number. Mountains are visible behind them.

In Montrose, President William Howard Taft at the official opening of the Gunnison Tunnel, an irrigation tunnel in the Uncompahgre Valley, on September 23, 1909. Nearly 10,000 Colorado residents came to watch the opening of such a marvelous feat of human engineering.

History Colorado. 89.451.3774

President Woodrow Wilson

In Office: 1913-1921

President Woodrow Wilson seated in the back of an open-top automobile with other men.

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson and Governor John F. Shafroth drove through Denver. 

History Colorado. 86.296.4786
Woodrow Wilson sitting in a chair, surrounded by men in suits (members of the Denver Press Club).

In this picture, dated September 25, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson sits at the Denver Press Club. Wilson’s last public appearance was in Pueblo that same month, where he suffered a stroke that ultimately contributed to his death five years later.

History Colorado. 86.296.4794

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

In Office: 1932-1945

President Franklin D. Roosevelt sits behind a podium in front of the Colorado State Capitol building.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke at the Colorado State Capitol in 1936 during his twelve-year tenure as president, to promote the New Deal. President Roosevelt’s international trips during World War II were more common in the later years of his presidency than his domestic trips.

Denver Public Library Special Collections. RH-208

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

In Office: 1953-1961

President Eisenhower waves to the crowd, standing next to his wife Mamie.

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower took a farewell tour through Denver. Mamie’s family lived in Denver and the Eisenhowers were frequent visitors to Colorado; Lowry Air Force base was known as the Office of the President when he vacationed in Colorado for the summer.

History Colorado. 86.296.998
President Eisenhower stands with Martin Company representatives and advisors while observing a missile test.

This photo, which was taken in the late 1950s, shows President Dwight D. Eisenhower surveying the Martin Company’s Titan missile test. In July 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, which paved the way for America to enter the space race.

History Colorado. 2000.86.2

President John F. Kennedy

In Office: 1961-1963

President Kennedy, Governor Stephen McNichols, and U.S. Senator John Carroll all stand together in suits.

To celebrate the authorization of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Rivers water reclamation project, Governor Stephen McNichols, President John F. Kennedy, and US Senator John Carroll pose at the Pueblo High School Stadium in August, 1962.

Denver Public Library Special Collections.

President Gerald Ford

In Office: 1974-1977

Gerald Ford, wearing a suit and a button, stands with military personnel.

This picture shows President Gerald Ford during a visit to a VA Hospital in Grand Junction on November 2, 1974. Several stretches of I-25 and I-70 are named after presidents. I-25 through El Paso County is called the Ronald Reagan Highway, the stretch through Pueblo is the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway, and I-70 through Eagle County is called the Gerald Ford Memorial Highway.

History Colorado. BPF, Ford, Gerald

President Ronald Reagan

In Office: 1981-1989

Ronald Reagan standing at a podium in an in-door venue, speaks to a crowd.

President Ronald Reagan speaks to a group in Denver at the annual convention for the NAACP. Reagan visited Colorado five times over the course of his two-term presidency, including two tours to Denver in his first year in office.

Photo by David L. Cornwell/Rocky Mountain News, June 7, 1980, Denver Public Library Special Collections. RMN-021-2724

President William "Bill" Clinton

President Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II stand before a crowd, smiling.

President Bill Clinton visited Denver in August 1993, and received Pope John Paul II for World Youth Day.

Photo by Jay Koelzer, AP Photo/Rocky Mountain News, Denver Public Library Special Collections. RMN-023-6280

President George W. Bush

In Office: 2001-2009

George W. Bush speaks at Red Rocks Amphitheatre to a large group.

On October 8, 2004, President George W. Bush spoke to a crowd at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Earlier in the day he attended a Coors for Senate luncheon at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum.

Photo by Todd Heisler/Rocky Mountain News, Denver Public Library Collections. RMN-022-6929

President Barack Obama

In Office: 2009-2017

President Obama and then-president Vice President Joe Biden speaking at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

President Obama spent sixteen days in Colorado, more than any other first-term president. This photo was taken at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on March 21, 2009, as the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which focused on green energy jobs.

Photo by Barry Gutierrez/Rocky Mountain News, Denver Public Library Special Collections. RMN-044-7700

President Donald Trump

In Office: 2017-2021

President Donald Trump walks along a line of Air Force Academy cadets.

On May 30, 2019, President Donald Trump saluted Air Force Academy cadets and attended the commencement ceremony for the sixty-first graduating class in Colorado Springs.

Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette.

President Joseph "Joe" Biden

In Office: 2021-Present

President Joe Biden and Jill Biden visiting with affected families of the 2022 wildfires.

Days after the Marshall Fire, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Boulder County to tour the damaged neighborhoods and meet with victims of the blaze on January 7, 2022.
Photo by Andy Kenney, Colorado Public Radio News.

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