Rimrocker Historical Society Museum and Ballpark at Historic Uravan, CO Campground and Day Use Park
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The Rimrocker Historical Society (RHS) has a small museum hosting artifacts of our area's natural history, Native American history, pioneer history and mining history. RHS also maintain a picnic area at the site of the historic Uravan Ball Park. In 2013 RHS purchased the historic Vestal House, in Nucla, that is presently undergoing a preservation project through History Colorado.
RHS has published many books and periodicals on the history of the West End of Montrose County, Colorado, and gives ongoing presentations and tours.
ON-GOING PRESENTATIONS and TOURS -- Rimrocker Historical Society Museum of West Montrose County and Uravan Ball Park Campground
The Rimrocker Historical Society has an extensive offering of presentations and tours. Please be sure to call ahead to see which ones are scheduled during your vacation. If you are vacationing with family or a large group we can make special arrangements.
URAVAN BALL PARK CAMPGROUND: Self contained RV friendly, no hookups, each site has a picnic table, BBQ grill, fire ring. Our entire campground has access to the San Miguel River with a ramp for rafters and fisher people. Relax under large Rio Grande Cottonwood groves. There are port a pottys on-site, however there is no running water. GPS: Latitude 38.386 N -- Longitude -108.759 W. 22 miles from Naturita about a 15 minute drive. PLEASE NOTE: We don't take reservations, there is a14 day camping limit, and we ask for donations to support our non-profit campground, thank you.
WEST END HISTORY: Presentation. It all began 150,000,000 years ago when the dinosaurs roamed this area. Carbonized plants and animal remains, as well as minerals and ores were deposited in the sandstone beds of the Morrison formation. The Tabeguache Ute Indians called this land their home, but in 1870 they were moved to a reservation as miners and settlers staked their claims here. Arrowheads abound in the hills of the West End. In 1881 carnotite ore containing radium, vanadium, and uranium, was discovered in these hills. By 1912 mining and milling for these minerals was in full swing. Radium was sent overseas to Marie Curie for use in her radiation experiments. Vanadium was later in demand by the steel industry, and then Uranium found its place during WWII.
CASHIN COPPER MINE: Tour and History Presentation. The mine is along La Sal Creek and was established in 1897 with rich copper-silver ore. In 1900 Naturita was primarily a stopping-off place for freight wagons transporting copper ore from the Cashin Mine near Bedrock to the railroad in Placerville.
COLORADO COOPERATIVE DITCH: Tour and History Presentation. In 1776 Friars Escalante and Dominguez mapped the area's canyons and waterways. Then in 1894 the Colorado Cooperative Company built a 17 mile ditch to bring water from its head gate in the San Miguel Canyon northeast of Norwood to the head of the Tabeguache plateau.
HANGING FLUME: Tour and History Presentation. The Hanging Flume was an open water chute built over the Dolores River Canyon. This remote 130 year old mining flume is a 10 mile wooden water chute clinging to a sheer canyon cliff to create a hydraulic gold separator. The Montrose Placer Mining Company built the flume in the 1880s to facilitate gold mining and is an engineering wonder listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Some sections of the flume remain attached to the canyon wall, although much of the wood has vanished.
HISTORIC 141: Tour. Pioneers recognized water as the real gold. Building systems of canals and ditches, they watered the high desert to grow their crops. These lush valleys and plateaus supported one of the richest cattle productions in the nation, as well as an era of Cowboys, Indians, Outlaws and Gunslingers -- they were called Rimrockers.
INDIAN HENRY'S CABIN: Tour and History Presentation. The cabin and grave site are in Bull Canyon.
PETROGLYPH: Tour and History Presentation. The Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) roamed the area between 500 BCE and 1300 BC leaving behind their stories in numerous rock art panels. West of Naturita in the Paradox Valley are several sites. The Paradox Valley sites feature human figures, geometric and abstract lines, animals, butterflies, lizards and animal tracks.
URAVAN: Tour and History Presentation. The town of Uravan sprang up overnight to support the top-secret Manhattan Project. Uravan is an abandoned uranium mining town; in western Montrose County, and is a Superfund site. The town was a company town established by US Vanadium Corporation in 1936 to extract the rich vanadium ore in the region. As a byproduct of vanadium extraction, small amounts of uranium were also produced, used as a yellow pigment. But by 1984 the industry had played out.
ADDRESS: 411 West 2nd Avenue, Naturita CO 81422.
For Current Event Dates; For a Visitors Guide: 970-865-2100, mention the Colorado Vacation Directory.
- Camping Open Dates: All Year
- RV Sites: 9
- Tent Sites: 5
- Total Sites: 9
- Elevation: 5400 feet above sea level.
- Region: Naturita & Nucla Area - Southwest, Colorado
- Location: Close to Town.
- Setting: Mountain views. Waterfront setting along a river, stream or creek.
- OPEN Campfires (individual use): Yes. (If no local fire bans are active.)
- BBQ Grills (individual use): Yes
TECHNOLOGY FOR GUESTS TO USE IN A COMMON AREA
- Phone: In common area.
GROUPS REUNIONS AND WEDDINGS
- Groups Welcome: Club. Corporate. Youth group with adult leaders.
- Group Meeting Area: Indoor room.
- Maximum # of Day-Use Guests in Indoor Meeting Room: 30
FUN THINGS TO DO
PRIMARILY YEAR ROUND ACTIVITIES
- National Forests & BLM Lands: Walking distance.
- Designated Historic District, Site or Plaza: On site.
- Designated Scenic/Historic Byway: Along the scenic byway.
- Designated Hiking Trails: 10 minutes drive to trailhead.
- Museum: On site.
- Restaurant(s): 15 minutes drive.
PRIMARILY SUMMER ACTIVITIES
- Fishing in River, Stream or Creek: On site.
- Fishing in Lake, Reservoir or Pond: 30 minutes drive.
- Jeep Trails: 20 minute drive. (off road, back country, 4WD, Jeep, or jeeping).
- ATV (All Terrain Vehicles) and/or Dirt Bike Trails: 20 minute drive.
- Historic/Cultural Tours: On site.
- Hunting in Area: 5 minutes drive.
- Colorado Hunting Units/Areas: 61, 70,
- Downhill/Snowboarding Ski Area: 90 minutes drive.
- Ice Fishing: 30 minutes drive.