Ute Tribe History
History and Culture of the San Luis Valley Area
The area comprising the San Luis Valley and Rio Grande National Forest has a rich and colorful history.
Native American Paleo-Indian cultures, beginning with the Clovis and Folsom Complexes (11,000 years ago) were the first know inhabitants of the area. These and the following cultures of the Archaic Stage and the Ute Indians lived by hunting animals and gathering native plants found in the area.
Early History - Southern Ute Indian Tribe Agency, Ignacio Colorado
The Ute people are the oldest residents of Colorado, inhabiting the mountains and vast areas of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Eastern Nevada, Northern New Mexico and Arizona. According to tribal history handed down from generation to generation, our people lived here since the beginning of time.
The Caputa band lived east of the Continental Divide, south of the Conejos River and in the San Luis Valley near the headwaters of the Rio Grande. They frequented the region near Chama and Tierra Amarilla. A few family units also lived in the shadow of Chimney Rock, now a designated United States National Monument.
Ute Tribal Path - History Colorado
The Ute, Colorado's longest continuous inhabitants, occupied most of Colorado and parts of Utah and New Mexico. Their hunting grounds and trade networks extended even farther.