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“old and new”

Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center
Ranked #3 of 3 things to do in Ignacio
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Attraction details
Owner description: Thank you for your interest in the Southern Ute Museum, located on the Southern Ute reservation, and operated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, “Ute Seasons”, an exhibit of seasonal relevance for Ute people, begins in the Welcome Gallery. Timber and steel rise 60 feet toward a medicine wheel ceiling, offering a view of the sky. The Permanent Gallery tells the story of Ute people through large photographic curtains, life size replicas, video, audio, touchscreen equipment, and the “Circle of Life”, a multi-screen short film. The Temporary Gallery features “Mountain Lion!” (through September 2017), created by the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. This family-friendly exhibit features large dioramas, calls of the lion, fossil representations, an informative video about large cats, and many artifacts. A Southern Ute Veterans exhibit, the latest display to be developed at the museum, presents a unique history of tribal members in the military. This exhibit provides cultural, historical, and educational information with panels, photographs, beadwork, basketry, a world map of historical military conflicts, and Navy diving helmet with select equipment. In addition to exhibits, “Behind the Scenes” tours are available. These specialized tours offer a closer look at the Museum’s inner workings, including the journey an object takes, beginning with arrival, to collections, to display. The tour also provides a unique insight and broader perspective of the Southern Ute Museum’s mission and purpose. Tours can accommodate families to large groups. There is a nominal charge, and reservations are required. Please call for more information. On behalf of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, we invite you to visit our Museum, and hope you enjoy your visit to the land of the “Shining Mountains” in beautiful southwest Colorado.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
59 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“old and new”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2012

Odd mixture of old (Native American history and artifacts) and new (the avant-garde architecture of this building) is fascinating. This museum is well worth your time, and it is also inexpensive. The place is a bit out of the way -- 10 miles or so south of the Durango/La Plata County Airport -- so you will not find it unless you specifically go looking for it.

Visited August 2012
Thank grand51paul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Excellent Museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2012

This is an attractive, newly-built museum (which meets LEED green standards) that tells the interesting story of the Southern Ute people, their history, culture, interaction with others, as well as focusing on their contemporary life and their arts. The landscaping and the visual design of the building makes a bold and welcoming initial impression. The museum has well-mounted and good interactive displays which bring facts to life and engages visitors -of all ages- in learning and makes the experience enjoyable. This is a real standout in the development of tribal museums that are growing across America.

The museum contains an excellent gift shop that offers a broad array of quality American Indian-made jewelry, art and gift items; a good selection of books; and a broad selection of Pendleton clothing and accessories.

The nearly adjacent Ute Resort and Casino offers attractive large rooms at good prices as well as a large indoor pool with a flowing current and water jets.

Visited August 2012
Thank traveler_1944066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bothell, Washington
Level Contributor
35 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“beautiful facility, interesting exhibits”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2012

We didn't have a lot of time to spend at this museum, but were able to get our money's worth in a short amount of time. The staff was very helpful and the displays of Indian culture were very interesting. They use various audio/visual devices to tell their stories. Just about a 10 minute drive from the Durango airport if your flight gets delayed.

Visited August 2012
Thank SoFinicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“World-class Presentation of the Southern Ute Nation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2012

I found out more in an hour from the interactive exhibits and presentations than I had discovered in weeks of searching for and reading books about the Southern Ute nation. Although now a fragment of what they earlier had, the Utes have managed to hold onto some of their historical territory and to keep their way of life alive as well. An interesting aspect of the exhibits is listening to Utes talking about themselves and their world in their own language.

Visited August 2012
2 Thank Mooranth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great cultural center!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2012

This is a great Indian cultural center! The Southern Utes at least got to stay in a small portion of the land that they once roamed freely, and they have done such a wonderful job of building a first rate resort & casino with the cultural center right next door. The center is very well done and first class. Our group went to the casino and did a little gambling, ate at the buffet, went to the cultural center, then shopping in Durango, and back to Pagosa Springs where we were staying. Excellent day trip out of Pagosa Springs (great little town with so much to do in such beautiful surroundings and the friendliest people ever.)

Visited May 2012
2 Thank tobywon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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