America's Best History Spotlight

On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.

Maroon Lake

Camp Hale - Continental Divide National Monument, Colorado

In October 2022, President Biden used to Antiquities Act to preserve the Camp Hale military base, which served the 10th Mountain Division for use during the European campaign of World War II, as well as the Continental Divide ground within the White River National Forest that encompassed Native American culture, communities, and sacred sites. This new National Monument will still be run by the Forest Service, and is expected to increase its visitation and interpretation beyond the fifteen million people who already visit the White River National Forest. Yes, hard to call that unknown, but the national monument status will focus more of its objectives to the history of the area, while keeping today's use as forest land and recreation.

Photo above: Maroon Lake within the national monument, 2011, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sponsor this page for $100 per year. Your banner or text ad can fill the space above.
Click here to Sponsor the page and how to reserve your ad.

Info, What's There Now, History Nearby

Maroon Lake

Camp Hale - Continental Divide National Monument, Colorado

Camp Hale has been a national historic site since 1992. Its use began much earlier than that of the U.S. military. And the management plan, still ongoing, will include the Ute tribe as partners with their history highlighted in areas they designate. Camp Hale was constructed over seven months in 1942; there were ski shops, a movie theater, mess halls, and barracks for the 15,000 men and two hundred women.

Image above: Bunkers used for target practice at Camp Hale, 2016, Carol M. Highsmith. Courtesy Library of Congress. Below: Photo of the Ute chief Severo and family, 1899, Detroit Publishing Company. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Ute Tribe

Where Is It

There are a variety of information stations run by the White River National Forest, according to the ranger district. The Aspen-Sopris Ranger Station is located at 620 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623. This ranger district includes the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, Crystal Mill, Ashcroft ghost town, and the mining town of Marble. The Blanco Ranger District at 220 East Market Street, Meeker, CO 81641 includes the historic Flat Tops Wilderness and an abundance of trailheads. The Dillon Ranger District, located at 680 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne, CO 80498 is home to four ski resorts, camping, whitewater activities. The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District at 24747 US Highway 24, Minturn, CO 81645 includes the Forest areas south of Vail. The Rifle Ranger District, 0094 County Road 244, Rifle, CO 81650 is a great place to hunt, fish, horseback ride, and disperse camp.

Camp Hale itself can be reached by Interstate 70. Take Exit 171 for Minturn and Highway 24. Turn right and continue 17 miles to the site, going through Minturn. Camp Hale is on your left with the main entrance flanked by stone pillars.

What is There Now

Camp Hale - Continental Divide

Let's start out with pure size. 53,804 acres preserved within the Tenmile Range of the Continental Divide, including ten peaks over 14,000 feet high. That's impressive to start. Already 15 million people using the Forest, some to ski its eleven famed slopes, i.e. ski resorts. Homeland to the Ute tribe and its culture and artifacts. The site of the training ground of the 10th Mountain Division of World War II fame. There are two campgrounds, rental huts, eighty miles of hiking trails, including the Continental Divide Scenic Trail and the Masontown Trail. The Camp Hale area and the Tenmile Area are separate parcels, both southeast of Vail, Colorado.

When Open and How Much

Each ranger district is still run by the White River National Forest, and they are open a variety of hours. Check their website for updated information and the location of each. There are a variety of fees associated with some areas and activities. Please contact the information centers for the up-to-date cost.

Fees and hours are subject to change.

Camp Hale - Continental Divide National Monument
White River National Forest

History Nearby

There are so many national parks and national monuments in the western part of the country, let's just focus on those in Colorado, some nearby, and others far from Camp Hale. Don't miss Rocky Mountain National Park and Mesa Verde.

Photos, History, and More Spotlights

Paul Bunyan Museum

May Spotlight

Paul Bunyan Museum, Wisconsin

Germanna Fort and Ford

July Spotlight

Germanna Fort and Ford, Virginia

James Monroe's Highland

June Spotlight