Most people, when they consider or recall Colorado in their mind’s eye, it is usually western Colorado -- the Western Slope. It’s where they visited with family, maybe enjoyed a ski trip with a church group or had the thrill of a kayak or raft ride down a cold Colorado river. Likely it’s the fishing or hunting trip they talk about for years with family and pals.
Most certainly, there are attractions on the Front Range like Pike’s Peak, the Air Force Academy, the sights and sounds of Denver. Then there is the frustration and congestion of Front Range traffic and sprawl, destinations lack that physical landmark other than asphalt or concrete.
Think of Colorado, think of the West Slope. It’s beautiful and diverse. The mind’s eye sees soaring mountains, spectacular rivers, distinctive mesas, and high prairies. There are two national parks, one is an ancient city from more than a thousand years ago. Rich Colorado agriculture has a home here – fruit orchards, vineyards, the best sweet corn in the country. Colorado’s tourism industry begins here and moves east over the Continental Divide.
Natives and newcomers, pioneers and planners call the Western Slope home. Generations have put down roots as farmers, ranchers, or while involved with the extraction industries that generated a “boom” now and then with gold, silver, and coal. Tourists with families, retirees with the time drive through the Western Slope on a vacation trip and begin thinking of relocation. Thirty-eight percent of Colorado’s landmass is here, but only 10 percent of the population. In a word or two: there’s room to flourish and be enriched.
Picturing Western Slope was created in 2021 to explore and illustrate the landscapes and the diverse lives of the people who call it home. We hope you like our storytelling through pictures.
Picturing Western Slope is a not-for-profit, online educational exhibit.