Zebulon M. Pike Expedition and Pike National Historic Trail Association Web Site
"As I found all the buffalo had quit the plains, I determined to attempt the traverse of the mountain [Sangre de Cristo], win which we persevered until the snow became so deep that it was impossible to proceed; when I again turned my face to the plain, and for the first time in the voyage I found myself discouraged." Pike Journal- Jan. 24, 1807 Muddy Creek Wet Mtn. Valley COsignature, Zebulon M. Pike
Zebulon Pike National Historic Trail Association

1806 - 2006 You know the Mountain, Zebulon Montgomery Pike Now discover the Man in southeastern Colorado

The story of Pike’s expedition, including his arrest by the Spanish and the friendship that was forged between military officers [Lt. (then Captain) Pike and Lt. Facundo Melgares] from different cultures, can be found in each community located on the expedition route. During 2006, commemoration activities were as diverse as the communities themselves – from rodeos to symposiums, trail rides to lectures, buffalo roasts to debates, there was truly something for everyone. You can continue to explore Pike’s route for yourself – from the pastoral prairies to the east near Lamar and La Junta, to historic Pueblo, scenic Cañon City, the majestic mountains of the west in Salida, Westcliffe, Silver Cliff, and the breathtaking San Luis Valley. An Auto tour and a Hike/Bike tour is being tested for Missouri, Kansas and Colorado by members [members can participate...click here]

Senate Resolution 252

In honor of Zebulon Montgomery Pike’s explorations into the West, United States Senator Ken Salazar (D-Colorado) drafted a Senate Resolution to officially recognize the bicentennial in 2006. Senator Salazar’s resolution, S.Res 252, was cosponsored by Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado), and passed on November 15, 2005, exactly 199 years to the day of when Pike first glimpsed the mountain that would bear his name. Read more... pike expedition bicentennial medalion


Two logos emerged for the Bicentennial, one by Ken Williams of Pueblo for Harp and one created by folks in eastern Colorado.

Zebulon M. Pike Bicentennial Happenings By State


Great Bend KS
Pike’s crossing of Cheyenne Bottoms, north of Great Bend KS were investigated with displays in the Camp Aldrich Dining Hall; living history presentations by noted historian David Clapsaddle [of Larned KS] and walking tours on October 15th.Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association dedicated an interpretive plaza near the Pawnee River in Larned KS

Pike’s Larned KS
On October 29, 2006, the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association dedicated an interpretive plaza near the Pawnee River in Larned KS, 200 years to the day Pike crossed the Pawnee River. Rev. Dr. Roy Escot Pike, President of the Pike Family Association delivered remarks. Read more...

October 27-29
The Santa Fe Trail Association presented a three-day seminar entitled “Zebulon Pike and the Birth of the Santa Fe Trail” at their 2006 Rendezvous, attended by 300+ Pike enthusiasts.


15 days in August
Endurance runner David Pokorny challenged Pike’s route and climbed his peak to raise awareness for those who are fighting uphill battles of another kind. Read more...

Las Animas COLas Animas CO commemoration
November 15 – Two hundred years to the minute, the rock and plaques commemorating Pike’s first siting of the “small blue cloud,” which he called the Grand Mountain, and which now bears his name-- was dedicated after a great buffalo stew at Boggsville. Don Headlee performed the part of Pike, with the great grandson of Kit Carson in attendance.

Lamar CO
July 1 – The Great Race, antique auto racers, followed the Santa Fe and Pike's Trail through Lamar. A street carnival, antique wagon show, food vendors, and a mini-history camp composed of The Madonna of the Trail, Pike, and an 1870's cavalry troop entertained all day. Country star Zane Lewis performed a free concert that night.

July 14 – Pike in the Park- started at Pike's Tower in Willow Creek Park with an old-fashioned Pancake Breakfast [Rotary and Lions Clubs]. The public was treated to a live performance by the Arkansas Wind and Percussion Ensemble playing Pike-period music. A tour of Pike's Tower, the first WPA project in Colorado, was conducted before heading to the Boggsville Historic Site for the Boggsville lunch and site archeologist Richard Carillo and the Pike First-Sighting
Ceremony nearby.

September 16 – The public toured historical reenactments of 1800-1900 Southeast Colorado camps at the Second Annual Frontier History Encampment at Lamar Community College. At the Pike camp, they met members of Pike's "band of rascals."

September 22 & 23 – The Bike with Pike Century Ride left the John Martin's Reservoir Visitor Center near Hasty, CO, for a 100 mile ride along Pike's Trail to Pueblo--just in time for the Chile Festival , a barbecue dinner at the Cow Palace Inn of Lamar. A pre bike race Party was held on the 22nd.

November 13 – Pike Slept Here and Rededication of Pike’s Tower in Willow Creek Park in Lamar, set on or near the very spot he and his men camped in Lamar, Colorado, on November 13, 1806. Historian and Pike reenactor Don Headlee gave a presentation about the Pike’s expedition at the Lamar Public Library. Original pen and ink drawings of Pike’s expedition by Salida artist Jon McManus were displayed.

La Junta CO
June 8 – The Rocky Ford Historical Museum presented a tale of Pike’s journey and his stay in the area, by renowned Pike reenactor John Patrick Michael Murphy.

July 13 – The Rocky Ford Historical Museum presented "Pike’s Trail and US Hwy 50, America’s Coastal Highway," by Ron Davis.

August 23-27 – 129th Arkansas Valley Fair celebrated "Explore the 129th Arkansas Valley Fair on Pike’s Trail." A parade was held on August 25th.

September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 & October 7, 14, 21 – Picketwire Canyonland Auto Tours included information on Pike’s expedition and its influence on exploration and settlement of what is now the USFS Comanche National Grasslands.

September 9 – La Junta Early Settler’s Day "Pike on Parade."

October 6-9 – NPS’s Bents Old Fort National Historic Site hosted “Explorers Encampment at Bent’s Old Fort” They celebrated the explorers who passed by the site of Bent’s Fort before, during and after the post’s existence. Camps from Pike to Long to Frémont will graced the site – joining the camps of Plains Tribes and Santa Fe traders. Over 60 living history volunteers brought the post back to life.

Colorado Springs CO
January 20-22 – The Pikes Peak Library District and the Pioneers Museum held its gala Pike Symposium in Colorado Springs and at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site featuring Pike authorities Gardner, Mayberry, Jackson, Allen, Ronda, Headlee, Paton, Sweet, Hutchins, Oliva, et.al. The Symposium Event captured in the publication- “To Spare No Pains.” Read more...

Pioneer Museum – Matt Mayberry and his staff presented their Pike exhibit during 2006.

Colorado Springs Gazette – The Gazette in November published daily articles on various aspects of Pike’s expedition. Dave Philipps, Gazette outdoor editor, led a reenactment party from Pueblo to Mt. Rosa of Pike’s attempt to climb his Grand Mountain, 200 years later to the day. They finished the 11.3 miles Pike couldn’t trek, raising the Star Spangled Banner flag [15 stars] in the top of Pikes Peak. Philipps’ headlines- Commemorative Pike hikers make it to frozen, windy summit - but find . . . NO DOUGHNUTS

Pueblo COpike plaza
Pike Plaza, a permanent, outdoor venue in downtown Pueblo, certainly the most innovative and largest of the nation’s architectural monuments to Pike, was created by HARP [Historic Arkansas Riverwalk]

April through December 20 – Lieutenant Pike reached present-day Pueblo, November 23, l806. The El Pueblo History Museum exhibit and lecture series “Explorer or Spy: The Pike Legacy” examines American and Spanish views of the expedition.

The El Pueblo History Museum also hosted:

  • "In the Footsteps of Zebulon Pike, Army Explorer, Southwest Expedition of 1806-1807". Don Headlee, Park Ranger, Army Corp. of Engineers on July 10,– "Defending the Empire; the Spanish Military". Dr. David Sandoval, Professor, CSU-Pueblo on July 11
  • "The Pike Expedition; A Spanish Perspective." Rick Manzanares, Director Fort Garland Museum/Colorado Historical Society on July 12
  • "A Man to Match the Mountain: The Character of Zebulon Montgomery Pike". Clive Siegle, Professor of Southwest History, Southern Methodist University, Texas; Santa Fe Trail Association Manager; Executive Director of the National Pike Bicentennial Commission on July 13.
  • Pike’s Sword arrived from Fort Garland for display thru the rest of 2006. The sword and scabbard is the property of the Colorado Historic Society in Denver and pictures are used, with permission, throughout this website.

July 14-15 – “Captain Pike’s Company” exhibit, monument dedication and living history encampment. Click here to read more...

July 15 - 200 years to the day that Pike set off on his expedition Pueblo celebrated with a parade on Union Avenue featuring Zebulon Pike’s family as Grand Marshalls, the Army Corps of Engineers reenactment corps, Fort Carson soldiers, Frazer Brothers Spanish Lancers, and the Westernaires, and honored returning troops with Operation Tribute to Freedom. Music and camps of Pike, the Spanish lancers, and the Pawnee were presented at the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk at Pike Plaza.

August 13 through January 20 – Sangre de Cristo Arts Center–King Gallery presented "DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES: VIEWS OF PIKE’S PEAK" to join the commemoration of Pike’s expedition. This exhibition featured Manitou Springs artist Tracy Felix, Colorado Spring photographer John Fielder, Jude Silva. and selections from the Francis King Collection of Western Art.

September 16 through November 4 – The Buell Children’s Museum Sangre de Cristo Arts Center presented"The Way West and Pike’s Peak,” sharing the exploration of the American West.

Cañon City COpike encampment near Grape Creek
Cañon City long ago marked the location of the Pike encampment on the west side their city near Grape Creek [Pike’s Branch Creek] and the Arkansas River.

July 22 – The Cañon City Chamber of Commerce will be hosted the Royal Gorge Region Pike Partners Trail Ride through the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park area.

July 22-23 – Reenactors with period costumes strolled through Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. Zebulon Pike spent several weeks in the Royal Gorge area searching for the headwaters of the Arkansas River. He crawled up the granite gulch that is now the home to the World's Steepest incline railway, a 1,550 ft. incline at a 45-degree angle now called Pike Gulch.

Buena Vista and Salida CO
July 21 – John Patrick Michael Murphy portrayed Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike at the Salida Steam Plant.

Aug. 12 – An Evening with Lieutenant Zebulon Pike was enjoyed at the Buena Vista Museum.Pike's possible Christmas site

November 24 – Parade of Lights with Zebulon Pike – Salida, Colorado.

December 2 – The Buena Vista Chamber sponsored the Zebulon Pike Equine Parade to open the Christmas season.

December 24 – Buffalo Christmas Dinner with Zebulon Pike on the Arkansas River, at the actual site of Pike’s camp. Pike’s men celebrated Christmas here after going without food for three days, and killing six buffalo on the neighboring prairie. Pike and several soldiers will be there, along with Colorado mountain men reenacting early trapper gatherings.

Westcliffe and Silver Cliff CO
July 1 – Pueblo’s Sangres Art Guild Plein Air held an all day painting workshop with noted, Pueblo West artist Fran Dodd, at two sites – Grape Creek area and on the west side of the valley near Macy Creek (both locations were crossed by Pike on his way south and west).

July 2 – The Pike Partners of the Royal Gorge Region sponsored the showing of the film “Zebulon Pike and the Blue Mountain” at the Jones Theater in Westcliffe.

July 8 – Gary Ziegler led the Grape Creek Horseback Ride along Pike Trail.

July 15 & 16 – The Pike Partners of the Royal Gorge Region sponsored the Westcliffe Stampede Rodeo.

Wet Mountain Valley Pike Commemorative Sign
Throughout the Wet Mountain Valley Pike Commemorative signs abound.


Silver Cliff’s museum remembers Pike’s men with a plaque.
A new Silver Cliff park remembers Pike and their silver era.

Huerfano County CO
September 2 or 3 – 4-wheel-drive adventurers retraced Zebulon Pike's 1806 trek over Medano Pass to Sand Dunes NP.pike's stockade

Alamosa CO
July 4 – Alamosa’s Independence Day Parade commemorating Pike’s expedition into the San Luis Valley. The floats will bring his historic expedition to life in lively downtown Alamosa. Enjoy the Kiwanis’ Pancake Breakfast, downtown events and evening fireworks in the heart of the San Luis Valley.

Pike’s Stockade Tours of Pike’s Stockade, near the small town of Fort Garland CO, were conducted. The historic buildings of Fort Garland and Museum were included with displays of the time when Kit Carson commanded the fort.

Pike’s Stockade, Sanford, CO - Photo by HHisgen


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