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Cotopaxi Information

Posted in: Cotopaxi
By Wild West Properties
Dec 28, 2013 - 2:12:24 PM


Cotopaxi Sign

Cotopaxi, Colorado is a small township located between Cañon City and Salida. It was named by Henry Thomas who was an early prospector to the western territory in the mid-nineteenth century after Mount Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, located in Ecuador. Cotopaxi is a census-designated place and U.S. Post Office in Fremont County, Colorado.

Jewish Colony Sign
Cotopaxi is also known for its early failed colony of approximately sixty-three Jewish-Russian immigrants who first settled there in early 1882. These colonists traveled to Colorado in hopes of starting a successful farming community and to reap the benefits of the new Homestead Act, which would grant each head male of a family one hundred and sixty acres of land. When the colonists arrived in Cotopaxi, they discovered that only half of the houses that were promised to be built upon their arrival had actually been erected; this forced many of the families to live out of small makeshift canvas houses during the first winter. In addition to the housing problems, the colonists also faced an extreme shortage of supplies that were needed to support them through the first winter and to plant their crops. Desperate to plant their crops, the colonists soon opened large lines of credit with the local store to buy the seeds and equipment they needed to get their crops planted. The crops failed forcing the immigrants to look for jobs elsewhere to help pay off their fast growing debt to the local store. They soon found work with the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad which had decided to lay down more tracks to the west over the Marshall Pass. The men of the colony were paid three dollars a day which helped the struggling settlement get through its first winter. The colonists made it to spring but the second crop was also a failure and entire families soon started leaving. Only about six families remained in Cotopaxi to plant a third crop which was wiped out by a large blizzard and this officially ended the attempted farming colony in early June 1884. Today, Cotopaxi remains a small train stop on theDenver and Rio Grande Western Railroad along the Arkansas River.



There are no major businesses in Cotopaxi except for a successful white water rafting business that attracts thousands of tourists each year to ride on the Arkansas River. Cotopaxi has a few small businesses, the most notable of which is the Cotopaxi General Store. This general store was opened in the early 1920s and has since been connected to a Sinclair gas station.

Cotopaxi General Store

Outdoor Activities:

This Arkansas River town is known for world-class whitewater rafting and is home to rafting outfitters and a campground. Local rafting tours, lasting anywhere from a few hours to six days, leave from here and tumble along the state's most popular whitewater river, facing rapids ranging from the calm, family-style waters outside Cañon City to adrenaline-pumping swells and steep drops near theRoyal Gorge.

Those who come to fish the Arkansas River are wetting their hooks in the most popular fishing waters in the state of Colorado, according to angler surveys conducted by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. From its origin as a series of small tributaries at an elevation of 14,433 ft. near Leadville, the Arkansas grows into a major river around Granite, Colorado; from here, it travels a rambunctious path through the Fourteener Region while providing some of the best trout fishing in the country. Trout fishing is king along the Arkansas River, waters which are home to the brown trout and the rainbow trout. Brown trout were introduced in the 1800s and subsequently overtook the rainbow trout as the dominant fish. Rainbow trout are heavily stocked by the Colorado Division of Wildlife in an effort to increase species diversity and enhance the angling experience.

Views from Cotopaxi 2.JPG

Colorado hunting is about quiet spaces. Purchase your own Colorado hunting land for a private hunting and wildlife viewing space or enjoy one of several public hunting spots. Our public lands include 23 million acres of pristine pines, plentiful pocket meadows and pure-water ponds, so it's no wonder we host the world's largest elk herd and the best chance at hunting, or simply viewing, these majestic animals in motion. - See more at:



Wild West Properties LLC
201 Main Street - P.O. Box 1519
Westcliffe, CO 81252

719-783-0801 office
719-783-2110 fax

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