Near Sanford in Conejos County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Near here, on the banks of the Conejos River, Zebulon M. Pike built a log stockade in early February, 1807, and for the first time raised an American flag over what is now Colorado. Pike's trek of 1806-07 was the second official United States expedition into the lands of the Louisiana Purchase, acquired in 1803. Exploring the southern region of the new territory, Pike crossed into the San Luis Valley in January, 1807. On February 26, at the stockade, he and his men were arrested by Spanish dragoons for illegally entering New Spain. They were escorted to Santa Fe where they arrived on April 2, 1807, for questioning. They were detained for a few months in Chihuahua after which they were able to return to the States, crossing the Rio Grande River on June 1. The stockade was reconstructed by the Colorado Historical Society in 1952.
Erected 1936 by the Colorado Historical Society. (Marker Number 43.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the History Colorado, and the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. 37° 17.631′ N, 105° 48.631′ W. Marker is near Sanford, Colorado, in Conejos County. Marker is on County Road 24 ¾ mile south of County Road Y, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "The Manassa Mauler" (approx. 10.8 miles away).
More about this marker. Pike's Stockade was designated as a National Historical Landmark on July 4, 1961.
Statement of Significance::
Zebulon Pike raised the American flag over Spanish soil at the stockade after leading the second official U.S. expedition into the Louisiana Territory in 1807. It was the first major expedition into the Southwest.
Regarding Pike's Stockade. Zebulon Pike was ordered by President Thomas Jefferson to follow
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. National Historic Landmarks Program: Pike's Stockade. (Submitted on September 24, 2009.)
2. San Luis Valley Heritage: Pike's Stockade. The San Luis Valley is the largest alpine valley in the world, 122 miles long and 75 miles wide. The valley floor averages 8,000 feet in elevation and the upper Rio Grande and several tributary rivers flow through it. Abundant ground water gives rise to many lakes, wetlands, springs and flowing artesian wells, but farming is difficult here due to the high elevation, short growing season, and extremely cold winters with heavy snow. Apart from the wetlands is the Great Sand Dunes National Park near the 9,950-ft. Medano pass. (Submitted on September 24, 2009.)
3. San Luis Valley Historic Drive. National Geographic Society "drives of a lifetime". (Submitted on September 24, 2009.)
4. Pike - The Real Pathfinder. (Submitted on September 24, 2009.)
5. Zebulon Pike: Hard-Luck Explorer or Successful Spy?. (Submitted on September 24, 2009.)
6. Zebulon Pike and the Search for the Source of the Red River. (Submitted on September 24, 2009.)
7. Zebulon Pike. Wikipedia article (Submitted on September 24, 2009.)
8. Fort Garland Museum/Pike's Stockade. Colorado Historical Society (Submitted on September 24, 2009.)
1. Pike's Stockade
Elevation is 7,572 feet. There are restrooms at the site but it is not staffed. The gate is open 9 am-5 pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The site is sometimes closed due to flooding, so check with the Fort Garland Museum before visiting, and don't enter the site if the gate is closed. The site attracts fewer visitors than its historic importance warrants, and the property is subject to vandalism due to its isolation. Watch out for rattlesnakes in the tall grass. Mosquitos are abundant in the willow swamps on the banks of the Conejos River, so bring repellent. Birdwatchers like to come here to see the Southwest Willow Flycatcher.
— Submitted September 26, 2009.
Categories. • Exploration • Notable Persons • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 24, 2009. This page has been viewed 2,749 times since then and 139 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on September 25, 2009. 2, 3. submitted on September 24, 2009. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide area photo of marker and its surrounding. • Text and close-up photo of plaques located on monument in photo #2. • Can you help?