Exploring the Black Canyon (08:22)
In 1901, surveyor Abraham Fellows and explorer William Torrence arrived at the Black Canyon to find a way to channel the Gunnison River to nearby land for irrigation. They traversed the river by swimming and using inflatable mattresses. They were the first to navigate the entire canyon; a tunnel was opened four years later.
Native Americans in Colorado (08:09)
For centuries, the Ute, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche people lived on the mineral rich soil in the Rocky Mountains. The Ute tribe lived on land in four of Colorado's national parks. Cliff dwellings from the Pueblo people are preserved in Mesa Verde National Park.
Tourism at the Great Dunes (06:19)
By 1920, residents in Colorado realized the potential tourist draw of the Great Sand Dunes. It became a national monument in 1932. The dunes are an open landscape for visitors to explore, with a wide array of plants and wildlife.
Wildlife Protection (09:17)
The idea of wildlife protection started in the 1900s by naturalists like John Muir and Enos Mills. Mills feared what is now Rocky Mountain National Park would be lost to mining and turned the land into a national park in 1915. Roads were built to take visits to the mountain summits and the Alpine tundra.
Beauty of Colorado (07:40)
John Otto lived in what is now the Colorado National Monument when it was still untouched by the public. Otto wrote that the valley felt like the heart of the world to him. He built trails on his own as he worked to turn it into a national park.
Sharing the Black Canyon (03:56)
Reverend Mark Warner moved to Montrose, Colorado in 1918 and was mesmerized by the Black Canyon. He worked on building a road from Montrose to the canyon. It became a national monument in 1933.
National Parks of Colorado (06:46)
The national parks in Colorado were all established because someone had the vision and drive to preserve and protect the landscapes. The parks provide a connection to the nature world and teach us about its history.
Credits: Heart of the World: Colorado's National Parks - Part 3 (00:28)
Credits: Heart of the World: Colorado's National Parks - Part 3
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