Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
On November 29, 1864, Colonel John M. Chivington led approximately 700 U.S. volunteer soldiers to a village of about 500 Cheyenne and Arapaho people camped along the banks of Big Sandy Creek in southeastern Colorado. Although the Cheyenne and Arapaho people believed they were under the protection of the U.S. Army, Chivington's troops attacked and killed about 150 people, mainly women, children, and the elderly. Ultimately, the massacre was condemned following three federal investigations. Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site was established in 2007 to preserve and protect the cultural landscape of the massacre, enhance public understanding, and minimize similar incidents in the future.
Several years of research and cooperation between tribes, government agencies, universities, and local landowners contributed to the establishment of the historic site. Stories from descendants of survivors helped identify the location of the massacre site. Researchers also reviewed historical documents. The site continues to be studied.
Seasonality / Weather
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The site closes for the winter from December 1st through April 1st.
To schedule a visit between December 1st and April 1st, call or write the park at least two (2) weeks in advance. Access will be determined by availability of staff and forcasted weather conditions.
The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is located in an isolated area. When visiting, please bring water and appropriate outdoor clothing. Please stay on the walking trail at all times.
The Sand Creek Massacre is located in Kiowa County Colorado. To visit the site, follow Colorado State Highway 96 east off Highway 287 near Eads, or west off Highway 385 at Sheridan Lake. Near Chivington, turn north onto County Road 54, or at Brandon, turn north onto County Road 59. Follow these roads to their intersections with County Road W. The park entrance is along CR W a mile east (right) of CR 54 or several miles west (left) of CR 59.
Caution Large Vehicles and Motorcyclists: There is approximately eight (8) miles of dirt/sand roads leading to the site.