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Placer Creek Tipi Ring Site

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6 miles west of Cowdrey on Jackson County 6W, then 2.3 miles north on Jackson County 3 (Independence Mountain Rd.)
  • Placer Creek Tipi Ring Site (Colorado Historical Society)

The 30-mile-wide, 8,000-foot-high North Park valley provides a magnificent setting for fourteen stone circles on the southwest side of the road. The circles are grouped along the crest of an open, grassy ridge a quarter mile northeast of Placer Creek. The windy, south-facing site provided good visual scouting, as well as relief from summer insects and winter snow. The stones were probably ritualistic rather than functional, as no known painting or photograph of early tipis shows stones sealing their bottom edges. The stone circles, some with a stone-lined firepit in the center, measure about ten to fifteen feet in diameter. No doubt these stones have been rearranged by visitors and archaeologists, but they remain a magical remnant and are among the best and oldest building footprints left by the Ute Indians.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Placer Creek Tipi Ring Site", [Walden, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 221-221.

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