Southeast Colorado is full of wide open spaces, quiet, star-filled nights, scenic drives and small towns built on trading. Lakes for fishing and water sports, antique stores, historic sites and a variety of wildlife make southeast Colorado a welcoming reprise from big city life. This was the first area of the state to see gold-seekers when in the 1540s Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his men arrived. The Arkansas River runs directly through the region. The Santa Fe Trail runs right alongside it and brought traders who built homesteads and towns, many of which still dot the route today. Time is in abundance and people enjoy the slow-paced lifestyle.
The average winter temperature is a high of 51 and a low of 20. The average summer temperature is a high of 88 and a low of 56.
LARGEST CITY: Lamar. Population of 7,874.
FUN FACT: The Purgatoire River was named in the 1540s after a rift occurred between two leaders of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's army. The expedition split into two groups, one of which was later found along the stream, dead to the last man. The place became known as the River of Purgatory because the soldiers had died without the benefit of a priest to administer last rites.