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Trip Details

Date Thursday  4/4/2019
End Date Thursday  4/4/2019
Group Denver
Event Title Celebrate Women's History Month in the Springs Manitou & Colorado Springs Heizer Trail & Cliff Dwellings
Start Time 7:00 AM
Status Complete
Leader Linda Lawson
Member Price Free
Available Participants Full- Join Waitlist
Type Trip
Trip Type Hike
Pace Moderate
Classification Easy B
Trail Mileage 5
Elevation Gain 1900
Driving Distance 150


Meeting Location:  TBD

Meeting Time:  7:00 am


For more info Contact




WOMAN:  Virginia Donaghe McClurg and Lucy Peabody


LOCATION:  Mesa Verde

PERIOD:  1880's - 1930's

ABOUT:  Virginia Donaghe came to Colorado Springs in 1877. Being well educated and from both an affluent and political background, she accepted an assignment from a New York paper to write a story about buried cities and lost homes.  She took the train to Durango and found Indian/white relations were at a fevered pitch due to shootings of innocent Utes and whites.    She was the first white woman to visit Mesa Verde in 1886, which did not become a national park until 1906.  Virginia provided sketches as well as public lectures about the cliff dwellings she viewed during her visit.  She met and married Gilbert McClurg in 1889.

Virginia was a staunch advocate to protect Mesa Verde by having it designated as a national park for 12 years, including persuading the Colorado State Federation of Women's Clubs to support the effort.   Her tenacity led to her negotiation with the Utes to sign a ten-year treaty gaining water rights and permission to build and improve roads, erect a “rest house”.  Donations from the Federated Women's Clubs and a rummage sale in Pueblo brought sufficient funds to build seven miles of wagon road.

Lucy Peabody was also a member of an association gathering support for Mesa Verde to become a national park.  She met and married a man who was the Executive Officer of the US Geological Survey in 1895.  In 1904/1905 the two women had a falling out.  Virginia changed her drive to have Mesa Verde become a Colorado State Park while Lucy maintained it should be a national monument.  Lucy Peabody became known as the “mother of Mesa Verde” when the bill designating Mesa Verde as a national park was passed in 1906.

Virginia decided to build her own “cliff dwellings” in Manitou Springs where over a million pounds of rock were brought from Cliff Canyon and the dwellings erected in exact dimensions and appearance.  The dwellings replicated parts of Spruce Tree House, Cliff Palace, and Balcony House.

HIKE LOCATION:  Anything in southwest Colorado - Mesa Verde, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Durango, Manitou Springs.  A tour of Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings would be of interest.






Sorry it is past the registration deadline for this event.