Ignacio is a ranching community in the southwest corner of Colorado, located in a long valley bordered by the La Plata Mountains. Today Ignacio supplies the adjacent Southern Ute Indian Reservation and ranches scattered throughout this remote area.
The Southern Ute Tribe, a descendant of two of the seven original Ute tribes that inhabited Colorado, is headquartered just north of Ignacio, but its reservation spans more than 680,000 acres. The modern Sky Ute Casino Resort, one of the tribe's economic mainstays, is very popular with visitors. The casino features gaming halls, hotel rooms and a conference center. The Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum, which opened in summer 2011, brings to life the oral records, cultural artifacts and rock art of the Southern Ute tribe and also features a library and archive of scholarly works, as well as temporary exhibits.
Numerous quick, casual restaurants dot downtown Ignacio, and not surprisingly given its southern location, Mexican cuisine is one of the specialties. Recreational spots include Navajo State Park, which provides ample opportunity to enjoy water sports — jet skiing, house boating, fishing etc. — and the reservation's top trout-fishing hole, Lake Capote.