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Imagining buffalo and plains Indians roaming the vast, beautiful grasslands in Colorado’s southeastern corner is easy — partly because much of the terrain looks like it did when the first traders, trappers and pioneers settled here in the mid-1800s.

Unblemished plains still exist at the Comanche National Grassland, which features more than 400,000 acres of short-grass prairie, a quickly disappearing environment in the U.S.

The grassland and waterways are home to nearly 400 bird species. Throughout the year, more types of birds can be seen in this region than any other in North America. Each year, thousands of geese descend on the lakes near Lamar, and the John Martin Reservoir State Park is a hotbed for wildlife. There are bald eagles, terns and plovers to be viewed, and bass, walleye and crappie to be caught.

History buffs will appreciate a drive along the Santa Fe Trail, which once connected Missouri to New Mexico’s capital and cut through Colorado near Trinidad. This part of the southeast is an impressive buildup to the Rocky Mountains, which include the Wet Mountains and Spanish Peaks. The area’s hidden jewels? Just to the west is gorgeous Cuchara Pass and to the north is La Veta, a charming town experiencing an artistic renaissance.

Use the articles below and city pages below for ideas on things to do as you plan your next vacation to Colorado's Southeast region.