“My friend and I randomly stopped here while driving through on a roadtrip, having no idea it would be one of the highlights of our entire trip. The museum has a similar feel to Shelburne, Sturbridge, and other top-notch living history museums. But far more than an enormous, comprehensive, and creative collection, the museum format is private (and cheap!) guided tours. Admittedly, quality probably depends on your tour guide, but our tour guide was amazing–knowledgable, theatrical, and constantly customizing his info. Consequently, while I’d seen the same “everyday life” objects at many similar museums, I’d never had so much fun learning about and interacting with them. We also loved meeting the collector/director–and this whole museum is clearly the product of his life-long devotion. Not only is this museum worth stopping at, it’s worth planning your trip around. Truly an unusual, informative, entertaining, and memorable experience!”
“As a history teacher, this museum shines above all others I’ve ever visited. In fact, it is my favorite that I’ve ever been to! No other museum goes to such lengths to re-create the detail and experience of an authentic old west town. This museum makes history REAL, with thousands of items from the period in every room, so much so that one could spend hours upon hours observing the artifacts in each meticulously created room and still not see everything there is to see: from hundreds of original medicine vials (still including the medicine itself!) of the apothecary, to original canned food goods in the general store, to even an authentic grade-book from the early 1900’s in the school! And it’s worth noting that all of this is done with a personal collection and thousands of volunteer hours. It is truly astonishing what this group of volunteers and collectors have accomplished. A real museum for a real history lover. It is nothing short of a national treasure.”
July 17, 2015
“Adobe Flats, Museum of the Mountain West, in Montrose, Colorado was the absolute BEST experience I’ve ever had while on vacation. This museum is phenomenal. We had the honor of being toured by the actual founder of the museum and are in awe of the fact that he has been collecting vintage items since he was a child and still has the same love and passion for preserving the past for all to experience and enjoy. My husband and I were in total awe as he took us from display to display. It literally felt like we were able to travel back in time. the authenticity of each display in the tour and actually of every single item was breathtaking. We will never forget it. It was the icing on the cake for us as we celebrated our anniversary in beautiful Colorado.”
Charles and Melissa Porter, Nambe Pueblo, May, 2015
“Best ever tour guide and exhibition of the old west! The most informative and enjoyable 2 hours I have spent in a Museum. A must visit if you are interested in the history of the West. As an English visitor I have read quite a bit about the west , but the guide brings many aspects to life. One of the most remarkable facts of the place is that the renovation is done, as our guide said “by two and a half men”! Remarkable. Thank you for preserving and researching the history of the west.”
Alcester, United Kingdom, Tripadvisor Review September 2014
“Last Dance: Alma & Paul E. visited the Museum of the Mountain West in 2014. The docent turned on the Violano Virtuoso (player violin and piano) in the 1880’s Saloon. As the music began, Paul asked his wife Alma to dance. He got up from his wheel chair and danced with her. It was their last dance as he passed in a few short months. Alma attended a Christmas Party held in the museum and shared this story with happy tears in her eyes as she remembered their last dance and beautiful marriage of more than 40 years.”
“What a wonderful experience to see a museum in action. The careful attention to detail that reflected the mountain west between 1880 & 1930 was evident at every turn. I found recently retrieved historic buildings that were being carefully restored–an old school house, a teacherage, a livery & blacksmith, a church–in addition to a museum “town” that made me feel like I had walked back into time. I can’t wait to go back!”
–Sarah Armstrong, Charlottesville, Virginia
“Recently my wife and I took a trip to Colorado. We stopped in Montrose and, by chance, stopped in at this museum. What a treasure. The owner has spent a lifetime collecting thousands of artifacts that represent the old west. The guide Mike was thoroughly knowledgeable about local events and his dramatizations made the past come alive. A very enjoyable two hours.”
-Michael K., Manassas, Virginia
“Just returned from our 27 day trip through the state of Colorado.Went to the Museum of the Mountain West the other day and had a wonderful time. The best museum we’ve been in. The saloon/bar was fantastic. As an added treat our tour guide was Richard Fike, the founder and director of the museum. He was great, very gracious and knowledgeable. We can’t wait to go back in future years to see what else he has added. Hope this finds you happy and well.”
–Rick and Marilyn Ruthardt, Venice FL
Well worth the stop. Excellent examples of the old west. The tour is given by experienced tour guides. Up close and no ropes or barriers for close up observation. Many buildings on the grounds ie. Church saloon blacksmith general store school and more in addition to the main museum. Well kept and clean. A true diamond in the rough. Don’t miss on your way to the Black canyon.
~Glenbetz, Wayland, Michigan, September 2014
“My husband and I were just driving by on the way to Colorado Springs. We decided to stop and so glad we did. We both love history and this museum is THE BEST we have ever seen! We were greeted by a cowboy fully dressed in the part. He offered us a 2 hour tour – we were pushed for time so he condensed it to an hour. We saw things that we have never seen in all our travels of the west. We are actually into reenacting ourselves and have done much research, but we learned much more today. Including how to play a proper Farro game, a popular card game of the old west! So take a couple of hours and enjoy yourself – you will NOT be disappointed. (Next time we plan on spending the whole DAY)
Visited July 2016
“I was driving from Montrose to Gunnison and passed this museum which looked interesting, especially for an old west enthusiastic like me, so I decided to stop as I had a few spare hours, and explore it. I am so glad I did. It is the most beautiful place I’ve visited in a long time- and I was born and raised in Rome, Italy and have lived in the United Kingdom for years, have travelled all over Europe, Asia and the Americas, so I can say I’ve seen places.
I thought two hours would be enough to see it all. They were not, not nearly enough. I would recommend spending half a day there, as a relaxing afternoon with the family, friends or even alone, take the tour with one of the fantastic guides (Pam was mine and she was the best guide ever) and just take the time to enjoy it and explore the amazing collection that Richard has put together over many years.
As I was being shown around by Pam, I became more and more overwhelmed, astounded, and in all honesty, moved. There are so many little artefacts and antique objects and pieces of art, that it really feels like being brought back in time, in a little old west town with its typical saloon, stores, stables and church.
The indoor section (which you can’t see from the road) is massive and has several rooms including a clothing shop, doctors’ offices, a general store, a saloon/bar and much more. There’s all sorts of old artifacts on display, including some very interesting old musical instruments, games, guns and medical equipment, not to mention the incredible amount of things kept in the few stores, from elegant clothes to kitchen utensils and old, beautiful dolls. It is all kept in perfect (yet aged) condition and it is all authentic, which is what moved me.
The outdoor section is huge as well, with a church, a school, another store, train station, saloon and several old cabins to mention a few. Needless to say, it really feels like being on a movie set. But the beautiful thing is, you can actually explore it and see it all and be part of it, and take your time to enjoy it all. By the time I was taken outside to see the outdoor part I was completely shocked and amazed at all the effort they must have put (and keep putting) into saving, collecting, restoring, and presenting all these buildings and objects for us visitors, and I am so glad they are.
I definitely recommend visiting this unique, wonderful and incredible museum, which I wouldn’t even call a museum because it is SO much more. Everyone should go see it, there is so much to learn and appreciate. I am so, so glad I stopped by!
“Unbelieveable! … the amount of artifacts this museum has. Actual old buildings hauled to the site, a “re-created” old western town, complete with doctor’s offices, dentist’s offices, a saloon, a dry goods store, a grocery store. AND – each one of these “stores” is filled with so many actual old western artifacts it’s incredible. Just amazing! Worth the visit.”
-Lisa R., Grand Junction, CO
“When visiting Montrose, my husband, friend and I visiting this museum and were so glad we did. The guide, Bob, was extremely knowledgable and I learned a lot I didn’t already know. There was more artifacts in each room than I had ever seen in any other museum and our guide made it all come to life. We were actually there 4 hours, but I think it can be done in 2 hours, we would ask so many questions, which he was happy to impart his information. Actual old buildings had been brought in and recreated into a town. Worth the price.” -Tifson
We traveled to America in August this year and accidentally saw your museum. Visiting this beautiful museum was one of the most remarkable events of this year. We didn’t expect that the exposure is so great, informative and interesting. Our guide was Michael. We are very grateful to him for an interesting journey through the museum. Thanks Michael for the love of American history. Michael is real actor! In addition, his language was clear even to those of us who have very little English.
Thank You very much! Happy New Year! С Новым годом!
Kolevatov’s family, Russia, Moscow, January 3, 2015