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North Park Pioneer Museum and Pioneer Reunion

A drive through North Park will reveal all sorts of levels of the history of this high mountain valley. One of several “Parks” in Colorado, this area has been many things over the last few thousand years. From summer hunting grounds for indigenous people to trapping and mining, and eventually agriculture, visitors to North Park might only catch a glimpse of the history of our favorite corner of Colorado. Summertime is the best time of year to learn more about this place we call home, mostly because of the North Park Pioneer Museum. Open only from May 30 to September 30, the North Park Pioneer museum preserves a rich history of the area that is still continuing to grow and evolve!

A Great Big Little Museum at the Heart of North Park

The North Park Pioneer Museum can be found west of the prominent Jackson County Courthouse building. This log cabin style building starkly contrasts the locally quarried limestone and sandstone courthouse building which was built in 1913 (and designed by William N. Bowman–the same architect who built the City and County of Denver Building).

The original Pinkhampton cabin was built 30 years before in 1883 and is among the earliest permanent structures in North Park. The original log cabin served many functions, from trading post to stagecoach stop near the Wyoming border. Its residents were among the first settlers to have lived in North Park year round.

The cabin was moved to Walden, CO where it has served as a museum for our local history and culture for generations. Over the years, additions have been made to the simple stockade style building, and the artifacts it contains run from the prehistory of North Park all the way until contemporary times. 

Most of the exhibits have been generously donated by the families of pioneers whose families still call North Park home to this day. The museum represents not only the history of the area, but also the story of so many who have had a part in its growth and development for the last 140 years.

Hunting, Mining, Ranching, and Forestry

Each year thousands of visitors from all around the world pass through North Park and many of these stop to peruse the exhibits of the area’s past and sign the guest book. A self-guided tour allows visitors to go at their own pace, looking at a record of early pioneer life in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. 

Exhibits throughout the museum give visitors a glimpse into the past, mostly from the perspective of the early European settlers who settled the area. North Park can be a very harsh place to spend the winter, and until the occupation of the Pinkhampton cabin North Park was mainly used as summer hunting grounds by the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute, and others who hunted the vast herds of buffalo in the area.

European trappers and mountain men were more common than ranchers, but eventually this changed with several Colorado gold and silver rushes which brought more people to the area, not only in search of precious metals, but also as a place to graze sheep and cattle. Many of these hardy families hailed from Sweden and Norway and their names have continued to be a part of the North Park lists of Pioneers ever since. A great account of the history of North Park can be found on the North Park Anglers website.

The museum features photographs from over the last hundred years, artifacts such as pump organs, furniture, a reconstruction of a one-room classroom, and even the old projection equipment from the more modern Park Theatre, which closed in the early 1980s. Exhibits containing the history of the people who have endured long winters and several booms and busts of the region range from forestry and agriculture to service in the US Armed forces through two World Wars and beyond. Among the photographs of Main Street in Walden, you might recognize some of the buildings which still remain from those early days.

The North Park Pioneer Museum Is Open

The North Park Pioneer Museum opened on May 30th for the 2024 summer season and will close September 30th. Hours of operation are from 10am-4pm seven days a week.

Entry fees are donation only, and all proceeds go towards keeping the history and spirit of the Pioneer Museum alive for future generations of travelers and locals alike. 

Docents are on hand for interpretive tours upon request, tours are self-guided and many artifacts and exhibits hands-on.

  • Address: 365 Logan Street, Walden, CO
  • Phone: For more information call (970) 723-3394
  • Hours of Operation: Open from 10am-4pm, all week long.

The North Park Pioneer Reunion

If the North Park Pioneer Museum is a repository of the artifacts and culture of the area, the North Park Pioneer Reunion is a living example of the strong ties that have bound generations of people to North Park. Each year, during the Neversummer Rodeo weekend, the North Park Pioneer Reunion (formerly known as the Old Timers Reunion) gathers together the people who have continued to build this community over the years. Not only is Rodeo Weekend in North Park the time of year for high school reunions, BBQs, and rodeo, but it is also the time of year for the Pioneer Reunion Dinner.

Membership to the North Park Pioneer association is open to any who have lived in North Park for at least 10 years. A $20 membership fee covers dues for the year as well as the cost of admission to dinner. Individual tickets for the Pioneer Reunion Dinner are $10 each.

Gather with Friends and Family at the Pioneer Reunion Dinner

The River Rock Cafe is catering this year's North Park Pioneer Reunion Dinner. Attendants need to bring their appetites.


  • Homestyle pot roast
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Bacon green beans


  • Chocolate cake
  • Carrot cake

When: Dinner starts at noon on Saturday, June 22nd

Where: High School Gymnasium

Who: Around 400 Pioneers are expected to be in attendance.

Family of the Year

Each year, a family is chosen to be the Family of the Year, which brings far-flung relatives back to North Park during Rodeo Weekend to gather and reminisce at the Pioneer Reunion dinner. To any who have lived in North Park, the area has an almost supernatural hold on our hearts and memories. Who knows if it is the raw beauty of this place, or the shared memories of long winters and short summers that keep calling us back home. North Parkers have a lot of pride in being from this area and spend the Reunion catching up with old friends, swapping stories from the past, and introducing future generations to this amazing place.

The Family of the Year also gets to be honored in the Neversummer Rodeo Parade on Sunday morning, June 23. This year’s family is the Thorne/Rich family. The lineup for the parade begins at the Jackson County sheds on 2nd street at 9am. This year’s theme for the parade is “A Good Pair of Boots.”

Celebrate History and Heritage of the Pioneer Spirit

Both the North Park Pioneer Museum and the Pioneer Reunion celebrate the strength and determination of those early newcomers to North Park. Our love for this corner of the Colorado Rocky Mountains calls so many of us back, as well as beckons visitors to stop for just a little while. 

The ties to regional history, especially through hardships and isolation, are a point of pride for the people of North Park, who not only settled the area, but continue to try to build and overcome adversity in such a rugged yet beautiful place. North Park has inspired poets, has been the waystation for settlers and historical figures, and is just waiting for new visitors to share in the wonder.



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