Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Field Trip Guidebooks Series, Volume 182.
The earliest people in the Front Range area left scant record. During the Pleistocene, the first migrations of Oriental people crossed the Bering land bridge and some eventually moved into Colorado. Cliff-dwelling Pueblo cultures developed in southwestern Colorado about 2000 years ago, with more nomadic tribes like the Ute and Apache arriving in Colorado about 700 years ago (Brown, 1985).
By the middle of the eighteenth century, the Pawnee had firm control of the South Platte River, with the Comanches to the south. Decimated by smallpox, the Pawnees moved northeast, and the dominant plains tribes became the Cheyenne and Arapahoe, who hunted from the Arkansas River to the North Platte River. Several tribes of Utes continued to inhabit the mountains.