1. Charles Goodnight's Rock Canyon Ranch

Goodnight Barn

Mile Marker 50.2, Highway 96

 In 1869, Charles Goodnight established his Rock Canyon Ranch where Matthew Kinkead and Terisita Sandvai once raised buffalo. The ranch was located on part of the Gervacio Nolan Mexican Land Grant. Goodnight decided to settle on his own ranch after spending four years driving cattle from Texas to Colorado.

Goodnight and his partner Oliver Loving drove their first longhorns to Colorado in 1866. They left Texas with 2,000 head of cattle. Even after losing 400 head to dehydration, quicksand and other dangers, the men made a tidy profit. The 2,000 mile-long route became the famous Goodnight Loving Trail. By the end of the herding era, a half-million head of cattle had traveled the trail.

For a time Goodnight prospered. Then the great crash of 1873 "wiped me off the face of the earth" according to the rancher. In 1875, Goodnight returned to Texas
where he rebuilt his cattle fortune. Men like Goodnight took cattle ranching from a small operation to big business. By the mid-1880s, cattle ranching was the biggest business in the West.

Goodnight was also famous for inventing the chuck wagon, used to feed the men during the long trail drives. In addition, he was recognized as one of the great breeders of range and domestic cattle and was the first inductee in the Cowboy Hall of Fame. The founders of Pueblo memorialized Goodnight by naming a street after him. Goodnight's stone barn still stands and is visible just a few feet north of the highway. It is located on the land now used for gravel processing. The barn is on the National Register of Historic Places.