TABB - Southern Ute Cultural Museum

Southern Ute Cultural Museum

GPS Location: 37.134281, -107.635379

Miles from Chama: 82.36 Miles

Miles from Durango: 21.66 Miles

SUIT Museum - SUIT Museum FB 1


Southern Ute Museum

503 Ouray Drive

Ignacio, CO 81137


Hours of Operation:

Open 7 Days A Week

Sunday – Saturday 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Free Admission

In the heart of ancestral North America, the new Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum in Ignacio, Colorado, captures the spirit of longevity the Southern Ute Indian Tribe represents. The sense that, as one museum board member said, “We have always been here, and we’re still here.”[i]


The Welcome Gallery is the scene of the cultural center’s most striking architectural feature: a timber, steel and glass structure soaring 60 feet into the air in an inverted cone reminiscent of a basket—or a Ute woman’s shawl. Supported by huge, straight tree trunks, the breathtaking space is capped with a medicine wheel. Baker says that the frosted glass walls allow dappled light to shine through; oftentimes, she can see the gentle shadows of nearby trees creating a light play as they dance with the breeze.


The permanent gallery shares the narrative of Colorado’s longest continuous residents using photographic curtains, life-size replicas, video, audio, and touchscreens to keep visitors engaged. A tipi measuring 14 feet in diameter shows how the Numi Nuuchiyu, or Ute People, lived in pre-contact and early contact times. The tribe’s radio station, KSUT, has its own display to tell the history of the 40-year-old media outlet. Also on display is a Bear Dance tribute, featuring shawls, gauntlets and the growler, or rasp. There’s also a Bear Dance corral outside the museum.[ii]