This new app hopes to spur tourism through virtual visits of heritage sites—like the Sand Creek Massacre—in southeastern Colorado

Folks will soon be able to visit heritage sites in southeastern Colorado from the comfort of their homes. Using an app called Explore from the company Factor Earth, visitors will go on virtual adventures into sites that feature the significant heritage of the region. That includes Fisher's Peak State Park, the Ludlow and Sand Creek Massacre sites, and portions of the Santa Fe Trail among others.

Funds for the project come from a grant from the state tourism office, given to the group Canyons & Plains of southeast Colorado. The organization works to preserve and promote culture and natural resources in the region. 

Rick Wallner with Canyons & Plains says he hopes that once people visit on the app, they'll decide to make a trip in-person.

"Unlike the mountains, which can be overrun with visitors, we are not. We're kind of the undiscovered Colorado," he said.

The app will include 360-degree views and lesson plans for teachers. 

"People think the plains are all flat and there's nothing to see, but our canyons are beautiful," he said.

The content will be available on the Factor Earth app in about six months. Adventures through Bent's Old Fort and the Boggsville Historic site are already available on the app.

Other projects in southern Colorado receiving funds from the state tourism office:
  • City of La Junta: $20,000 for an educational campaign around the annual tarantula migration
  • Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region: $20,000 to highlight the creative arts in tourism itineraries
  • San Luis Valley Great Outdoors: $20,000 to launch an adventure guide focusing on low-impact travel experiences
  • Visit Pueblo: $20,000 to curate "gravel biking experiences"