An oasis sits on the rim of the San Miguel 350 above the river as it makes a great bend to meet the Dolores before winding on through deep sandstone canyons to join with the Colorado River. The desert plateau of the Uncompaghre rises up behind the bend and there Nucla sits over-looking a park of fields, orchards and meadows amidst the sage and pinion desert.
Nucla's horizon frames a sky ideal for celestial observation. It has a southwestern aspect that catches the full arc of the moon against the southern horizon. The aspect, great for sky views, is also ideal for growing all sorts of fruit trees and plants, and was part of the allure that caught the attention of an alliterative socialist colony founded in Denver called the Colorado Co-operative Company.
The colony recognized the potential for the mesa and in 1894 embarked on an odyssey to dig 15 miles of ditch and build massive trestles across side-canyons along the northern wall of the San Miguel Canyon while feeding and clothing themselves too. Ten years later (in June of 1904), they brought water to the present town site and began moving their beloved camp Pinion along the San Miguel up onto the mesa. In 1915, the Colorado Co-operative Company incorporated the town with the State of Colorado. Their effort wrought a modern hanging-garden that has burgeoned to become a hub of West End life.
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Welcome to Nucla