Three of Eastern Colorado’s Smoky Hill Trail monuments have suffered from vandalism. The plaque of each is gone. Fortunately the text of the missing plaques was recorded in Margaret Long’s book, The Smoky Hill Trail.

Horseman Monument.

The Horseman Monument is located on U.S. 40, seven miles west of Cheyenne Wells. The horseman is pointing in the direction of the Smoky Hill Trail as it heads southwest to Big Sandy Creek. The horseman on the opposite side is pointing northeast in the direction of the South Branch of the Smoky Hill River at Cheyenne Wells.

Horseman plaque:

The route of the famous SMOKY HILL TRAIL. Emigrant and stage road extending from Kansas City (Westport) to Denver via Fort Riley, Fort Hays, and Fort Wallace. Travelled by goldseekers, soldiers, and pioneers. Route of Butterfield’s Overland Dispatch and Wells Fargo Express. The trail replaced by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1870.         Erected by the State Historical Society of Colorado from the Mrs. J. N. Hall Foundation and the Cheyenne County Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration Club. 1939.

Wagon Wheel Monument.

The Wagon Wheel Monument is located 11 miles north of Kit Carson on Colorado Highway 59. Here is the crossing of the North Branch of the Smoky Hill Trail and the Texas-Montana Cattle Trail. The monument is made of volcanic flint with steel reinforcing and is 34 feet tall.

Stone Pyramid Monument

The Stone Pyramid monument is located southeast of  Hugo. This is at the crossing of the Smoky Hill Trail-North Branch and the Texas-Montana Cattle Trail. The faint trace of the Smoky can be seen running left of the monument. Cattle brands have been cut into the flat surfaces of the third and top tiers.

Wagon Wheel plaque:

In memory of the Old


Principal Trail Brands


Erected 1938

[At the base of the Monument]

Montana      Kit Carson     Texas

Stone Pyramid plaque:

This monument stands on the SMOKY HILL TRAIL

on the Republican-Big Sandy Divide,

the route of the BUTTERFIELD STAGE 1866-1870.

Fifth yards east the TEXAS-MONTANA CATTLE TRAIL crossed the Smoky Hill Trail.

Erected by the State Historical Society of Colorado

and the Scouts of the Smoky Hill Trail. 1939.

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