The History of No Name, Colorado

The History of No Name, Colorado

It holds the distinction of having one of the most unusual names, but there is a reason why No Name, Colorado, has such a catchy title. The desolate, unincorporated community is amid two natural areas bearing the same name: No Name Canyon and No Name Creek.

1 Early History

The area around what is now called No Name was first settled during the 18th Century. Several Indian tribes were located in the southwestern part of Colorado. The Apache Nation, for example, occupied the Great Plains before heading south to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Other tribes included the Cheyenne Nation and Ute Nation. The area became United States territory in 1876 when Colorado became the 38th state to join the union.

2 The Town

Sign off I-70 for No Name

Situated in northwestern Colorado, No Name can be accessed off Interstate 70. Two man-made tunnels, aptly named the No Name Tunnels, have been carved into Glenwood Canyon in an area known as Horseshoe Curve and serve as a gateway to the region. No Name, comprising a few homes and businesses, is directly to the east of the city of Glenwood Springs.

3 Origins

Although directly linked to the nearby canyon and creek of the same name--or lack thereof--the community No Name received its name after Interstate 70 was constructed. Shortly after its completion, the Colorado Department of Transportation set out to improve signage. A DOT official noticed the region did not have a name and wrote "No Name" for Exit 119, the ramp a motorist would take to access the area.

4 Official Recognition

Over time, locals began to accept the name No Name for their region, and it began to gain recognition because of the oddity. High-level state officials attempted to give the area a proper name, but locals reportedly balked at such a suggestion and No Name endured as the unincorporated area's formal name.

5 Local Features

In addition to the unusual name, No Name offers residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy nature. No Name Canyon, located just outside Glenwood Canyon, is a granite canyon enjoyed by rock climbers. Climbers can experience the area throughout most of the year, although spring through fall is generally the best time. There is also a small dirt hiking area, the Jesse Weaver Trailhead, near the canyon. The scenic No Name Creek is another wonder of nature within the area. The long stream is part of the vast Weminuche Wilderness Area and includes a hiking area.

Dave Fidlin is a Milwaukee-based journalist and freelance writer. For more than eight years he wrote exclusively for a weekly community newspaper. He now composes pieces for a variety of print and online publications.