Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2004 Amanda E. Cravens. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Bruce Dorsey


Cravens examines conceptions of the Estes Park valley from the perspectives of native people, Anglo-American travelers, white settlers, and the American public, up to 1915. In 1915, the establishment of Rocky Mountain National Park privileged one perception, legally and culturally. Cravens contrasts views of sacredness and the role of nature, arguing that native conceptions of the valley—particularly the Ute and Arapaho tribes’—were ultimately erased from cultural memory by its legislation as a national park and replaced with the mythology of untouched wilderness. Cravens draws on local history collections in Colorado, in addition to published primary accounts and secondary sources.


Co-recipient of the Paul H. Beik Prize in History, awarded in 2004.