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What’s in a Name: Uncompahgre

This is part of an ongoing series.


Place: Uncompahgre

Usage: Wilderness area in southwestern Colorado

Namesake: River, valley, fourteener, and plateau; Ute meanings include “warm flowing water,” “where water makes rock red,” and “red soil”

Pronunciation: un-com-pah-grey

Expert: “Local folks learn it pretty quickly and grow up with it, but other people often stumble on how to pronounce it. You’ll get ‘un-com-pah,’ and that’s as far as they can go? It’s the same with a lot of other native American names across the country, like Willamette. A lot of people say ‘William-it.’ [The correct pronunciation is Will-am-et.]” —Leanne Loupe, public affairs officer Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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