'Creations from Mufflers' – Cortez, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

'Creations from Mufflers'

Cortez, Colorado

A whimsical roadside community of little metal people.  

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Off the side of a dusty dirt road in Cortez, Colorado, lies a most unusual little neighborhood. Its residents are composed entirely of spare metal parts, painted completely white, and performing a variety of little tasks. One plows the land in a little tractor, another tugs at the reins of a stubborn ox. Some even fish next to a small pond. This is “Creations from Mufflers,” a roadside art project 30 years in the making.

Contrary to the site’s name, the people are built not only from mufflers, but old pipes, bike parts, and whatever else the creator could get his hands on. A sign at the front of the property explains that the owner has “been at this junk art space since ‘93. I was never a welder! Just tack and cover with cheap paint.” 

There are other creations besides the little metal people. Just off the side of the road lies a Boot Hill “graveyard” filled with unfortunates who died of things like tripping over barstools and missing the fastest draw in the west. There is also a rock-eating tree (represented by a face on a tree enjoying a plate of rocks).

Many of the sculptures are losing some of their paint, and may not be maintained very much these days. Still, it is a fascinating site. 

Know Before You Go

Creations from Mufflers can be found at the intersection of County Road P and Road 25.6 in Cortez. Remember that this is private property, so be respectful and do not touch the fragile sculptures.

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December 27, 2022

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