The Wonder Tower – Genoa, Colorado - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Genoa, Colorado

The Wonder Tower

See 6 states! Pickled freaks! Rocks! Antiques!  

Left over from the pre-interstate, roadside attraction America, the Wonder Tower was built in 1926. If you come for the view alone, you’ll quickly learn that you’re in for more. The tower doubles as a museum of odds and ends, things, stuff, and—frankly—junk.

Don’t be fooled when you arrive. Those cars that line the drive way are full of assorted bric-a-brac, and the tourists taking in the view at the top of the tower aren’t tourists at all, but stuffed T-shirts wearing sunglasses.

Jerry, the owner, has an anecdote for every object in the place… and there are millions of objects, many glued to the walls and ceiling. Organized chaos at its best, every room has a theme. The Branding Room. The Petrified Room. The Indian Room. The Red Room. The Yellow Room. The Big Room. The list goes on.

Of course, don’t leave without seeing the pickled animal monstrosities, such as two-headed calves and eight-footed pigs. Ultimately there is no saying what you will find in this place, and if you fall in love with an object, you can take it home. Nearly every knickknack in the place wears a price tag, though many of them are unreasonably and inexplicably high.

The major attraction is the view from the top of the tower. Built on the highest elevated point between New York and Denver, you can indeed see six states, and the view is legitimately worth the climb.

Yes, the Wonder Tower saw its heyday decades ago, and the place does feel a bit like the Bates Motel-meets-House of 1000 Corpses. Its steward and curator, however, is enduring, and his love of the Wonder Tower makes visiting it a charming and delightful experience. Jerry is full of wonderful stories and riddles and jokes so unfunny they’ll have you laughing, and he lives to share the history of the tower—so be sure to ask him questions. You won’t be disappointed.

Update October, 2017: The water tower is “fixin’ to reopen” in the near future. The new owners are a consortium of artists, writers, creative developers and dreamers from Denver, CO who believe in saving the Tower, above all else. There will be a Colorado Chapter event at the Tower in November of this year!

Update May 2018: Still closed

Know Before You Go

This is currenI-70 exit 371 (Hwy. 109)