By researching we can narrow down the probable location of homesteads established under the Homestead Act (1872). Settlers arrived later, especially up in the hills where farming and ranching is a marginal opportunity. Under the terms of the Act, a quarter section was available for $10 and rights to the property were conditional on developing the land with a home and established farm or range improvements. Many of the homesteaders stayed for a few years, but most left for the cities or better farmlands. Many were purchased by ranchers.
Most of the old buildings are now more than 100 years old. Roofs have collapsed and doors and windows are gone. We quietly go into the hills and explore the old homesteads, taking nothing but photos, leaving nothing but temporary footprints.
This exploration was about 5 km into the hills and back. The location is not shared, on purpose. Homesteads will last with less visitors. Access to some of the areas may require permission. The homestead buildings will be experienced by only a few, and may still be standing for a while yet.