Experience the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited this enchanting landscape for more than 10,000 years.
Nestled in the heart of southwest Colorado, 7,000 archeological sites remain in the high cliffs and deep canyons that form this land. Known as the “Archeological Center of America,” the area is home to Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, the Anasazi Heritage Center, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, all of which are dedicated to preserving the “works of man.”
Whether on bike or foot, guided or solo, Mesa Verde is a place for discovery. As you venture into the shaded valleys, the earth rises with historical markings and 600 cliff dwellings where the ancients once thrived. The surrounding towns of Dolores, Mancos and the city of Cortez still embody the culture and traditions of their ancestors, which can be seen in the local craft.
"It's a connection to the past in more ways than one," says Kelly Kirkpatrick, executive director of Mesa Verde Country Visitor Information Bureau. "Many people visited there as children, so it's a trip down memory lane. And touring the cliff dwellings puts us in touch with our past, the ancient ones. They are our own pyramids."
A world heritage site, Mesa Verde has been named the “Number One Historical Monument in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and “One of the 50 Places to Visit in a Lifetime” by National Geographic magazine.
Related story: 7 Four Corners Gems in Mesa Verde Country
For more information:
Mesa Verde Country
Colorado Welcome Center
928 E Main St, Cortez, CO 81321