COLORADO


Note: The background of this page is Mesa Verde-style masonry from Cedar Tree Tower ruin in Mesa Verde National Park.


Anasazi Heritage Center (Dolores, CO) [ruins *; museum ****]
Principal Ruins: Dominguez ruin (3 rooms and kiva), Escalante ruin (20 rooms and kiva). Museum, though small, has many excellent interactive displays and changing exhibits. (As an archaeologist, I highly recommend this museum!)
Access: off Hwy 184 west of Dolores,CO, near Cortez and Mesa Verde National Park. No entrance fee. Escalante ruin is about 1/2 mile away from Heritage Center.
Information: Museum/Vistor Center; Contact Bureau of Land Management, Anasazi Heritage Center, 27501 Highway 184, Dolores, CO 81323. Phone 970-882-4811.
Additional Links:
http://www.swcolo.org/Tourism/Archaeology/AnasaziHeritageCenter.html
http://hwi.com/dolores/dolores/Anasazi.html

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area {Anasazi} (sw of Pagosa Springs, CO) [** NPE]
Principal Ruins: Great House, Guardhouse, Great Kiva (and many other structures scattered over the area).
Access: 3 miles south of U.S. Hwy 160 on Colorado highway 151 (20 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs). Only available on guide tours (4 tours per day; $3/adult) mid-May to mid-September.
Information: 970-264-2268.

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center {Anasazi} (near Cortez, CO) [NPE]
Principal Ruins: Sand Canyon pueblo and others
Access: 2 miles n of Cortez on Hwy 666 then 1.3 mi w on Road L then 1.4 miles s on Country Road 23. Day programs(9am-4pm) allow hand-on activities. Day programs are $30/adult (lunch included) - reservations required. Other programs available, but they're not set up to handle day visitors.
Information: Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, 23390 County Road K, Cortez, CO 81321. Phone 970-565-8975 or 1-800-422-8975.

Hovenweep National Monument - see under Utah
Part of HovenweepNational Monument is in Colorado, but only dirt road access is available from Colorado (2 routes of about 25 miles each).

Lowry Ruins {Anasazi} [*]
Principal Ruins: Lowry ruin (35-room, 2 kiva pueblo) and great kiva, occupied from around AD 1060 through 1200.
Access: 9 miles west of Pleasant View (dirt road). No entrance fee.
Information: Area Manager, Bureau of Land Management, San Juan Resource Area, 701 Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81301. Phone: 970-247-4082
Additional Links:
http://www.swcolo.org/Tourism/Archaeology/Lowry.html

Mesa Verde National Park {Anasazi} [*****]
Principal Ruins: many cliff dwellings, the largest being Cliff Palace, Fire Temple, Balcony House, Spruce Tree House, Step House, Long House, New Fire House, many pueblo and pit-house ruins.
Access: Most ruins are accessible through self-guided hikes, but Balcony House and Cliff Palace are only accessible through ranger-led hikes. Tickets for these tours must be purchased (for a negligible fee) at the Far View Visitor Center desk, and only one ruin may be toured per day, so if you want to see both sites, plan on staying for two days. Walks to mesa-top ruins and canyon overlooks are generally level and easy, but entering the cliff dwellings is fairly strenuous (Balcony House requires a climb up a 32-foot ladder to enter and crawling through a 10-foot-long tunnel to exit). However, Spruce Tree House and Step House are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers (though the trails are still steep). In addition, excellent views of most of the cliff dwellings can be had from the opposing canyon rims. In addition to the ranger-guided tours, concessionaire-run bus tours are available certain May through mid-September.
Information: Far View Visitor's Center and Chapin Mesa Museum. Contact Superintendent, Mesa Verde National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330. Phone 970-529-4461/4475.
Related WWW Page

Mitchell Springs Ruins Group {Anasazi} [NPE]
Principal Ruins: 30 prehistoric sites, mostly unexcavated, that were occupied over 500 years which included a Basketmaker III component followed by three subsequent Pueblo periods. The final abandonment of the area occurred during the 13th century.
Access: Located at the outskirts of Cortez, Colorado near the head of McElmo Canyon.
Information: Free tours of the ruins may be arranged in May and June during the excavation period by calling (970)565-8760.

Ute Mountain Tribal Park {Anasazi} (south of Mesa Verde NP) [***NPE]
Principal Ruins: Tree House; Lion House; Morris V; also kiva at Eagle's Nest. Many others. Also Ute pictographs also.
Access: full day and half-day tours guided by Ute Mountain Utes are available daily, leaving the Ute Mountain Visitor Center 22 miles south of Cortez on U.S. Hwy 666. Use your own car, but make sure you have a full tank of gas (ruins are 40 miles off the paved roads) and bring lunch and drinking water. Day hikes (guided?) are also available. Confirmed reservations are required for all tours.
Information: Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Towoac, CO 81224. Phone 970-565-3751 ext. 282 or 1-800-847-5485.


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This page is maintained by Greg Bondar, and all comments or suggestions for improvement of these pages should be sent to him.


since 14:00 EST on August 18, 1998.