Start at the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores (CO 145 and CO 184.) Take in the free Indian Dances at the Cortez Cultural Center (available in summer only.) Be sure to allow enough time to visit their small museum.
Experience Mesa Verde National Park (9 miles east of Cortez on US 160.) Visit the spectacular cliff dwellings and mesa-top villages in this world-renowned National Park. Don’t miss Cliff Palace Ruin and Spruce Tree House. Daring travelers should take the Balcony House tour.
Journey back in time at the Ute Mountain Tribal Park (20 miles south of Cortez.) For a completely different experience, visit the “other side” of the Mesa for a tour of the Ute Mountain Tribal Park. Tours of this primitive area are led by Ute Guides who share their knowledge of both Ancestral Puebloan and Ute cultures, sites, and rock art.
Stopover at the Four Corners Monument (38 miles southwest of Cortez.) A truly unique landmark, the Four Corners Monument is the only place in the US where four states meet and where on hands and knees, visitors may be in all four states at one time. Native vendors also sell crafts and traditional foods.
Tour Hovenweep National Monument (40 miles west of Cortez, CO 160 south to CR G West.) Hovenweep is famous for its square, oval, circular, and D-shaped towers. Square Tower site is easily accessible, and has a nice hiking trail and visitor center. To get a taste of more archaeology, take the back road home and visit Lowry Pueblo, the site of a Great Kiva.
Enjoy Crow Canyon Archaeological Center (4 miles north and west of Cortez on CO 419, and CR L and 23.) Take part in a full day program at Crow Canyon, an archaeological research and education center. The day program includes hands-on activities and a tour of a working archaeological site.