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BLM>Colorado>Programs>Recreation>Recreation Areas>Byways and National Trails>Trail of the Ancients
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Recreation Areas

 
Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway
 
Painted Hand Pueblo

The Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway takes visitors on a journey throughout southwest Colorado to discover the cultures and traditions of various Native American tribes. It passes through the fascinating Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, which encompasses thousands of archaeological sites, and the headquarters of the Monument, the Anasazi Heritage Center. Another spectacular attraction along The Trail of the Ancients is Mesa Verde National Park, home to some of the most stunning cliff dwellings in the entire Four Corners region. Hovenweep National Monument also features a number of ancestral Pueblo towers.

Total Lenth:  116 miles

Activities:
  • Byway
  • Camping
  • Heritage tourism
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • Off-highway vehicles

     
Attractions, Facilities, & Services:
  • Archaeological sites and artifacts
  • Interpretive exhibits
  • At Anasazi Heritage Center: museum shop, theater for films, educational resources and research library
  • Restrooms
  • Picnic areas
  • Available in Cortez and Dolores: historic attractions, lodging, restaurants and shops

Directions:  The Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway runs through Colorado, as well as Arizona and Utah.

To follow the portion of the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway that runs through Colorado, begin where County Road 10 crosses the Colorado-Utah border. Travel east on County Road 10 and turn right onto County Road CC. Turn right onto US-491, turn left onto Highway 184, and then turn right onto Highway 145/Railroad Avenue. Turn right onto US-160 and later turn right to stay on US-160. Continue on this road until reaching the Four Corners, or turn right onto Highway 41 and continue into Utah. To Mesa Verde National Park: from Cortez, travel east on US-160 and continue to the park entrance, which will be on the right.


TRAIL OF THE ANCIENTS
SCENIC BYWAY HOMEPAGE