Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Canyons of the Ancients
Anasazi Heritage Center
Collections & Research
Resource Management
Artist in Residence 
Visitor Information
Archaeological Sites
NEPA Register & Documents
Frequently Asked
Tres Rios Field Office
Educational Resources

Press Releases

Useful Links

Visitors planning to explore the Monument should first stop at the Anasazi Heritage Center (10 miles north of Cortez and 3 miles west of Dolores) for orientation and current conditions.

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwestern Colorado Saddlehorn Pueblo along the Sand Canyon trailcontains a huge number of archaeological sites—more than 6000 recorded so far, and up to 100 per square mile in some places—representing Ancestral Puebloan and other Native American cultures.

Canyons of the Ancients is managed as an integral cultural landscape containing a wealth of historic and environmental resources.

Auto routes through the Monument are few; most roads are unpaved and rough. Most of the archaeological sites in this "outdoor museum" are not apparent to the untrained eye, and precise locations are not publicized. This is a place to explore on your own.

Most of the Monument is open to exploration on foot, but marked foot trails are few and limited to specific areas. For maps, guidebooks, current information about trail and road conditions,  and general orientation, stop first at the Anasazi Heritage Center (Monument headquarters) before starting your expedition.

The Anasazi Heritage Center is Southwest Colorado's premier archaeological museum of the Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) and other Native cultures of the Four Corners region. The museum features

  • permanent exhibits on archaeology, local history, & Native American cultures
  • two 12th-century archaeological sites
  • special exhibits & events
  • educational resources for teachers
  • a research library of archaeology & anthropology resources
  • a research collection of over 3 million artifacts and records from archaeological projects in Southwest Colorado
  • a picnic area, half-mile nature trail, and gift shop

Visit with Respect

A Native American Stewardship Message

Visit with Respect
Video (9:31) 
Video Transcript


Artist in Residence

Hear Cellist Esther Rogers play and discuss her month exploring Canyons of the Ancients through the Aldo & Leonardo Project, sponsored by the Colorado Art Ranch and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. Recorded by Dryland Community Radio Station KSJD.


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Canyons of the Ancients and Anasazi Heritage Center

27501 Highway 184, Dolores, Colorado USA 81323
PHONE: (970) 882-5600
| FAX: (970) 882-7035
HOURS: 9-5 March-October; 10-4 November-February
ADMISSION: $3 adults March-October; free November-February
17 & under free. School groups free.
We honor Federal Recreational Lands Passes.

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