- Podcast leads visitors on tour of Mesa Verde’s antiquities, helps travelers explore Southwest Colorado –
Cortez, Colo. – Mesa Verde Country has released a travel podcast called “Ancient Voices” that guides visitors through the Southwest Colorado communities of Cortez, Dolores and Mancos. The 30-minute audio tour, which includes driving directions, is versatile and designed to accompany travelers as they journey at their own pace among the archaeological, agricultural and geological wonders of Mesa Verde Country. The podcast also includes a wealth of historical, geological and flora/fauna information, providing context to a visitor’s experience.
The tour starts in the town of Cortez, where a Colorado Welcome Center (928 E Main St.) stands ready to offer visitors information, brochures, history, a gift shop and even free coffee. The Cortez Cultural Center, located in downtown Cortez, features historical exhibits and live cultural events and activities, including Native American dances in the plaza on summer evenings. The Hawkins Preserve, in the southern part of town, offers hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and sweeping vistas of the surrounding mountains.
McElmo Canyon is further south – a picturesque and colorful crevasse with sandstone walls that is home to ranch and farm fields, homesteads and the area’s two wineries – Guy Drew and Sutcliffe. The canyon’s temperate climate lends itself to growing a variety of fruits and vegetables – peaches, apricots, apples and more. It’s also a rich hay-making area.
About 10 miles west of Cortez on County Road G is a trailhead and parking area for access to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, which accesses the southern reaches of the monument. The monument invites visitors to travel back in time to learn about the Ancestral Puebloan culture through the ruins that remain. There are several trails from which to choose.
Just beyond the historic Ismay Trading Post building is the Colorado/Utah border and the entrance to the Hovenweep National Monument. Hovenweep is perhaps the greatest and most concentrated collection of archaeologic towers in the area. The headquarters – on the Utah side – includes a visitor’s center, rangers who can answer questions and maps.
Begin your exploration of Mesa Verde Country by downloading the Ancient Voices podcast. To learn more about planning a trip to Mesa Verde Country, visit MesaVerdeCountry.com.
About Mesa Verde Country (www.mesaverdecountry.com)
Mesa Verde Country is in southwest Colorado near the entrance to the magnificent Mesa Verde National Park. The nearby towns of Cortez, Dolores, and Mancos provide accommodations, dining, outdoor fun and visitor services. Named the “Number One Historic Monument in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler and one of the "50 Places of a Lifetime-The World's Greatest Destinations” by National Geographic, Mesa Verde National Park is one of the nation’s first World Heritage sites and the largest archaeological preserve in the country. Two national byways pass through Mesa Verde Country. In addition to the National Park, Mesa Verde Country is loaded with other archaeological attractions: Hovenweep National Monument, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, the Anasazi Heritage Center and the Cortez Cultural Center. Mountain biking enthusiasts have recognized Mesa Verde Country as one of the next great mountain biking destinations.