Up to 6,000 archaeological site are recorded so far as existing within the newly established Canyons of the Ancients National Monument - about 100 per square mile in many places. This is an area where visitors and avid ancient site explorers can have serious fun. Infrastructure is still undeveloped, there are only a few unpaved roads through the whole area. Adventurers can wander on foot, training their eyes to see the hidden gems that exist all over the area - cliff dwellings and rock art.
So far, as a newly designated monument, there is one interpretive site and two hiking trails
Lowry Pueblo - self-guided tour, just north of Cortez, CO
Sand Canyon - off McElmo Canyon Road, hiking trail that passes several cliff dwellings and Painted Hand Pueblo, a beautiful backcountry site that has intricate pictographs and a standing tower
The Anasazi Heritage Center - Southwest Colorado’s premier archaeological museum of the Ancestral Puebloan and other cultures of the Four Corners region - it features:
- exhibits on archaeology, local history, and culture
- two 12th century archaeological sites
- special events
- teaching resources
- a research library
- over 3 million artifacts and records from archaeological projects
- a picnic area, nature hike, and gift shop
The Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is located 10 miles north of Cortez and 3 miles west of Dolores, CO. The Heritage Center is 27401 Hwy 184, Dolores, CO 81323.