Canyons of the Ancients National Monument near Mesa Verde

Painted Hand Pueblo in Canyons of the Ancients

Painted Hand Pueblo in Canyons of the Ancients

Just 12 miles from Mesa Verde National Park, this national monument often falls off travelers' radar screens, making it a fantastic place to discover solitude and ancient history. It contains the highest known archaeological site density in the United States with 6,355-plus recorded sites. 

Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colo.

The Anasazi Heritage Center serves as the visitor center for the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, and it digs deep into the 2,000-year history of the area, which culminated in the settlement of Mesa Verde. 

Before you leave the visitor center, pick up a much-needed road map and inquire about the conditions of the park's dirt roads. Stock up on drinking water before you head out of Dolores.


Cliff Palace Tour in Mesa Verde National Park

7 Four Corners Gems Surrounding Mesa Verde National Park

From a thriving restaurant scene to rare opportunities to learn about our nation’s ancient history, Cortez, Mancos and Dolores offer more than just uncrowded trails in one of Colorado’s most undiscovered corners. Here are the top 7 things to do in Mesa Verde country.

Point Lookout, Lone Cone and Knife Edge in Mesa Verde National Park at dusk

Where to Stay Near Mesa Verde National Park

You're sure to have well-rested vacation with our insider information on hotels, cabins and camping near Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde National Park

Palaces of the Past in Mesa Verde National Park

Experience the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited this enchanting landscape for more than 10,000 years.

Airstream Trailer at Dolores River Camp

Glamping Near Mesa Verde

Stay in an Airstream, yurt, cabin or tent at the Delores River Campground in Southwestern Colorado

Mikaela Ruland crawls through the tunnel at Balcony House in Mesa Verde National Park

48 Hours in Mesa Verde National Park

There's more to do beyond the main attraction of touring ancient cliff ruins. Take a hike, gaze from a fire tower or have dinner with a view.

Scott Ortman, top, at an arroyo in southwest Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde’s “Lost” People

Turkeys, language and oral histories tell the story of the vanished people of Mesa Verde, who, as it turns out, weren’t lost at all.

Featured image for Map of Mesa Verde National Park

Official Mesa Verde National Park Map PDF

Download the official map to find your way around Mesa Verde National Park in Southwest Colorado including park roads, trails, visitor centers, and ruin attractions.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Dwellings

10 Things to Do in Mesa Verde National Park

Explore ruins abandoned 200 years before Christopher Columbus set foot in the “new world” plus 9 more fun activities.

Albuquerque International Sunport Airport

Closest Airports to Mesa Verde National Park

Convenient airports serving major airlines include Durango, Grand Junction, Albuquerque and Phoenix. See maps and recommendations.