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State Parks, Preserves and Heritage Areas

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument near Mesa Verde

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. 

Lowry Pueblo at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Lowry Pueblo at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Photo: Gloria Wadzinski
Great Kiva at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Great Kiva at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Photo: Gloria Wadzinski
Lowry Pueblo at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Lowry Pueblo at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Photo: Gloria Wadzinski

The Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colo., 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. Download the FAQ sheet to familiarize yourself with this remote area.

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.

For more information about the Anasazi Heritage Center, visit www.blm.gov/learn/interpretive-centers/CANM-visitor-center-museum.

Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colo.
Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colo. Photo: Gloria Wadzinski
Exhibit at the Anasazi Heritage Center.
Exhibit at the Anasazi Heritage Center. Photo: Gloria Wadzinski