Canyons of the Ancients National Monument near Mesa Verde
This little-known national monument offers solitude to explore ancient structures.
Just 12 miles from Mesa Verde National Park, Canyons of the Ancients 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.
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.