Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

Stories of the Native American experience, including the Pueblo people, are often told in past tense. At the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, however, visitors experience a broader understanding of Indigenous cultures—past and present—through immersive workshops, research programs, and travel seminars. Experience the diverse cultural heritage of Mesa Verde Country!

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is a 501 (c)(3), not-for-profit, research facility and living classroom offering hands-on archaeology programs. The Center is located on 170 acres in the high desert (6,200 feet in elevation) where deep sandstone canyons meet pinyon-, juniper-, and sage-covered plains.

Reserve a spot on a Cultural Explorations program—small group tours guided by archaeologists, cultural specialists, tribal members, and other subject-matter experts imparting the importance of contexts and perspectives in archeological studies. In addition, the Research Institute Crow Canyon hosts resident and visiting interdisciplinary scholars collaborating and sharing extensive research with the larger community.


Crow Canyon was founded on the idea that members of the public could play an important role in archaeology. Each year, the Center welcomes people of all ages to serve as citizen scientists in support of its mission to pursue archaeological research and experiential education in collaboration with Native Americans.


Join an archaeological survey of the Hawkins Preserve, a 122-acre natural area located just south of Cortez. The preserve includes numerous Ancestral Pueblo habitations (Pueblo I-III periods) that are part of the Mitchell Springs Group, one of the largest community centers in Southwest Colorado. In addition, you’ll survey several historic sites associated with Ute and Navajo peoples, as well as the earliest Euro-American settlers in the Cortez area. This non-dig program will benefit the Cortez Cultural Center by providing information on the history of the preserve, aiding interpretation of archaeology within the preserve, and adding to our understanding of the Prehispanic and Historic period occupation of the Mesa Verde region.

Visit the Center’s Archaeology Research Program to learn more about tuition, registration, and program details.

Before You Go

  • Advance reservations required

Excavation Site
Outdoor Learning Centers

  • Education Center
  • Research Facility
  • Discovery Archaeology Webinar Series
  • Student cabins

Getting There

Located northwest of Cortez, 23390 Road K

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to be part of living history here in Southwest Colorado. Start planning your visit to experience archaeology firsthand here in Mesa Verde Country!

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