Mesa Verde Country was made for families. Visit archaeological sites and imagine where families sat for meals or made mud pies or bickered over small things. Take a hike or head out on the lake to create memories of wildflowers and fishing. From the history lessons and cultural insights to outdoor recreation galore, the kids will have a blast while growing, and the adults will get just as much out of the experiences. Throw in great meals and excellent parks and art, and you’ll see why so many families have made visiting a tradition for generations now!
Send your family back in time to see civilizations much different from ours and to learn about the ancient heritage of the people who inhabited this continent for 10,000 years or more! Local museums and institutions in Southwest Colorado are dedicated to interpreting the culture and archaeology with exciting, hands-on methods. The whole experience is a fun and educational family adventure.
See below for more things to do and see for the whole family in Mesa Verde Country!
SEEK OUTDOOR ADVENTURE IN MESA VERDE
Looking for family-friendly outdoor adventure? Look no further than Southwest Colorado. Enjoy a longer season for golf, rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking and fishing in Mesa Verde Country thanks to warmer temperatures in spring and fall compared to other destinations in Colorado. Our special location makes it possible to cross-country ski in front of ancient ruins in winter, then hike in warm red-rock canyons on the same day. Create your own family adventure in sun or snow, land or water in the Four Corners region!
HIKE & BIKE AT CANYON OF THE ANCIENTS NATIONAL MONUMENT
Discover cliffs, caves and wildlife in this piñon and juniper landscape! Ancestral Puebloans, a group of Native American peoples formerly referred to as the Anasazi, created a thriving civilization in the Four Corners region near Cortez in what is now the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument. These great architects built hundreds of multi-room cities right into the cliffs and pueblos along the entire canyon.
Visitors are invited to trail run, hike, mountain bike and ride horseback in this rugged and expansive desert. Known locally as Sand Canyon, this popular trail system begins in McElmo Canyon and contains a huge number of archaeological sites – more than 6,000 recorded so far and up to 100 per square mile.
The Canyons of the Ancients is managed as an integral cultural landscape containing a wealth of historic and environmental resources. Learn about the ancient culture through artifacts, exhibitions and workshops at the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum, Southwest Colorado’s premier archaeological museum.
TASTE AUTHENTIC FARM-TO-TABLE
Discover the real soul of farm-to-table in Mesa Verde Country! Stroll through lively farmer’s markets where you’ll sample organic produce and artisan creations. Visit a farm or ranch to experience firsthand the strong farming roots of the region. Cultivation of this region dates back to 1300 A.D! Then, dine at seasonal and sustainable restaurants where the whole family will be delighted by the decadent options. Don’t forget to taste some of the local craft beers from the five Mesa Verde brands brewed in Cortez, Dolores and Mancos! Take time to explore the bounty in Southwest Colorado.
VISIT MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK & WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years. Discover Mesa Verde National Park, one of the most widely known Native American archaeological preserves and most popular World Heritage Sites in North America. It’s an exploration for the entire family!
Against the backdrop of spectacular landscapes like Sleeping Ute Mountain, the mesas and canyons of Mesa Verde Country were once populated by Native American communities thousands of years before Europeans found themselves on this continent. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Open to the public for visitation, the many sites offer an unforgettable opportunity to introduce the family to ancient history.
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