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Mesa Verde Country Blog

Time-Honored Food; New Cachet in Cortez

Sweet. Hot.

Jalapeño. Serrano. Poblano. Chipotle.

We’re talking peppers.

And Tess Montaño Forth can tell you all about them. This restaurateur is the owner and operator of Pepperhead, the downtown Cortez, Colorado eatery that has won the hearts and appetites of residents and scores of visitors alike, with its fresh southwest-style food. The menu has deep roots in her family’s culinary tradition, with an up-to-date approach that makes use of abundant, organic, locally sourced meats and produce in Mesa Verde Country.

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New air service to Cortez from Denver & Phoenix

Boutique Air, where you can “fly private for the cost of commercial,” recently began service to/from Cortez to Denver and Phoenix. This is great news for travelers, who now have another, convenient option for getting to Mesa Verde Country to enjoy all the amazing activities and attractions for which our area is famous.

From Cortez Municipal Airport, there are three daily flight options to Denver and one to Phoenix. Prices start at just $59 each way. The typical Boutique aircraft seats between 8-20 passengers.

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4 antichi luoghi indiani nel sud-ovest del Colorado – incredibile!

Il sud-ovest del Colorado è semplicemente qualcosa di diverso. Un soffio d’aria calda e secca del deserto, uno splendido paesaggio d’alta montagna a 4.400m d’altitudine, chiamato San Juan Mountains, acqua fresca di sorgente e numerose grotte sulle scogliere, chiamate “Cliff Dwellings”. Non c’è da stupirsi che gli indiani nativi abbiano popolato questa zona per così tanto tempo. Non riuscivo a crederci quando ho visitato questi luoghi antichi nel parco nazionale di Mesa Verde. Ai visitatori internazionali che vogliono conoscere la cultura degli indiani raccomando di visitare i seguenti luoghi:

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4 antike Indianerstätten im Südwesten von Colorado – Unglaublich!

Colorados Südwesten ist einfach anders. Ein Hauch von warmer und trockener Wüstenluft, eine atemberaubende, 4,400m hohe Bergkulisse der sogenannten San Juan Mountains, frisches Quellwasser und zahlreiche Höhlen an steilen Felsen, sogenannte „Cliff Dwellings“. Kein Wunder, dass einheimische Indianer diese Gegend für lange Zeit besiedelten. Ich konnte es einfach nicht glauben, als ich im Mesa Verde National Park diese antiken Stätten besuchte. Für internationale Besucher, die die Kultur der Indianer erleben wollen, empfehle ich die folgenden Orte zu besuchen:

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4 sites Amérindiens antiques dans le Sud-Ouest du Colorado – incroyable!

Le Sud-Ouest du Colorado est simplement différent. Une touche d’air du désert, chaud et sec, un paysage superbe de 4.400m de haute montagne, nommés les « San Juan Mountains », l’eau de source fraîche et de nombreuses grottes sur rochers escarpés du nom de « Cliff Dwellings ». Il n’est pas étonnant que les Amérindiens natifs aient peuplé cette région pendant longtemps. Je ne pouvais pas croire mes yeux quand j’ai visité ces sites anciens dans le parc national de Mesa Verde. Pour les visiteurs internationaux qui veulent découvrir la culture des Amérindiens, je vous recommande de visiter les endroits suivants :

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Meet Bessie White, Founder of the Cortez Farmers Market

Recently, The Perennial Plate, a two-time James Beard Award winning online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating, featured a documentary about Cortez’s own Bessie White.

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Fall in Mesa Verde Country

Autumn is arguably one of the best times to visit Mesa Verde Country. It’s an area renowned for its rich culture, history, agritourism, adventure and more. Fall colors bloom, and the crisp air is just right for outdoor recreation – no scorching heat or biting cold!
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The ABCs of Mesa Verde Country’s Farm-to-Table Movement

Mesa Verde Country has a strong agricultural tradition. The Ancestral Puebloans were the first agriculturalists in the area. They farmed the valleys and the mesas of Montezuma County, including Mesa Verde National Park, until around 1300 A.D.

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Food for the Love of the Land

Lee-Ann Hill Laughing Wolf Farm

Laughing Wolf Farm, of Mancos, Colorado, has been cultivating Mesa Verde Country’s indigenous foods for four years now, under the stewardship of conservationist-turned-farmer Ms. Lee-Ann Hill. Lee-Ann explains that her career and study of sustainable landscapes and water conservation was a natural entree into ecological, highly localized agriculture. But to hear her describe what she does now, and why, is more like art than science. In short, it’s a bit of both.

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Vote for Cortez in Elevation Outdoors’ Top Adventure Town Contest

Vote for Cortez!

vote cortez

 Elevation Outdoors Magazine is hosting its annual Top Adventure Town Contest, and Cortez is in the running for the mid-size town category. The public poll contest will culminate with one winner in each category – small towns, mid-size towns and large cities.

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Balloons, Barrel Racing, Brews & Biking in Mesa Verde Country

May we suggest a road trip? Make the most of the remaining summer with our signature Mesa Verde Country events this month.

Cortez Balloon Rally August 5-7

Going strong for the past decade, see this colorful spectacle this weekend!

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Fresh Four Corners Cuisine Inspired by French Classics


Derek Fontenot, Executive Chef

Chef Derek Fontenot comes by his French cooking expertise honestly: he was trained at the Culinary Art Institute of Louisiana where he mastered French Creole and Cajun cooking. Now, he brings that technique and puts a solid Colorado spin on it at the Metate Room at Farview Lodge, Mesa Verde National Park’s fine dining restaurant.

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What’s green and blue and good through and through?

It’s the green chili stew and blue corn muffins at The Farm Bistro in Cortez, Colorado. 

In a word: Yum. In two words? Organically grown. 

Rusty and Laurie Hall, restaurateurs, established this popular Mesa Verde Country restaurant seven years ago; it was born of a love of raising food on their nearby 70-acre farm. 

“The Farm Bistro started as an outgrowth of us actively growing vegetables and selling them at farmers markets and to restaurants,” says Laurie. “Now our daughter and son-in-law grow stuff for the restaurant.” The family farm, local independent growers, the Southwest Farm Fresh Coop and several others supply the eatery with salad greens, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, corn, onions, potatoes—and even edible flowers. The goal is to make the best use of whatever is seasonally fresh and available.

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