It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Yes, Mesa Verde Country is geared up for the season with special events that will surely bring a magic touch to your holidays this year.
If you are looking for a winter vacation filled with unique, made-in-Colorado experiences, Mesa Verde Country will not disappoint you.
We have selected the best holiday events and winter experiences for you to enjoy while visiting.
ANNUAL HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE, LUMINARIA
Don’t miss this locals’ favorite annual event, the Annual Holiday Open House, Luminaria. The most wonderful and awaited event is happening on Thursday, December 9 – weather permitting. Tip one: dress warmly and bring flashlights. Tip two: don’t miss the complimentary chili, cookies, hot chocolate, and music at the Far View Terrace. This will be a night to remember the life of the ancestral Puebloans and enjoy the magic holiday atmosphere.
ENJOY CHRISTMAS AT THE GALLOPING GOOSE No. 5
On Saturday, December 14 gather the family at the Galloping Goose Historical Society museum in Dolores for Santa, candies, cookies, tree lighting, live music, treat bags for kids, train rides and a bonfire. Don’t miss the arrival of Santa by Fire Truck at 4pm and the Tree Lighting at 5:30pm. The event is free.
HOLIDAY LIGHTING DISPLAYS IN DOLORES
All December long, the town of Dolores will shine its lights for the annual holiday lighting contest. Don’t miss the beautiful lights on the mountain overlooking the town of Dolores.
FREE CARRIAGE RIDES IN MANCOS
Every Saturday until Christmas from 2 to 4pm, enjoy winter sleigh-rides in Downtown Mancos – weather permitting. All aboard!
VISIT MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
Take some time to visit Mesa Verde National Park. The park is open in the winter months and offers a wonderful way to spend the holidays with family. Reservations are not needed to enter the park at this time. The Mesa Top Loop Road is a 6-mile (10 km) drive through 700 years of Ancestral Pueblo history. Along the road, you will find short, easily-accessible paved trails to archeological sites and views of cliff dwellings such as Cliff Palace from the Sun Temple stop. A trail guide is available. You can also download the audio tour, Mesa Top Loop Drive: A Pueblo Perspective and listen along in your car or on your phone.
OUTDOOR WINTER WONDERLAND
Enjoy the peace and the beauty of a quiet, snow-dusted Mesa Verde National Park. Some archeological sites are accessible by cross-country skiing or snowshoeing for an unforgettable winter adventure. Winter in Mesa Verde can also offer a wonderful opportunity for Nordic (cross-country) skiing, snowshoeing, and walking. Check the park’s hiking page for trails that are available before the snow falls and the winter trails are open. Located near the town of Mancos, Chicken Creek Nordic Trail offers superlative views of Mancos Valley. In Cortez, over 600 acres of open land allows visitors to enjoy stunning nature walks.
Gather around the farm-to-table! One—and perhaps the most important—moment of the holidays is sharing a meal with family and friends. Mesa Verde Country will not only delight your palate with the many dining options available, but it will also surprise you with the quality of its farm-to-table restaurants. There is even a winter farmers market in Mesa Verde Country at the Four Seasons Greenhouse. It’s open from 10 am to 1 pm every Saturday through mid-March.
LOCAL WINES AND CRAFT BEERS BRING THE HOLIDAY CHEER
Celebrate with a wine or a beer tasting, there are several options to choose from. Mesa Verde Country is home to two wineries − Fenceline and Yellow Car Country Wines, and five craft breweries − Mancos Brewing Company, Dolores River Brewery, J. Fargo’s Family Dining & Micro Brewery, Wildedge Brewery Collective and Main Street Brewery & Restaurant.