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Trail of The Ancients

Length: 116 miles. Driving time: 3 hours.

Hovenweep National MonumentTrail of the Ancients MapThe Anasazi - the "Ancient Ones" to the later Navajo - guarded their secrets closely. We know they dominated the Colorado Plateau for hundreds of years, yet basic questions about them - who they were, how they lived, what they believed - remain less than fully resolved. This 114-mile route across the broken, arid terrain of their former civilization is heavily laden with clues: cliff dwellings, rock art, pottery shards. Hovenweep National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park both contain dense clusters of Anasazi remains, and the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores offers background and interpretive information. One branch of the byway leads to the Four Corners Area, connecting Utah's Trail of the Ancients byway.

Trail of the Ancients was designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as a National Scenic Byway in 2005. It is one of eleven America's Byways® designated in Colorado.

Mesa Verde National Park
Hovenweep National Monument
Anasazi Heritage Center
Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park
Trail of the Ancients, New Mexico
Geotourism MapGuide
Navajo Nation Scenic Roads
Trail of the Ancients, Utah
Yucca House National Monument

Local Chamber of Commerce(s):
Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce
Mesa Verde County

Byways Corridor Management Plan:
Trail of the Ancients Corridor
Management Plan 2009 Update
Special Considerations:
Muddy when wet.
Some gravel surfaces.

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Contact Information

Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway
P.O. Box 759
Cortez, Colorado 81321
Contact: Susan Thomas

Contact Information


Lenore C. Bates
Colorado Scenic Byways Coordinator
4201 E Arkansas Ave, Shumate Bldg
Denver CO 80222-3406

Colorado Tourism Office
Call 1-800-COLORADO (800-265-6723)

2016 Partnerships

Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways 2016 partnerships

All-American Road Sponsor:


America's Byways Sponsor:

Colorado Vacation Directory


Colorado Scenic Byway Sponsor:

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Colorado: The Official State Web Portal