Archeological Sites of the Four Corners Area

The Four Corners area which encompasses Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, was vastly inhabited by Ancesteral Puebloans for over 700 years from A.D. 600 through A.D 1300. No trip to the area would complete without a visit to one of our many archeological treasures.

Mesa Verde National Park

Located between Durango and Cortez, Mesa Verde National Park is the only National Park containing archeological ruins. We reccomend a full day to fully experience the park, visitors center and museum. Plan an hour and 20 minutes driving time from Durango.

 Ute Mountain Tribal Park

Ute Indian guides will interpret the history and archeology of the Ute Mountain Tribal Park located west of Mesa Verde National Park. Advanced reservations are required for the half or full day tour. Park is not open to the public except as scheduled tours. Tours depart from Towaoc, 22 miles south of Cortez, CO.

Aztec Ruins National Monument

Located in Aztec, NM, just 45 minutes south of Durango, the Aztec Ruins are easily accessible and offer the opportunity to explore an Ancient Puebloan great house of over 500 rooms.

Salmon Ruins

Located in Bloomfield NM, the Salmon Ruins are another very easily accessible archeological site that includes 11th century ruins and a Chacoan style great house as well as replica sweat lodge, hogan, and tipi. Research center and gift shop are open as well.

Chaco Canyon

Located in northern New Mexico, Chaco Canyon is considered to be the center for ceremonial, trade and administration for the entire four corners region. The Chacoan people combined many elements: pre-planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping, and engineering to create an ancient urban center of spectacular public architecture.

Crow Canyon Archeological Center

Crow Cnayon Archeological Center offers a visit to a current excavation site, viewing of artifacts, tour of the archeology lab and hands-on activities. Offered Wednesdays and Thursdays May through September. Ages 10+ only. Reservations required.

Anasazi Heritage Center

Located west of Dolores Co, The Anasazi Heritage Center is a museum and resource for archeology throughout the region. Open year round.

Hovenweep National Monument

This national monument protects six Puebloan era villags near the Utah Colorado border. Services within the park are limited and some of the hikes are considered strenuous. This site isconsidered to be more remote and isolated than other archeological sites in the area. Visitors Center is open May through September.

Canyons of the Ancients; Sand Canyon 

This 166,000 acre park protects 2,000 archelogical sites. Located 15.5 miles west of Cortez, McElmo Canyon offers extensive hiking and biking in a spectacul archeological setting.

Chimney Rock Archeological Area

Home to ancesteral Puebloan indians 1,000 years ago, Chimney Rock Archeological Area sits on 4100 acres of the San Juan National Forest. 91 of the 200+ structures in the area are considered to have been permanent structures. Open May 15-Sept. 30 3miles off of Hwy. 160 on Hwy 151.

Monument Valley

Picturesque Monument Valley in eastern Utah is noted for it's stuning scenery, archeological sites and Navajo history and culture. The famous Gouldings was established in 1923 as a trading post comunity. Still in operation today, Gouldings offers lodging, dining and other visitor services. Many western films were shot in this scenic area.

Animas Museum

Located in Durango, the Animas Museum displays exhibits of local hisory as well as native cultures. 3065 W. 2nd Ave. Durango.

Center for Southwest Studies- Fort Lewis College

The Center for Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College connects individuals and communities with opportunities to explore, study, and experience the Southwest's dynamic heritage. The Center facilities include an exhibit space, an archival repository, a special collections library, the Office of Community Services, and classrooms, labs, and offices for the College's Anthropology and Southwest Studies academic degree programs. The Center is located on the Fort Lewis College campus in Durango.


*The historic Strater Hotel, and all its outlets, are nonsmoking facilities-no smoking of any kind is allowed.
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