Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Cortez

#3 of 11 in Things to do in Cortez
Ruin · Hidden Gem · Monument
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is a national monument protecting an archaeologically-significant landscape located in the southwestern region of the U.S. state of Colorado. The monument's are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, as directed in the Presidential proclamation which created the site on June 9, 2000. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is part of the National Landscape Conservation System, better known as the National Conservation Lands. This system comprises 32 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management to conserve, protect, and restore these nationally significant landscapes recognized for their outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values. Canyons of the Ancients encompasses and surrounds three of the four separate sections of Hovenweep National Monument, which is administered by the National Park Service. The monument was proclaimed in order to preserve the largest concentration of archaeological sites in the United States, primarily Ancestral Puebloan ruins. As of 2005, over 6,000 individual archeological sites had been identified within the monument.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is located 9 miles west of Pleasant View, Colorado in southwestern Colorado. The monument's northern and eastern boundaries are canyons. Its western boundary is the Colorado-Utah state border. Lands south are bordered by the Ute Mountain Reservation and McElmo Creek.
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Canyons of the Ancients National Monument reviews

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  • I stopped here on my way to Hovenweep National Monument. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument preserves thousands of Ancestral Puebloan artifacts. Canyons of the Ancients is not well...  more »
  • My first time in the area and I really enjoyed myself. Even though the museum is only open Thursday through Saturday, don't let that stop you from going. There was a wonderful volunteer outside on...  more »
  • The museum had a lot of facts very informative. The 100 mile trip around the Land of the Ancients was long and hot. So many of the wonderful things to see now that we are retired are inaccessible to us. We have the time and money but can't hike back to these sites. Would have liked a way to have reserved a tour so we and others like us could see these sites. That would also bring in more revenue for the park. We need to do more for the seniors that have supported our National Parks for years.
  • The NPS Guides are helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. We really enjoyed the Visitors Center Learning more about the land, how they are preserving, and more about the local culture. We opted for a 6 mile hike which was not strenuous. There was only 1 other couple out - and so it is important to remember there are lots of miles between you & help, take lots of water!

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