Scenic Byways Scenic Byways

Colorado Scenic Byways Map
Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway


Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway, The Colorado Vacation Directory Click here to go to map legend

Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway near Cortez, Dolores, Mancos, Mcphee Reservoir, Stoner

Ruins at Hovenweep National Monument, Colorado Vacation Directory
Hovenweep National Monument


From 200 - 1300 AD, complex civilizations built by the Ancient Pueblo People flourished in the canyons of the Four Corners area. Their reasons for leaving the region are still a mystery, but traces of their civilization remain. Ute and Navajo Indians also populated large portions of Colorado. They lived in dispersed communities along the canyons and mountains. The Navajo remain in the area in small family communities speckling the land of the Navajo Reservation. The Ute people today remain along the Trail at Towaoc in Colorado. The Trail of the Ancients Byway will take you through this area on a historical adventure, from past to present, and along the way it displays the art of the ancients, the art of today and the art of mother nature. The byway is about 114 miles in length and will take approximately 3 hours to drive. However, to see everything the byway has to offer, allow 2 - 3 days to travel it.

Anasazi Heritage Center, Colorado Vacation Directory
Artifacts from the Dolores Archaeological Program are on display at the Anasazi Heritage Center
Dolores Archeological Site, Colorado Vacation Directory
The Dolores Archaeological Site in Southwest Colorado has 125 Fully Excavated Homesites


There are many points of interest preserving the cultures and traditions of people who have settled this land. Edge of the Cedars State Park and Mule Canyon Ruins offer ancient Puebloan ruins. At the head of Mule Canyon, the famous and very fragile, 900 year old, Seven Towers balance precariously. Other interesting attractions are the pictograph and petroglyphs panels in the Grand Gulch Primitive Area, drawn and carved over 1,000 years ago. Other rock art dating back 800 to 2,500 years can also be found along the San Juan River. One interesting picture is Kokopelli, the humpbacked flute player of ancient Pueblo mythology, depicted on the petroglyphs panel at Sand Island. Mesa Verde National Park and Chimney Rock Archaeological Site are also nearby for more exploration of ancient civilizations.

Sleeping Ute Mountain, Colorado Vacation Directory
It was Believed that Sleeping Ute Mountain was a Great Warrior God


There are many beautiful natural attractions in addition to these historical sites. The byway cuts through snow-capped mountains and red rock landscape of southeastern Utah, continues through the arid desert of northeastern Arizona and ends in the sandstone lined canyons and lush valleys of southwestern Colorado.

The Colorado byway travels through the Four Corners National Monument, following the path of State Highway 145 south to its intersection with US Highway 160 and Cortez. It then passes by the southwest area of the San Juan National Forest up to Pleasant View. The byway then travels south to Utah.

key to symbols

Places to Stay & Fun Things to Do

Ancient Cedars @ Mesa Verde RV Resort link to Colorado vacation
The closest full service resort to Mesa Verde National Park, across from the Entrance! Ancient Cedars has easy Highway access for BIG RVs, full hookup pull-thrus, cabins, tent sites. 9 miles East of Cortez.

More Activities & Information

Dolores Area, Colorado includes: Mcphee Reservoir, Stoner

Mesa Verde Area, Colorado includes: Cortez, Mancos

Scenic Byways in Colorado

Click to return to main Colorado Scenic Byway Map

horizontal rule

Places to Stay & Facility Features
Cabins & Cottages | Motels & Hotels | Lodging & Lodges | Vacation Homes | Condos, Suites & Townhomes | Bed & Breakfast | Tent Camping | RV Parks & Campgrounds | RV Sales, Service & Rentals | Romance Packages | Family Friendly | Pets Welcome | By Water | Swimming Pools | Guest Horses | Groups, Reunions & Retreats | Weddings & Elopements | Winter Lodging

Fun Things to Do
Calendars of Events | National Parks, Monuments & Historic Sites | Scenic Byways & Drives | Fishing & Fly Fishing | Hot Springs | Horse Riding | ATVing | Jeeping & 4WD | Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking | Attractions | Golfing | Restaurants & Dining | More Fun Stuff | Hunting & Land Leases | Snowmobiling | Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding | Snowshoeing | Cross - Country Skiing

A-Z Towns & Areas | Colorado Maps | About Us

Copyright by The Colorado Directory, Inc. This is a directory only; it is not and does not contain a recommendation,warranty, guaranty, inducement or endorsement of any kind. Representations herein were supplied by the individual businesses. The publisher, The Colorado Directory, Inc., does not assume any responsibility for truth, falsity or completeness of any representation made herein or any errors, changes, services rendered, or changes made in the use of this directory. This information was compiled as accurately as possible. Prices and services are frequently subject to change. Errors called to the publisher's attention will be corrected in the future. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.