The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is excited to offer a pair of new educational tours designed to help visitors of all ages enhance and expand upon a visit to Mesa Verde National Park, and to give local residents a better understanding of the incredible ancient history to be found here in their own backyards.
These guided two- and four-hour tours are based out of the Crow Canyon Connection, located inside the Colorado Welcome Center at 928 E. Main St. in Cortez. Transportation during the tours is provided.
The “Beyond Mesa Verde” tour is scheduled for Mondays, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 for adults, $60 for youths ages 10-17, and free for children under 10.Immerse yourself in the archaeological landscape beyond Mesa Verde National Park. Discover how the Chaco Phenomenon (A.D. 950–1150) transformed the region with monumental buildings, extensive trade networks, and exotic artifacts. The journey begins at the Colorado Welcome Center with an introduction to current-day Montezuma County before traveling to the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum. A guide will provide a specialized tour of the exhibits. A 1.3 mile walk takes you to Escalante Pueblo, a 12th-century Chaco outlier. From the hilltop, enjoy a spectacular 360-view of the high desert and learn about the ancient environment from Mesa Verde to the Bears Ears. Continue your exploration of the Chaco Phenomenon with a visit to Crow Canyon’s active archaeological dig, where archaeologists and citizen scientists are excavating two Chaco great houses. Meet the archaeologists and walk away with a deeper understanding of the area’s rich history. Conclude the tour with an overview of Crow Canyon’s current research and education initiatives. Learn how archaeology and American Indian knowledge is shaping our knowledge of past and present communities.
The “Excavation Site Tour” is scheduled for Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-noon. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for youths 10-17 and free for children under 10.Learn about the impact of the Chaco Phenomenon (A.D. 950–1150), and discover one of the densest concentrations of Chaco great houses in the Mesa Verde region by experiencing a working archaeological dig site and chatting with the archaeologists overseeing this excavation. Your tour begins with a quick introduction at the Colorado Welcome Center and an overview of current day Montezuma County. Your guide will then take you on a journey through time beginning 12,000 years ago and leading up to the Pueblo II period (A.D. 950 – 1150). Get caught up in the thrill of discovery on an exclusive tour Crow Canyon’s current dig site—the Northern Chaco Outliers Project. Here you will learn how archaeology and American Indian knowledge is shaping our knowledge of past and present communities.
The Crow Canyon Connection also offers unique local gifts and souvenirs, snacks, and information about Crow Canyon tours as well as information about Crow Canyon’s array of archaeological, educational, and travel programs. Hours of operation for Crow Canyon Connection and the Colorado Welcome Center are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year. The facility is closed on major holidays.
For more information about the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, go to CrowCanyon.org.