10/07/17 Saturday in Cortez, CO
Colorado Welcome Center
After reviewing information on Yucca House NM, Canyons of the Ancients NM and Hovenweep NM, we realized it would be smart to get complete information (and Passport stamps) and the Colorado Welcome Center. So glad we did. Because the Yucca House NM is very difficult to find and has only a piece of a wall excavated at this point, it wasn’t worth going to see, yet I could get my Passport stamp here at the Welcome Center. We also learned that the Canyons of the Ancients NM is administered by the BLM, on which land it stands. Thus that Visitor Center is actually in the Anasazi Heritage Center which is about 9 miles from Cortez, in Dolores, CO. We also got maps at the Welcome Center helping us find out way to Hovenweep and a couple sites in Canyons if we wanted to see them. Since you need a 4 wheel drive high clearance vehicle to get to those we decided it wasn’t worth it.
Anasazi Heritage Center
Beautiful artifacts to enjoy and explanations of the Puebloan cultures.
Hovenweep National Monument
The Visitor Center is at the campground here. Small, no fee. Lovely 2 mile loop trail goes around Little Ruin Canyon. At one end the canyon ends so you are walking on mesa around it, at the other end you get to descend into that canyon and ascend out of it. Great little hike, with lots of dwellings from the Chaco culture, I believe.
Right off the bat you see a number of the sites you’ll come across on your hike:
More that we saw along the rail: Hovenweep Castle
It took an hour to drive to Hovenweep from Anasazi Heritage Center. Our hike took just over an hour and our drive home in Cortez was another hour. Still worth the trip. We even saw feral? horses along the road back.