Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Dolores, Colorado is an excellent place to explore, as well as get a hands-on lesson in history and archaeology. The culture of Pueblo and other Native American ancestral backgrounds is ever-present. The historical site, often referred to as an outdoor museum, is an adventure in nature and an educational experience like no other.
Because many of the roads are unpaved, this is not a place to explore by vehicle. Likewise, not all features of the area are publicly documented. Instead, this outdoor museum is left open for personal discoveries. Visitors to the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument must first stop at the Anasazi Heritage Center. The center is a museum, as well as an informational and orientation site for the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
Visitors to the Anasazi Heritage Center can learn about the Anasazi culture, as well as that of other Native American cultures from Southwestern Colorado. Archaeological and historical exhibits provide a great educational opportunity. There also is an extensive library containing research and artifacts. The Anasazi Heritage Center is great to visit before a trip to the Canyon of the Ancients and also can be enjoyed alone.
Once in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, visitors are free to explore and discover the area on their own. Each experience is unique, as patrons are pretty much left on their own to see what they discover in this amazing outdoor museum. View ancient Pueblo dwellings, land, and environmental resources.
Because terrain is rough and weather can quickly change, there are some supplies you should have on hand first. Comfortable shoes are a must. They should be durable and able to withstand varied terrain. Hiking shoes are good for this, as they provide durability, traction, and protection. Also be sure to dress according to the weather. Even if it is sunny, a light sweater or jacket is recommended, in case the weather changes. This is not a complete supply list. Check at the Anasazi Heritage Center for current and expected weather conditions, as well as suggested supplies.