Farm to Fun in Mesa Verde Country

Mesa Verde Country is full of ancient pueblos and southwest charm. While Mesa Verde National Park attracts the majority of visitors to this corner of Colorado (and rightfully so!), there is much to explore beyond the Park. History buffs will relish in the region’s rich past, and outdoor enthusiasts will have a hard time deciding which activity to embrace. Additionally, the food and beverage industry has a strong commitment to–literally–the region’s roots, and flavors are just as much delicious as they are local. Here are my suggestions for passing a few days in Mesa Verde Country.

Day 1: Get acquainted

If you’re visiting from Telluride, the scenic Dolores River Canyon is a warm welcome to Mesa Verde Country. Along the way, you’ll literally cut through the earth, from the snowy San Juan mountains to the Colorado desert. Finally you’ll land in the charming town of Dolores–an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. Multiple campgrounds, beautiful fishing waters, and multi-sport trails fill the surrounding forest and will leave you busy for days.

Between Dolores and Cortez, Canyon of the Ancients Visitor’s Center is a great place to get acquainted with region’s history. There are interactive exhibits that are fun and educational, such as milling corn into flour. Furthermore, a half-mile up the Escalante Trail (wheelchair-accessible) leads visitors to the Escalante Pueblo, and offers a glimpse into the past.

Dine

The Farm Bistro in Cortez features ingredients from a small radius. Creative and delicious home-cooked meals span the menu, as do local brews and wines. The owners have a strong commitment to sourcing local items and employing sustainable practices. This place is definitely worth a meal stop!

Day 2: Canyon of the Ancients & Sutcliffe Vineyards

Have you ever toured a vineyard that instantly felt like home? Or, should I say, wished it was your home? Sutcliffe Vineyards outside Cortez is one of the most inspiring properties to spend time. The staff is all-too-welcoming, and the wine is wonderful. Another perk is the proximity of the vineyard to Canyon of the Ancients National Monument–it’s right across the road! I mountain biked a loop through Canyon of the Ancients along the Sand Canyon Trail, but hiking is another great way to see the sights. Coupling a wine tasting with ancient cliff dwelling exploration makes for a perfect day.

Day 3: (more) Mountain Biking and Art

Mesa Verde Country is a mountain biker’s dream, with multiple trails to choose from. The most renown trail in the area is Phil’s World, a twisting rollercoaster of hills, brush, and one-way singletrack. Kokopelli Bike and Board in Cortez rents bikes if you don’t have your own, and of course they can recommend trails and other information about the area.

If you’re heading out toward Durango, make time for Mancos. The walkable Creative District is loaded with galleries and shops brimming with local flair. You’ll find some of the artists hard at work in their space as well. Mancos is a quiet and charming old-west town, and a lovely place to spend the afternoon. Outlier Cellars in Mancos is a welcoming establishment, serving up house ciders crafted with apples from local Colorado orchards. Not only do they offer delicious refreshments, but their space on the river is a peaceful place to relax.

Article created in partnership with Mesa Verde Country, Colorado.

 

Coming Soon! Guided Podcast Tour from Mesa Verde Country

Mesa Verde Country was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO). We’re using that money to create downloadable podcasts that will help you learn about the area’s rich archaeological history when you visit!

The “Ancient Voices” audio driving tour will share information about the many archaeological attractions in Mesa Verde Country, as well as local history, Western stories, botany, cosmology, music and life in ancient Puebloan times. Now, you will have even more resources available to enjoy the rich archaeology in our area. As we like to say, “one day just isn’t enough!” to see all of this.

Winter Fun in Mesa Verde Country

Just because the snow is flying doesn’t mean the fun ends in Mesa Verde Country! In fact, Mesa Verde Country has snow, mountains, sunshine and everything you need for the perfect cold-weather getaway at an affordable price. And, it’s all within driving distance of Denver, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Mesa Verde National Park Hosts Moonlight Snowshoe & Ski on Jan. 6

Mesa Verde Country is an incredible place to visit any time of the year. But winter can be particularly spectacular when the area is carpeted in snow. And special events like this one make it even more magical! 

On Friday, Jan. 6, Mesa Verde National Park is hosting a free, all-ages moonlight snowshoe and ski event. It’s part of the park’s Winter Fest. The Morefield Campground winter trails will be open from 6-10 p.m. for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Winter Fun in Mesa Verde Country

Just because the snow is flying doesn’t mean the fun ends in Mesa Verde Country! In fact, Mesa Verde Country has snow, mountains, sunshine and everything you need for the perfect cold-weather getaway at an affordable price. And, it’s all within driving distance of Denver, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Mesa Verde Country Logo

Connect With Us