Visiting Canyons Of The Ancients

Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Left Lane

Pumas on Parade
The Canyons of The Ancients National Monument Mountain Lion Art Sculpture at the entrance of the Anasazi Heritage Welcome Center in Dolores Colorado. It’s part of the 2005 Pumas On Parade art exhibit. Some of which can be viewed below. All of the Pumas are named by their artist. This one is known as the “Chuska Puma”
Each of the Pumas on Parade art Sculptures have an information plate. This is the information plate for the “Chuska Puma”. All of the Pumas on Parade are scattered around in Public Areas for viewing. With the majority of them being in various cities around Southwestern Colorado

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During my 5100 mile road trip out west. One of the many places I stopped to visit along the way was the Canyons of The Ancients National Monument.

At this amazing park, with breathtaking scenery. You can view the remains of the ancient mud brick dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan’s, also known as the Anasazi.

Canyon of the Ancients National Monument
Selfie with the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument sign, after arriving at the Canyon

The Pueblos

According to the experts the Ancestral Puebloans who lived in the area didn’t have a written system. Their language was an oral system of maintaining records of the ages through the village elders.

Even though they had no written language. They still had other ways of communicating with each other in a nonverbal manner. Such as the Petroglyph’s they literally left carved into stone.

Want to see some of their Petroglyph’s? Just check out my other article RIGHT HERE

After entering the park, just before you approach the Anasazi Heritage Welcome Center. Just off the edge of the sidewalk you encounter the Dominguez Pueblo, a small 3 room Pueblo.

The Dominguez Pueblo

Dominguez Pueblo
The remains of this small Pueblo can still be viewed. It was constructed sometime around 1123 A.D. and was home to four, or five people.
Dominguez Pueblo
This information sign, conveniently placed near the Dominguez Pueblo. Offers up some interesting facts, like telling about the “Kiva” within this humble abode. The Kiva is a warm earthen wall, earth insulated room dug into the Pueblo. Which doubled as a warm room in the Winter, or a cool room in the Summer

After visiting the Dominguez Pueblo, you can head inside the Visitor Center & Museum to see some of the intriguing artifacts recovered from various sites around the Canyon. If you would like to see some of these amazing pieces of human history, you can visit their Facebook page HERE.

I spent the majority of the day exploring Mesa Verde National Park. Just a short 20 minutes, or 18 mile drive from Canyons of The Ancients National Monument. Unfortunately I got to the Museum just as they closed at 4p.m, and didn’t get the opportunity to go inside.

They still had a 1/2 mile long nature trail, that you could walk. Allowing you to see breathtaking views, and visit another Pueblo higher up the trail. For a 1 mile round trip, it’s most definitely worth it.

On The Trail

The Trail Map leading you from the Visitors Center to the Pueblo

Before walking up the silent, scenic nature trail in the winter alone. I read a sign that most definitely did the exact opposite of put me at peace.

The Mountain Lion Warning Sign posted on the trail from the Canyons of the Ancients. Notice it said be especially careful at Dawn and Dusk.

I was taking this photo just 35 minutes before sunset. I broke two of the rules, just begging to be ate, I went alone, and at dusk, but luckily the big cats didn’t want any Roving Gypsy on the menu that day! 🤣

Trying to follow Rule #2 as I hiked the nature trail alone. I ended up singing (nope I don’t have a good voice 🤣). Rattling my car keys, and clanking some loose coins I had in my pocket to make racket. Just in case there was a Mountain Lion on the prowl within earshot.

If there was anyone else around on the other side of the trees, they may have thought a crazy man was approaching by all the noise I was keeping up during my hike 😂. Look, I rather sound crazy, then be dinner. 🤷🏽‍♂️

The View

Upon reaching the summit, and looking out over the valley at the Canyons of the ancients. I was greeted with a view that made moving lower on the food chain worth while. Check out Ute Mountain, and Black Mountain as they combine, and tower over the valley

After your done admiring the view from over 7000 feet above sea level. You proceed over to the next, and one of the more impressive Pueblos on the trail.

The Escalante Pueblo

Checkout The Scenery!

The surrounding landscape, is absolutely beautiful. It isn’t hard to see why the Ancestral Puebloans chose to stay at this location.

This photo was taken, as I stood at the Escalante Pueblo
A panoramic photo I snapped of the area as I stood atop Canyon of the Ancients. Admiring the view from the same place the ancients once stood
Check out this Video showing all six directions that were of importance to the Native Peoples. Those directions are: North, South, East, West, Zenith (Above), and Nadir (Below). Overlooking Mount Wilson, Blackhawk Mountain, Mount Eolus, and the 14,000’ foot Mount Sneffels,
This Lanscape info sign tells you about the surrounding Alpine Forests, filled with Juniper, Piñon, and Sage. Allowing you insight into the various natural herbs the Ancestral Puebloans would have had at their disposal

Way To Close The Day

After spending the whole day on the move, leaving right after breakfast to Explore Mesa Verde National Park. Continuing my exploration of Colorado over at Cayons of the Ancients National Monument. I was ready to kick back, and relax for the rest of the night.

After hiking many a nature trail for the day, and driving some nerve racking alpine roads. It was time for dinner. Seeking out a local restaurant, I couldn’t try back home. I found a burger place in Durango Colorado, that didn’t disappoint.

The place I discovered was an open air, outdoor dining burger joint known as Famburger, which had good reviews
I ended up ordering the Green Chili Burger, with Chili Cheese Fries. To see their full Menu just Click Here

After leaving Famburger I headed over to the local Convenience Store Speedway, where I searched for a locally brewed adult beverage to try out.

The one I settled on was an Avalanche Amber Ale by Breckenridge Brewery of Breckenridge Colorado. Their Brewery and Pub is located about a 1 and 1/2 hour drive West of Denver.

For those who follow the Beer Advocate for reviews, this one is rated 76 out of 100

The Roving Gypsy

Thanks for reading my Travel Blog. I hope you enjoyed this solo Colorado Adventure to the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument as much as I did. Like what you read, and want more, or have a suggestion for me? Follow, Share, and Comment to let me know.

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