We left Natural Bridges National Park and drove over to Cortez, Colorado where we would stay for a couple of nights to explore some of the area. On the way over we tried to visit Four Corners Monument but arrived 15 minutes after closing time, c’est la vie. Four Corners is where Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico meet. We stopped about 20ft/6M inside New Mexico, this was the first time here for us, but really, it does not count.
This was also our first time in Colorado other than passing through Denver airport on various occasions. After arriving around 8pm we stayed the night at Ancient Mesa Cedars Verde RV Park, next morning we took advantage of their facilities and did laundry, emptied our tanks and filled up with fresh water.
We left around noon and drove out to Canyon of the Ancients, National Monument.
Here we found some history and ruins left by the Puebloan Ancestors.
From here we continued further south into the Park to Hovenweep.
We walked the two-mile loop trail to see the all the ruins.
We went back to Cortez and spent the night in the Walmart parking lot. Next morning, we travelled to Mesa Verde National Park where we had booked a guided tour.
Upon arrival we found out more information about the Puebloan Ancestors in the Mesa Verde area. These people also lived in a canyon, and like the peoples of Natural Bridges they built homes on half way up the canyon walls.
We did a quick self tour prior to meeting up with our guide. Some of the native people in this area also built Kiva’s and irrigated the canyon walls/slopes by terracing to grow crops.
After this we joined our guided tour of the area. We visited a Pithouse where the first local people once lived.
From here we toured the canyon wall ruins built in shallow caves.
We then had an opportunity to climb down into one of these ruins located halfway up the canyon wall.
Then we then had the fun time of climbing back out, we exited by a different route which had its own challengers.
After spending most of the day here we left and continued to Durango for the evening.
Next: Four Corners – New Mexico