History, adventure, and more stunning scenery than you can shake a stick at await on this loop in Southwestern Colorado. Can’t decide where to go? Let Inns of the San Juan Skyway plan your route through the area’s best adventures and historic inns.
Tag / Mesa Verde National Park
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Each year, Durango, Colorado welcomes thousands of travelers. Families, couples, and solo travelers of all ages are attracted by the promise of a new adventure, just as American pioneers once were.
Colorado has some of the most staggeringly beautiful landscape in the world, and you will be seeing all it has to offer as you travel the state along the spine of the Rocky Mountains, then down into the desert basin, before heading north again to Pikes Peak.
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.
The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad could offer the best historic train rides in the west. The company, home to a 12,000 square foot museum, sits in the idyllic town of Durango. It’s a stone’s throw from Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, and many great state parks. Parks aside, the D&SNGR (Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad) offers its own wealth of brilliant activities.
I arrived in Cortez having come from The Great Sand Dunes, near Alamosa. As with my previous trip, storm clouds stalked me as I drove, following me over the mountain ranges dividing the two locations.
Eventually I arrived in Cortez, an unsuspecting little town in a phenomenal part of Colorado – and even the US – called Mesa Verde Country. Home to more intrigue than I can list, it home to history dating back more than 800 years, along with an array of quality dining options, drinking options, and what I felt most drawn to – beautiful, unrelenting landscape scenery.