Canyons of the Ancients
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Lowry Pueblo Photo by Lanny Wagner COLORADO Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is accessible via county-maintained paved and gravel roads. www.co.blm.gov/canm or contact the Bureau of Land Management at: Anasazi Heritage Center 27501 Highway 184 Dolores, CO 81323 ph: 970-882-5600 www.co.blm.gov/ahc For More Information, visit 160 491 Road G National Monument Ancients Hovenweep National Monument of the Drilling wellpads in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Wildlife includes deer, elk, mountain lion, coyote, fox, rare snakes and rare lizards. Falcons and eagles hunt in the area year-round. Some archaeological sites are clearly identified, while others are intended as exhibits in an ‘outdoor museum’ experience. The BLM allows a variety of uses such as hiking, cattle grazing, mountain biking, horseback riding, oil and gas development, research, hunting and conservation, in the monument, but not every use is allowed on every acre. Thousands of archaeological sites have been recorded in the monument, and thousands more await documentation and study. Some, such as those with standing walls, are obvious, and other sites consist of rubble mounds or depressions in the earth. These sites all need protection. As you explore the monument, please do your part to protect the natural beauty and archaeological integrity of the landscape. Mesa Verde National P ark Canyons of the Ancients National Monument encompasses more than 170,000 acres of high desert in the southwest corner of Colorado. Part of the Bureau of Land Management’s National Landscape Conservation System, the monument is managed to protect a rich landscape of cultural and natural resources. Monument headquarters are located at the Anasazi Heritage Center, near Dolores, which provides up-to-date visitor information, maps, exhibits and advice on travel conditions. 491 Canyons ANASAZI HERITAGE CENTER MAP & INFORMATION A NCIENTS Welcome BLM OF THE CANYONS NATIONAL MONUMENT A NCIENTS OF THE perspectives. Artifacts, microscopes, a loom and other hands-on experiences encourage discovery and exploration of the past. A ½-mile (3/4-km), self-guided interpretive trail leads to Escalante Pueblo, which offers a panoramic hilltop view. The museum shop offers books, videos and teaching materials about the ancient and recent history of the Four Corners area. The Center also has a movie theater, curation facility and library. If you have a few hours, visit the Anasazi Heritage Center, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Headquarters. Guided trips are provided by permitted private companies only. Contact Monument headquarters for a list. The Anasazi Heritage Center is fully wheelchairaccessible. The Center is open daily, except January 1, Thanksgiving and December 25. Call 970-882-5600 for admission fees and hours. The Heritage Center is 10 miles (16 km) north of Cortez. Painted Hand Pueblo Photo by Lanny Wagner Trip Ideas Visitors observe more than 100 bird species throughout the year. Cross-country motorized travel is not allowed. If a route is not signed, it is not open. There are no formal campgrounds. Primitive, dispersed camping is allowed, but vehicles must not be more than 20’ from the edge of a route surface. Artifacts excavated from sites in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument are preserved at the Anasazi Heritage Center (monument headquarters). This museum explains Ancestral Puebloan life on the Great Sage Plain and beyond and orients visitors. Interactive exhibits illustrate Ancestral Puebloan life from archaeological and Native American In the Sand Canyon/Rock Creek Special Recreation Management Area, visitors must stay on the designated routes. The rest of the Monument is open to foot and horseback travel. CANYONS If you have ½ day, visit the Heritage Center and Lowry Pueblo. Lowry Pueblo National Historic Landmark is the only developed recreation site within Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Lowry Pueblo has stabilized standing walls, 40 rooms, eight kivas and a Great Kiva. Lowry Pueblo also has interpretive signs and brochures, and the picnic area, toilet and trail are all wheelchair accessible. The area does not have drinking water or services except pit toilets, and there is no overnight camping. To reach Lowry, turn west off Highway 491 at Pleasant View onto County Road CC and go 9 miles (14.5 km) west. This asphalt road turns to gravel, but is usually passable by all vehicles. Ask the staff at the Anasazi Heritage Center for winter accessibility status. If you have a day, visit the Anasazi Heritage Center, Lowry Pueblo and Painted Hand Pueblo. Bicycles are allowed only on existing county roads and designated BLM routes. Painted Hand is a beautiful standing tower perched on a boulder. The site has never been excavated, but stone rubble shows where rooms were built against the cliff face and on boulders. The site gets its name from outlined hands on a boulder (such paintings are called pictographs). Please respect these fragile paintings! Oil and dirt from hands will eventually destroy these remnants of past lives. Three BLM Wilderness Study Areas (Cross Canyon, Squaw/Papoose Canyon, and Cahone Canyon) are open only to non-mechanized/nonmotorized travel. Private property is interspersed throughout the monument. Please avoid trespassing or blocking driveways. To reach Painted Hand, turn west off Highway 491 at County Road CC and go 5.5 Lowry Pueblo miles (8.8 km) west. Take County Road 10 south 11.3 miles (18 km). Look for the small Painted Hand sign and kiosk, then turn left. Follow dirt road 1 mile to Painted Hand Trailhead. To get there, you should have a good map and a highclearance vehicle. There are no services or facilities. Anasazi Heritage Center Escalante Pueblo, built during the 1100s, is on the Heritage Center grounds. Exploring Canyons of the Ancients Be Safe Dove Creek Utah Rd H Colorado DOLORES Cortez Durango ! ! Road 6 To Monticello Or Hike on the Sand Canyon/Rock Creek Special Recreation Management Area trails. Arizona Cahone Road R Road 4 Road 10 Rd Y Road 12 Canyons Humans have been part of this landscape for at least 12,000 years. Changes in Road Y 10 Road W Yellow Jacket ! ^ ( Dolores National Monument (NPS) an yo nT rai l Q Æ National In the 1700’s, Europeans explored the area, often led by Ute guides. Today, many descendant peoples still live in or near their ancestor’s homelands. Road P Monument Please Respect Ancestral Puebloan Homes Canyon Pueblo To Mancos and Durango ) CORTEZ Canyons UN TA IN MO TE SLEEPI Ancients National Monument Touching painted and plastered walls or pictographs and petroglyphs leaves skin oils that damage artwork. NG U any vandalism, collection, or damage of archaeological resources to BLM law enforcement at 970882-6849 or Colorado State Patrol Dispatch at 970-249-4392. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act of 1990, and 43 CFR 8365.1-5(a) prohibit anyone from removing artifacts or disturbing archaeological sites on federal public lands without written permission from the BLM. Do your part to preserve this rich heritage for future generations. The remnants of Ancestral Puebloan homes are found throughout Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. They are an irreplaceable link to history, and are especially important to contemporary Native Americans. The biggest threat to these places comes from careless visitors. Please preserve this legacy for future generations. Walk carefully to avoid stepping on fragile walls. Archaeological sites are extremely delicate. It’s easy to destroy walls and artifacts. Never burn wood from archaeological sites or build fires in them. Road G of the Please report Ancients Ute and Navajo people also used the Monument’s mesas and canyons for hunting and gathering. Remains of hogans, brush shelters and wickiups tell their story. Arriola Road N Road G Photo by Lanny Wagner To Telluride Anasazi Heritage Center Sand Canyon Trailhead Canyons of the Ancients National Monument landscape Q Æ NARRAG UINNEP Rd U Painted Hand Pueblo cultural life over time ranged from hunting and gathering to farming. By about A.D. 750 farmers, now known as Ancestral Puebloans, occupied a widespread area that included Canyons of the Ancients and much of southwest Colorado. Their year-round villages began as clustered pit houses. Over time, these ancestors of the modern-day Pueblo Indians developed larger masonry homes with connecting walls above ground. Some of these homes were built at canyon heads where there was a spring to supply water. Other homes were cliff dwellings. In time, factors such as population growth, soil exhaustion and changing weather compromised the area’s natural resources. By about A.D. 1300, these Pueblo ancestors migrated to New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley or farther west to where the Acoma, Laguna, Zuni and Hopi people live today. of the MCPHEE RESERVOIR McPhee Lewis ) Canyons of the Ancients National Monument )Sand Hovenweep Ro ad A Rich Cultural History Road BB Sa nd C Whether accessing the area from the south trailhead or the north trailhead, parking is extremely limited. Please avoid parking within the county road right-of-way. Please stay out of all archaeological sites. The 800-year-old stone structures are both fragile and dangerous. Pleasant View Rd Z Cross Canyon WSA Utah Colorado Sand Canyon Pueblo is located at the north trailhead to the Sand Canyon trail. To reach Sand Canyon turn west off Highway 491 onto County Road P and follow the map in this brochure. Eventually the county road turns to gravel, and is usually passable by all vehicles. Call for winter accessibility and ask for the free Sand Canyon brochure and map before your visit to Sand Canyon Pueblo at the Anasazi Heritage Center. There are no services or facilities at the site. 4 ) Road CC Rd 11 Sand Canyon Pueblo includes the remains of about 420 rooms, 100 kivas and 14 towers. Researchers from the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center excavated several rooms from 1983 to 1993, and then backfilled them to protect standing walls and preserve the site. Interpretive signs provide Native American insights and archaeological perspectives, show how the site was laid out, and display drawings of what Sand Canyon Pueblo might have looked like in the mid-1200s. S Road 15 Photo © Jerry Sintz If you have a second day, visit Sand Canyon Pueblo… R d oa Rd Rd T Lowry Pueblo Squaw Papoose Canyon WSA Bradfield Q Æ Road 16 Cahone Canyon WSA The Sand Canyon and Rock Creek trails are open for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding on designated routes only. Hiking routes can be steep, rocky and remote. There are no services or facilities. New Mexico • Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is a remote, rugged and harsh desert environment. Summer temperatures may exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), and elevation ranges from 4,875 ft (1500 m) above sea level to 6,825 ft (2100 m) above sea level. • Carry and drink at least one gallon (four liters) of water per person per day. • Use sunscreen. • Have ample fuel for your vehicle. • Always carry a good map, water, food and first aid kit. Avoid travelling alone. Tell someone your plans and expected route. • Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, sturdy footwear and good socks. • Use insect repellant. Expect biting gnats in Saddlehorn Pueblo in Sand Canyon May and June. • Watch for rattlesnakes, scorpions, mountain lions and other potentially dangerous wildlife. Mesa Verde National Park Towaoc ¯ LEGEND Ute Mountain Ute Reservation Q Æ Campground ! ^ ( To Bluff ) Information Destination Point Sand Canyon Trail Ute Mountain Ute Reservation National Park Service Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) To the Four Corners Canyons of the Ancients National Monument To Shiprock 0 0 2 4 2 8 Km 4 8 Mi Picnics in archaeological sites attract rodents, which tunnel and nest in the site. Eat elsewhere; collect and carry out your trash. Leave artifacts exactly where found for others to enjoy; it is illegal to remove them. Displaced artifacts mean little to the archaeologists who rely on location as a part of their analysis; artifacts should be left for others to discover. Leave No Trace • Camping and campfires in archaeological sites are prohibited. • Human waste left at archaeological sites is unsightly and unsanitary. • Stay on existing roads and trails. Scars on the desert landscape heal slowly and speed up soil erosion. • Do not leave “offerings” at any archaeological site. They confuse the original story, compromising the scientific and scenic value of a site. • Treat these places with respect. They represent our shared cultural heritage, and many hold special importance for contemporary Native Americans.