Trail of the Ancients Day 3 – Mesa Verde, Colorado

We spent a month in the four corners area of Colorado, exploring the ancient history and beauty of this surprising area. The Mesa Verde National Park was a full day trip all by itself.  It would not be hard to enjoy two or three days just in this one park, especially if you choose to hike into all of the accessible ruins. Anasazi Trail – Day 1 Anasazi Trail – Day 2 Mesa Verde National Park is located about 20 miles east of Cortez, Colorado, very close to the borders of New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. Getting Organized The park[…]

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Trail of the Ancients Day 2 – Hovenweep, Anasazi Heritage Center and Lowry Pueblo

Staying in the Dolores/Cortez area of Southern Colorado gave us a great opportunity to explore the Trail of the Ancients in Utah and Colorado. We took a second day to explore three sites very close to our campground in Dolores.  Hovenweep, Lowry Pueblo and the Anasazi Heritage Center are all partially reconstructed ruins of the Anasazi, otherwise known as the “Ancient Puebloans”.  If you love ancient history, you don’t need to go to Mexico or Peru to seem some classic examples.  (Although Mexico and Peru are both worth a trip, if you can get there!) Day 1 of the Trail[…]

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Exploring Trail of The Ancients – Day 1

The Trail of the Ancients, a Beautiful Drive While spending June in Dolores, Colorado, we had what my husband calls a “target-rich environment”. So much to see! The Trail of the Ancients is a designated National Scenic Byway that runs through Colorado, Utah and a bit of Arizona.  The total route is 480 miles long.  We spent 3 separate day-trips exploring it.  Even so, we “left some for next time!”  The blue pins on the map, below, show the stops we made on this very long day.  The other colors are separate day trips. Day 2 of our tour Interesting Anasazi sites[…]

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Exploring Aztec Ruins – Not Aztec, Anasazi!

While staying in Farmington, New Mexico, Bill and I decided to explore several of the Anasazi Ruins in the area.  Our discovery of the Aztec Ruins, just 15 miles down the road was a sweet surprise!   Interesting Anasazi sites in the 4 Corners The Spanish Named it Aztec The ruins are located in the town of Aztec, New Mexico.  The name comes from the early Spanish explorers who came through this area in 1540-1542.  They were under the impression that all ruins in the area were built by the same builders as those in Old Mexico and so named[…]

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Destinations - Salmon Ruins

The Trail from Chaco – Visiting Salmon Ruins, NM

Ancient Residents of Chaco Canyon move to Salmon Ruins in Bloomfield New Mexico While staying in the Farmington, New Mexico area, we had several opportunities to explore the amazing culture that flowed from Chaco Canyon near the turn of the millenium, around 850-1200 AD.  We continue our series on the Anasazi culture here in Bloomfield at the Salmon Ruins.  See Visiting Chaco Canyon – Where did the Anasazi go? to start our tour at the beginning. Salmon Ruins marks the transition between Chaco and what happened afterwards.  The Ruins are what is left of a Great House directly North of Chaco Canyon,[…]

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Visiting Chaco Canyon – Where did all the Anasazi go?

Chaco Canyon – Home to the Anasazi I have always loved visiting ancient civilizations. I climbed the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru as a high school student. We spent our honeymoon climbing Maya and Toltec ruins in Mexico.  Chaco Canyon is North America’s version of these wonderful, mysterious sites. This amazing National Historical Park, just south of Farmington in New Mexico, is a ‘must visit’ location for those of us who crave the mystery of ancient wealth and glory, now covered in sand and myth. So where did the powerful, creative, sophisticated residents of this 11th century ruin all[…]

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